Management & leadership

Charity leaders: Go from good manager, to great!

Tips to help you be the manager you can be

As a Manager you have to recognise that your management and communication styles, attitudes and behaviours have a huge impact on others. Our Support and Supervision of Staff 2 trainer gives us some things to think about so we can be the best manager we can be:

Be a role model and model the behaviours you want to see – you are watched constantly

Managers have a duty of care and when it comes to things like having a work/life balance, the way you work can impact what your staff do. For example, if you’re sitting at your desk until 7pm after having arrived at 6am your staff will feel pressure to do the same. You may argue that your staff can leave as and when they please, yet a ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say’ approach never works. Another instance where this is true is if you come into work with bad body language and start snapping at everyone. This will influence your team’s behaviour and set the precedence that these actions are tolerated.

Invest time in your staff to get results and good performance

Many managers don’t like delegation. This is either because they feel no one can do the task as well as they can, or conversely they feel their team member has too much on their plate. However, if you take the time to think about your staff you may be pleasantly surprised. It all boils down to: the more time and help you give your team, the more you’ll get out; just think of a sausage machine where the better meat you put in the better sausage you’ll have at the end!

Use the most appropriate management and communication styles when dealing with each individual

If you have a team member who likes to be given a job and then left to their own devices to complete the work to a high standard you may think that you’ve got this management thing sussed. However, another person in your team may prefer a little more guidance; using a ‘one size fits all’ approach to management can prove ineffective.

Similarly, ensure you change your leadership style depending on which task or what stage someone is at. For instance, that same team member that likes to be left to their own devices may want development opportunities in the future and if you respond with an ‘off you go’ attitude, they will not be getting support to progress in their role. Even with one individual person your management style will constantly have to change to suit their situation at the time.

Know when it is worth investing 10 minutes to actively listen to a member of your team

It goes without saying that times like appraisals should always involve investing time in listening to your team, yet there can be so many benefits to having an informal 10 minute discussion with someone. If you have an upbeat employee who starts to look unhappy, taking time out away from phones and computers to have a chat can prevent an issue from escalating. Normally, people will only come to you if the problem has become a mountain, whereas if you catch it when it is a hill a lot more can be done to ease the stress. As manager you can guide, but it is most productive to let your staff member figure out their own solution so they can own it and ensure change can happen.

Deal with conflict

It is unlikely conflict will go away on its own and it’s easy for it to grow and create tension. Yet, because people don’t like addressing it, it often goes ignored. Conflict is almost unavoidable for managers, yet if you change your attitude towards it, you’ll be able to deal with it better. If two friends are going out for a meal and one person wants Chinese whilst the other person wants Indian, this doesn’t need to be a conflict if they can compromise and find a place they both like. If there is a conflict in your team, people will look towards the manager to resolve the problem and it’s important you can see ways of resolving it, rather than shying away. If one of your team gets to the stage where they’re thinking ‘Oh no, I don’t want to see those people again’ motivation will be low. Therefore it is important managers address conflict before it festers and becomes a bigger problem.

Learn more about becoming a great manager on our upcoming course