Managers have to make countless decisions every day. Not all of them can be perfect. But there are a number of very mundane moments where they can shine.
Mavie editorial team
In times of hybrid working, online meetings are here to stay. These meetings are tiring, which easily tempts those facilitating them to rush through them—bad! Nothing against meeting efficiency, but: the more digital exchange, the more important it is that interpersonal relationships are not neglected. Therefore, make sure that team calls do not degenerate into a roll call! Take your time, ask your employees individually how they are doing and what is on their mind. Listen openly - if you notice a critical topic, address it separately in private.
Getting bogged down in meetings and wasting valuable time is not okay, either analogue or digital. Tip: Empower your team to ask the “Navigation Question” any time you get lost: “Will this topic we are discussing now get us closer to where we want to be in this meeting?” Works wonders! The most important thing at the end: As a manager, you are responsible for ensuring that there is a countable result and that this is also clear to everyone. Summarize the key content and decisions again, repeat who does what by when.
Keep in touch
Managers want to be sure that everyone in the team is committed and working efficiently on their issues. And when everyone is in the office, this check happens almost automatically. However, it does not apply as soon as employees work remotely. Then managers have to balance ambivalences within themselves - between closeness and distance, trust and control, planning and improvisation. Compensate for those vacuum bubbles with one-on-one meetings. Nothing replaces an open, personal conversation if you want to get a feeling for the situation of the people around you.
No "I'm the boss!"
Leadership is in a transformation process. Autocratic management behavior is an obsolete model that is being replaced by an individualized management culture. Instead of lumping everyone together, the aim today is to take everyone on a journey together, with leaders picking everyone up where they are. Your job is to design work in such a way that employees are intrinsically motivated and can experience an "inner mission" and thus meaning. This also means including different life models, needs, etc.
We all experience insecurities and being overwhelmed. It is not easy, especially for managers, to always stay well in the face of workload and (own) expectations. This is precisely their most important task: when they get emotionally stressed, it is immediately transferred to their team - unrest and potential for conflict increase. The consequence: employees avoid openly approaching managers who are obviously under pressure. Leading successfully means, first of all, taking responsibility for one's own emotional state. What helps? Proactive investments in personal development and get support from professionals in challenging situations.
The lone warriors from the top floor, who never have enough information and still have to make serious decisions, are a myth. Decisions are a process, and a core task of managers is to structure the processes to get there in a meaningful way. The worst decision is – not making any decisions! Therefore: Always communicate openly until when you decide. Share your choice, stand by it with confidence. Always remember: In doubtful cases there are always several possibilities of "right".
Be an role model
The stressed manager who yells “We need planning!” and is chaotic himself. Or the head of department, who says with deep black circles under her eyes: "You just have to take better care of yourself." These two managers are also role models, just not good ones. Incongruity hurts team culture and comes at the expense of honesty. In addition, there are hidden team rules such as: "Whoever sacrifices the most is the best"!
Change and development are important. If you decide to integrate something new into your leadership style or into the team culture, also plan how you will communicate this to your employees. And please: Do not expect immediate, unrestricted enthusiasm - you have a head start with the new ideas, let your employees catch up with you intellectually. Tell them that you want to act differently than usual, encourage others to do so.
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