5 Tips for Becoming a More Caring Manager

What kind of manager are you? Do you want your people to be successful? Are you really happy for your associates when they experience success, or are you always looking around the corner hoping that no one will be more successful than you? Are you secretly happy when they fail and have an “egg in the face”?

Why is it so difficult to be genuinely happy about the success of others? When we were kids, we cheered on our teammates when they scored the winning run. With our own children, we are always celebrating their achievements at football games, plays, and spelling bees. My children are of a completely different race. They are more likely to be working with the lights and sound board in the latest production, rather than performing in front of the camera, but rest assured, we always enjoy your success.
The best managers revel in the success of their teams. They realize that their success depends on everyone’s achievements, and that the more the group achieves, the more it will grow and develop.

Myopic managers are the curse of any organization. They are constantly looking over their shoulders to see if someone is catching up with them. It reminds me of my days as a somewhat (much less, actually) decorated high school cross country runner. The common practice of runners was to continually look over their shoulders to see who was winning. They discouraged us from doing this and told us instead to keep looking forward. This turned out to be great advice for later in life.

As promised, here are five tips for becoming a better manager!

1) Tell your people how much you need them.

William James, writer and philosopher, said that the greatest human need is the desire to be appreciated. He steps out from behind his desk and starts walking through the hallways and floors of the factory. Tell your people that you’re glad they’re on the team. Make them feel valued.

2) Ask for their opinions.

You’d be very surprised how much your people know. They can really help, if you let them.

3) Show others that they are superior to you in at least one aspect.

Let people feel good. You don’t have to have all the answers. I have never. It’s so much easier to let others shine. One part of winning the “Grand Slam” with your clients is motivating associates and making working with you fun. When people feel motivated, they are more likely to do a better job.

4) Create obligations for the right reasons.

Some managers create projects that make their people look bad. For many years I owned and operated a chain of wine stores in Chicago. I remember some cases where managers gave people jobs that were destined to fail. Your manager’s goals were to look better in my eyes. They picked the wrong guy for that nonsense. He wanted everyone to do well.

5) Show your lighter side: create laughter.

Life is hard enough without taking everything seriously. Furthermore, numerous studies show that laughter actually has many physical benefits for the body. Do you remember that your mother told you not to worry about everything because you would get an ulcer? Turns out she was right. When she experiences stress, her digestive system shuts down a bit. When this happens too often, the effects (one of them, ulcers) can be very detrimental to health.

Well, that’s enough of the medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor do I interpret it on TV. Get out there today and congratulate someone on your team. Give them relevant, timely and specific feedback. As the one-minute manager would say, “Catch someone doing something right” and tell them about it right away. The results will surprise and motivate you, not to mention the positive effects on your team.

A healthy company and healthy profits will not be far behind!

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