A good manager can be worth their weight in gold, but good managers are not generally born, they are developed. This is because good management requires a wide range of skills that most people aren’t born with. Most managers are promoted by performance in a particular arena, but when they are promoted, they need to perform well in a broader variety of areas. Here are three common management problems and how to fix them.
- High emotional intelligence but low output
There is no doubt that emotional intelligence is critical for leadership. Good managers also need to know how to get optimal performance from their team. This involves having empathy when employees are going through tough times, but it also requires knowing when to crack the whip and how to motivate employees to work through the tough times rather than being derailed by them. Assigning a mentor to a soft-hearted but emotionally intelligent manager can help them develop a thicker skin and understand that when it comes to management, sometimes you have to settle for being respected rather than liked.
- High output but low emotional intelligence
Some managers have no problem working their people hard and encouraging them to plow through any personal issues or challenges. In many cases, however, this can lead to friction from employees and can potentially even result in high turnover. These managers can benefit from emotional intelligence training and working with a mentor that knows how to lead with a softer touch.
- Failure to engage and empower employees
While top-down leadership can be necessary for some instances, it is rarely the best way to manage people over the long haul. The best managers empower their people rather than micro-manage them. Employees who feel empowered are generally engaged employees, and engaged employees far outperform “dutiful soldiers” who follow orders. Information is power and some managers purposefully withhold information or share it on a “need to know” basis as a type of reward to employees who conform. Conversely, however, this disempowers the best and brightest employees that want to make real and significant contributions. Managers on an ego trip need to be helped to see the value of everyone being given the necessary information and tools to make valuable contributions to the team.