Effective management involves understanding the operational aspects of your project or department, as well as developing relationships with staff members that support your business. As a manager, you are responsible not only for financial and strategic management, but also for developing your staff. Most managers consider budget concerns, staffing needs, and strategic planning. It is equally important to understand the importance that your relationships with direct reports and co-workers have on your ability to be successful in the completion of the goals you have set for your project or department
Ask yourself these questions…
How would you rate your communication skills with your staff?
What actions develop trust in your working environment?
What work situations may be diminishing trust in your environment?
How much time do you commit each week to the important relationships in your work life?
What separates good managers from excellent ones? Research of thousands of leaders indicates that emotional intelligence is critical in many day-to-day leadership responsibilities. As Daniel Goldman, author of Emotional Intelligence has said, the stars of an organization are often those who have thick connections on all networks, whether communications, expertise, or trust. These connections require a host of soft skills such as effective interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, time management, team building and meeting management to name a few.
Listed below you will find a sample of the competencies that are outlined in the Management Series programs available to managers through Spectrain.co.uk and Spectrain.com.jo. These are important skills for each manager to possess to be an emotionally intelligent leader.
Listed below are some important skills for each manager to possess to be an emotionally intelligent leader. In the section that follows, we will highlight some basic skills in each of these areas of managerial concern.
EFFECTIVE PEOPLE SKILLS
The foundation of good communication with your staff members is developing trusting relationships.
Also important is practicing important skills such as listening skills and giving and receiving feedback. Your staff needs to have feedback from you on a regular basis. Both confirming and corrective feedback is important.
Involves specific information of a positive or rewarding nature.
Example: I liked the way you trained your co-worker. You outlined the protocol in writing and then listened as he relayed back to you the process. Great job!
Tells the recipient what was done correctly, what was on track and what is working and how it supports your department’s goals.
Is supportive and encourages the recipient to be open to further improvement.
Relays specific information that provides the recipient guidance and direction in focusing or refocusing energies on a more appropriate job-related activity. Uses task-related observations. Uses “I” statements.
Example: I noticed that this report has several typos on each page. I need you to proof carefully before each report is sent out. Let’s talk about a plan to insure these mistakes are caught in the future.
I observed that you were 30 minutes late on Monday and 15 minutes late on Thursday. It is important you be here on time at 8:00 a.m.
Does not focus on the person and his/her capabilities but rather on job task or action to be changed. It is behaviour specific rather than personality specific. Corrective feedback helps the individual commit to a plan of action.
Instead of, you’re rude to the customers who come in for advice, say I noticed you don’t look up and address customers with a friendly hello when they come into reception; I need you to do this.
Allows for collaboration on a plan of action. The supervisor and the direct report mutually agree on a development plan of success.
GUIDELINES FOR PROVIDING EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK
Deal in specifics. Being specific is the most important guideline for giving feedback whether it is confirming or corrective.
Example: It’s important to file this data in chronological order. We look the information up by date.
Focus on actions, not attitudes. Feedback must be observable and measurable in order to be effective, and it must be non-threatening in order to be acceptable.
Determine the appropriate time and place for feedback to occur. Give feedback as soon as possible after the behaviour occurs. Give corrective feedback in private whenever possible.
Refrain from inappropriately including other issues. When supportive feedback is given, any topic that does not relate to the specific feedback point should not be discussed if it would undercut the supportive feedback. Do not mix issues.
For example, any statement of praise followed by the use of the word “but” will negate the original praise offered.
Create a supportive working environment. In order to create an environment of authentic communication between people, it is necessary to build a relationship of trust
How do you manage your biases about particular employees in order to develop a relationship of trust?
Listen to how you talk to yourself about each of your employees.
Do you see the positive or the negative?
Do you focus on the differences between yourself and the employee?
Do you second-guess the goals and motives of the employees?
Get other people’s perspectives on your employee’s performance.
Ask other managers and listen for observations that differ from yours.
Analyse your viewpoints for consistency and fairness.
Verify any conclusions you reach by discussing them with your employee.
Remember, communication is critical. Keep the lines of communication open
with the employee by communicating directly. Don’t assume you know what the employee is thinking, feeling, or even doing in a particular situation. Listen to the employee’s perspective.
Listening skills are as important as feedback skills for the manager. Listening involves being present and allowing communication to occur. You do this through the use of open body language, friendly voice tone, and a genuine respect for the other person’s concerns.
Example: Taking the time to sit down in a quiet room, look at the staff member with a concern, and really attend to their needs. If now is not the time when you can talk, let them know and schedule soon when you can really listen.
It is also important to be an empathic listener. Conveying empathy involves being aware of and acknowledging the feelings and experiences of the other person. In an empathic response, the listener conveys to the speaker he understands and accepts the speaker’s feelings and the reasons for those feelings. It is possible to be empathic without necessarily agreeing.
Example: It sounds like the situation was frustrating. You’re concerned because you need more time to run the tests.
Making use of effective feedback and listening skills can greatly enhance your communication with your staff.
DEVELOP STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING YOUR WORKGROUP’S COMMUNICATION PROCESS
How do your staff communicate information, concerns, and accomplishments?
What opportunities do your staff have to participate in decision making, to provide input into process improvements, to develop better ways to work together?
Do you foster a culture of direct communication between co-workers?
By developing strategies to answer these questions you will be enhancing a work environment that supports the goals of your department