Managers often have a tough time or reputation for not having high-quality conversations. If you don't want to or you don't know how, it's easy to talk yourself out of having those important conversations. Spending time with the people who work for you is key to your business running efficiently.
Below are the three types of conversations you should be having as a manager.
Sit your team down and have a serious conversation of where you are, where you're headed, and how you plan on getting there. You have to establish where you are first before going forward. Going into a meeting, you'll think everyone is at the starting line, only to find out that some people haven't even made it there yet. Also, the main goal may not be clear to everyone, causing people to go in different directions.
Another thing to make sure of is that everyone is heard properly. 'Properly' being the key word here. Make sure everyone clearly understands everyone else's perspectives. Misinterpretations are seeds for arguments and dysfunction later down the road.
No, 'feedback' is not a dirty word. Just like personal relationships, sometimes you need to have honest and slightly uncomfortable conversations. The best way to have these conversations is to first determine where your feedback is coming from. Is it stemming from a personal beef or something to help your personal agenda? If so, then you should probably keep it to yourself. If it isn't, go forward with having the conversation in a respectable manner. No one wants to be lectured or bulldozed. Feedback is also a give and take type of thing. If you open it up for your team to give feedback on what you're doing, then they'll find it easier to accept the feedback you give them.
One on One Conversations
It's easy to only talk about your needs when you're having individual conversations. Managing is about telling the people who work for you what they need to do for you. However, if you only focus on yourself, you and your team might not reach your full potential. What you need to do is sit each one of your contributors down and ask what they need from you. This will remind them and you that you are a key factor in their success.
Success is seldom a one person effort and you need to make sure you're doing your part to help them while they're doing their best to help you. By creating an open, honest, and friendly environment, productivity and morale will flourish.
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