Do you suspect irritating habits are sabotaging your image? Take action. Become bit more self-conscious. Watch how you behave in front of others and note their reaction to you. And note the following:
1. Don’t skimp on praise
“You rarely compliment me on job I think I’ve done well.” Everyone responds well to praise. One or two compliments won’t take much of your time, but will do wonders for morale.
2. Be decisive when decisions are required
“You avoid making decisions.” Is it your poor decision-making ability or simply procrastination? If the former, then study more about decision making. Also clarify with your staff where your decision-making responsibility ends and theirs begins. If the latter, then there are occasions when problem is best attacked after you’ve had time thinking about it, just as there are instances when lack of action will inflame the issue. Make decisions based on available information.
3. Be available when needed
“You’re always too inaccessible.” Make yourself available for urgent matters and at least be accessible by appointment for non-urgent issues. Don’t go overboard however, an open-door policy gets time-consuming.
“You never seem to be listening to what I say.” We don’t always hear what others are saying to us; we fidget, look elsewhere, shuffle paper – visual clues that reflect an attitude of less than full attention to the speaker.
5. Stand by what you say
“You say something – and then deny it later.” To ensure your statements aren’t misinterpreted, keep notes of meetings and ensure all participants get copy of relevant minutes.
6. Hold those calls
“You always take phone calls during meetings.” Accept inwards calls only in dire emergencies. Show colleagues you consider their discussion important.
7. Let them get on with the job
“You won’t let me do my job – you’re always interfering.” Encourage staff to complain to you when they feel you’re interfering, but use the occasion to discuss the reasons for your involvement.
8. Don’t play favourites
“You play favourites.” There’s no quicker path to sagging staff morale than showing favouritism in your daily relationships with staff. Of course some are brighter, more dependable and more personable than others, but try and guard against displays of personal bias.
9. Keep in touch with what’s going on
“You’re out of touch with what’s going on in the workplace.” Try to schedule few periods month at the workface.
10. Be open to ideas
“You always pooh-pooh our ideas.” Do you kill ideas because they challenge the status quo? If an idea is clearly poor, do you enjoy shooting down the originator’s kite, or do you haul it down with tact? Creativity is not the exclusive province of the talented few. By word and deed, it’s your job to encourage creativity to flourish in the workplace.
From Just about Everything Manager Needs to Know, by Neil Flanagan & Jarvis Finger, Plum Press. Copy information to email:[email protected]; fax: (04) 528 9916