It seems so many people just jump into a management role without dedicating much headspace to how they want things to function.
You might have made a few mistakes when you first made some hiring decisions but that’s okay. You don’t have to make the same mistakes because we are going to show you what to do better.
While you’re at it, we advise that you try to do the same for the person you’re managing, too.
Set Some Boundaries
There’s a difference between being friends and being friendly with someone who reports to you. If you want this to go the right way, you might choose to keep it friendly and not ‘Being friends.’ Where’s the line exactly? That is for you to figure out. If you entertain the thought of being friends with your employee, creating a way too much familiar bond, it might be a little hard. Your employee can feel like you turned on them when you’re just doing your job. But this doesn’t mean that everything personal ought to stay private.
Prioritize and Systematize Face-to-Face Communication
Thank God for all of the collaborative tools like Slack and email. Yes, they are really helpful when it comes to communication, but as wonderful as they are, they’re not the best forum for everything you have to say. A weekly check-in with someone who reports to you on the other hand, is never a waste of time.
Create a shared agenda that you both have access to and can update. This will give you a head start on dealing with potential issues.
Give Feedback Fast
Say the person who works for you has impressively delivered on assignments, let them know. That’s confidence-boosting and just plain nice. It can also help soften the blow when you have to tell them they screwed something up when they do. And when the latter happens, ask if you can chat for a few minutes to express your disappointment, find out why things went wrong, and how they can be done better next time. Don’t type this. Speak to the person. Tone is key.
Practice Managing Up
One of the very best ways to get good at management is having a boss—good or bad!—and learning to manage them. It might teach you how to best structure an efficient team meeting or it might show you just how terrible many people are at setting expectations or giving clear direction.
Sure, it can be frustrating to work for someone who’s not telling you what they want from you, but you can, in fact, ask what they expect of you. This will remind you what you really should be conveying to someone who works for you. Because it turns out being a good boss and a good employee aren’t so different after all.