By Wendy Castellanos
1. Be Open Minded
It’s easy to be frustrated when you see someone doing something differently than you envisioned. Stop and ask yourself, “Did the task get completed within the parameters I provided?” If so, great! If not, maybe you need to be clearer with your instructions. Just because someone doesn’t do something the exact same way you would, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way. Be open minded to new ways of doing things. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a cool, new way of doing something.
2. Create An Environment That Fosters Collaboration
Let your employees speak freely. This is especially important while working with a team of people. We’ve all been there where there’s “Chatty Kathy” who chimes in on everything while you’ve got “Meek Mindy” who refrains from speaking up because she can’t get a word in edgewise. Call on Mindy to share what she’s thinking and don’t get railroaded by Kathy. Allow all team members an equal chance to speak up. Use phrases like “tell me more” to get more information.
3. Allow An Open Door Policy
We’re humans and not robots; be available for your employees and coworkers to share their feelings. Maintaining an open door policy shows that you care about your employees. Be there to support them and help them to feel comfortable enough to share their ideas. Make sure you remain neutral and don’t cross the line of being too personal, that’s where problems can start.
4. Practice What You Preach
This one is simple: be the example of what you want your employees to be. I once worked for a manager that gave me grief about leaving early for a doctor’s appointment, yet she was in the office maybe (maybe!) 2 days a week because she was “sick” or had other personal issues. It was hard for me to respect the feedback she gave because she wasn’t following her own guidelines.
5. Be Timely With Your Feedback
Nobody is perfect and we all need a little bit of coaching. However, you need to be timely with your feedback. Give feedback as the issue is occurring; don’t wait until review time or until weeks/months have passed. It’s like having food stuck in your teeth, would you want someone to wait until you’ve walked around all day to let you know or would you rather have someone tell you as it’s happening? Bonus, by addressing the issue sooner, there's a greater likelihood that the issue will be resolved right away!
What tips do you have? What are some things your bosses have done that helped you in your role?