Victor Lipman , CONTRIBUTOR to FORBES
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Successful management is all about building long-term productivity, both for your team and your organization
The quality of relationships you establish in the role can help you or hinder you. Accordingly, here are five personal traits to cultivate to help you become a more productive manager.
1. Try to understand the perspectives of others – especially your own manager
The more insight you have into the way your own manager perceives the world — and the core problems he or she is dealing with — the more effectively you’ll be able to do your own job. It only makes sense: The broader your understanding of your business, the more thoughtfulness you’ll bring to your management decisions.
2. Do your best to reduce stress
In my days in management I always felt stress was like the common cold of business. It was far too prevalent and it caused employees to feel worn down and less productive. Management can be a stressful job, and it’s easy to pass along that stress; it’s highly contagious.
On the other hand, employees tend to be appreciative of, and work hard for, managers who adopt a calmer, low-stress approach. To the extent you can control how you handle stress, the better off you are. Again, it’s just common sense: If given a choice, what employee prefers to work in a high-stress environment?
3. Have patience
Adopting a patient — as opposed to harried and constantly on-edge — attitude is an easy way to build employee rapport and loyalty. In an environment where management tends to be chronically impatient (“I need it yesterday, or at the latest, in 10 minutes!”), employees naturally value managers who are able to maintain a more relaxed attitude. Why wouldn’t they? It’s just a more enjoyable setting to spend 40 hours or so a week in.
4. Show consistency.
Time and time again I’ve observed the value of managerial consistency both in my own management experience and in consulting roles. Little turns off employees more than a manager who goes unaccountably hot and cold — supportive and friendly one day but cold and distant the next. Simply put, this sort of behavior alienates; employees want managers they can count on. Chronically unpredictable behavior is a recipe for employee morale and retention problems.
5. Maintain focus on results
At the end of the day this is what it’s all about, of course. Management is nothing if not a results-oriented game. Even the most well-intentioned focus on low stress, patience and consistency will get you nowhere (except probably out of a job!) without positive results to support it. Studies show that many managers, even senior managers, are surprisingly weak at accountability. Maintaining focus on your critical deliverables — your top-tier measurable goals and objectives — is always a productive discipline.
Think back to point number one: understanding what matters most to your own management. If you can make sure these needs are continually met, that will go a long way to ensuring your own long-term value.
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