management behaviors

February 21, 2010

Managing Others – 9 Positive Behaviors

When we manage others, they take their lead from us. There is an onus on us therefore, to make sure that the lead we offer has every opportunity for success. And using positive behaviors is a great start…

In the teams we lead, we find that they mimic the way we are. On a bad day, they sense that things aren’t going to plan and, where they can, perhaps they keep out of our way!

Where we show the positive side of ourselves, in the behaviors we demonstrate, they are more likely to be upbeat about it – and then, as a team, we have the opportunity to be much more successful.

Here are some key behaviors you can focus on becoming positive in. These are just the chosen few – there are many more of them – and when you are beginning along this path of positive change, these will give you a great start!

•    Respond instead of React – by taking the time to make a considered response and practicing this aspect of your management style, you are going to be more likely to give a positive response than a negative one, which may come from frustration or exasperation when initially presented with a situation.

•    Show appreciation – it’s easy to notice opportunities to show appreciation when an individual delivers what’s expected of them (or more), so building this into your style is a positive response that your people will love!

•    Remember peoples’ names accurately – whilst this might seem like a small thing, employees can feel like they are ‘just a number’ – especially in big organizations – so when you individualize and personalize them, it’s a big plus.

•    Follow things through – showing that you value people is a massive positive, so by ensuring that you always do what you say you will; follow through with your promises and report back where it’s needed, you will make a difference to their feelings about their work too.

•    Drop criticism – it’s of little value when it isn’t supported by learning, so it’s best avoided. This is a ‘stop doing’ to avoid negativity perhaps rather than a positive change in behavior. Thus it has a positive impact!

•    Speak positively of others – when you even speak negatively about people, even when they aren’t present, it’s surprising just what effect that can have on everyone. By finding positive things to say about people – even when they aren’t present – you will be surprised about how quickly others pick up on this and start doing it too.

•    Encourage – amazingly positive, your personal intervention to encourage and support your people will go a long way to help build their confidence and self-belief.

•    Remind people of what they do well – It’s sometimes difficult to appreciate the gifts we all have, so we need reminding. When you tell your people about the value they bring to the team, it may well be the first time they’ve heard it, so how positive is that!

•    Manage expectations – it’s much more positive to be able to do more than expected and over-deliver than it is to over-promise and not be able to do what’s expected of you, so it’s of great value to keep expectations minimal and then do more, where you can.

Small changes in the way you work with your people can bring huge benefits to their behaviors and attitudes. You have every opportunity to choose the way you are with them and then reap the value it can create.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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January 17, 2010

It’s Not Them, It’s You

Author: Mary Jo Asmus

You’re leading a monthly meeting. You’ve asked your team members to provide their input on a topic. Unlike your teenager who at least shrugs his shoulders (or says “I don’t know”) when you ask for his opinion, you get silent stares from your team. What could be going on?

Are your team members incompetent? Do they even know enough about the subject to speak up? Don’t they know that their input is important? Actually, you may need to look to yourself and your behavior as the cause.

The behaviors you exhibit may be shutting your team down. Luckily, these behaviors can be fixed over time, increasing the likelihood that you will get the input you seek. Let’s explore the behaviors that may be preventing your team from speaking up:

You are not listening
Are you doing all the talking? Are you shutting people down or cutting them off?

You have ignored your team’s input
Do you have a history of asking for input and then doing whatever you think is right anyway?

You are asking the wrong kind of questions
Are your questions the kind that don’t foster discussion (yes/no questions for example)?  Are the questions you are asking ones that you already know the answers to?

You supply the answers to the questions
Do you ask the question and then supply your own answers? Are you allowing the silence necessary for your team to consider their answer (yes, silence can be a good thing in this case)?

You shoot the messenger
Do you respond with your opinion (often negative) to the responses you’ve received? Do you feel the need to judge every answer?

Are you showing impatience or temper?
Does your body language indicate that you are not getting the kind of answers you want? Are you rolling your eyes or sighing when a team member responds to a question? Worse yet, are you showing signs of anger or exhibiting outbursts?

Is it possible that any of these behaviors apply to you? Ask someone you trust to observe you and provide some feedback. If you find that you are exhibiting any of the behaviors above, you need to change your behavior.

You’ve lost respect – for yourself and for others – and are on a downward spiral. It’s recoverable. More about how to recover in the next post.

© Mary Jo Asmus is a a former executive in a Fortune 100 company, who now owns and operates a leadership solutions firm called Aspire Collaborative Services at http://www.aspire-cs.com

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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