How to be a great Manager

As I am sure you’ve heard many times, people join companies and they leave managers.  We know that 60% of new managers fail to achieve their outcomes within the first two years.  We also know that Gallup’s data show that 30% to 40% of people have the skills necessary to be a manager. So, what is something you can do to become a better manager? Google says that the number one key to being a great manager is periodic one-to-one coaching you have with your team.

And, the number one thing a manager can do when coaching is to help their team member become aware of their strengths. Then help them use those strengths in accomplishing their work.  A person’s strengths are assets they can bring to any task.  Working from a strengths perspective helps employees drive themselves, the team and organization forward.  Someone bringing their strengths to their work will naturally be working from a place of personal power (consider that something that is not your strength drains you because it is difficult and you really don’t like it whereas a strength adds to you, lifts and energizes you).

In my work with clients I have seen people become aware of their strengths with a bit of amazement (I use StrengthsFinder and VIA Character Strengths).  As we work on bringing those strengths to bear in situations where they have had challenges before, they get different results. They feel better about what they achieved. They spend less energy.  They are focused. And, they learn about themselves through a different lense.  Equally important is that you were a force in helping them develop.  Moreover, they will have performed at and hopefully above your expectations.

Since we all believe we understand what our strengths are and we are often wrong - we tell stories about ourselves that are often different from what people see in us - use a tool like the StrengthsFinder assessment offered by Gallup.  It’s inexpensive, insightful and will help you help your team member raise awareness about themselves and their strengths.  Invest in the training to understand how to have those conversations and follow up so that you can make the most of it. You’ll start to become one of the reasons your team stays with you and the company.  And that will be better for everyone!