Attractive businessman speaking to coworkers

Think of your favorite companies and what they do for you. Nordstrom for example, is a company known for high-class customer service…but the Nordstrom brand is built by the sales people who work at there. That exceptional service is a reflection of strong people and strong management.

The manager/employee dynamic can drive a brand but it can also derail a brand. According to TLNT Magazine, when employees disengage and leave an organization, there’s 79% chance it is because there is an issue with a manager, not the “company.”

That same article outlines immediately actionable items you can do to become a better manager.

I believe that we can take these steps even deeper and connect into the innate differences in how each manager approaches his/her work and direct reports, and here’s how to do it:

1. Know What You’re Doing: As a manager, you must be aware of what your goals are and how you are getting there. This starts with knowing how your team prefers to think and operate so you can directly utilize their potential to move goals forward. Take these examples:

  • Trying to understand a big-picture idea is going to be a great experience for a Conceptual thinker, but those who have Analytical preferences may find themselves needing more data.
  • More Social team members will need information on how goals relate to the people involved. Structural, process-driven thinkers will need a distinct plan.

2. Be Clear About Your Expectations: Your team’s achievement of goals begins with clarity around expectations and performance. That clarity is on you…how you communicate your needs is pivotal. Take Expressiveness and how differently communication can be:

  • A gregarious manager may be very comfortable taking charge and stating a point, but could run the risk of being overbearing to more quiet employees.
  • On the other hand, a typically quiet manager who excels in one-on-one conversations may need to push more as an “out-in-front” leader from time to time.

3. Resolve Interpersonal Problems: People can become very frustrated with themselves, their managers and their coworkers if relationships are strained. Resolving conflicts is dependent on understanding who would work best together and how they would work. Try this cognitively diverse, WE (Whole Emergenetics) team approach:

  • Match employees from different ends of the Flexibility spectrum—those who prefer definition will present the rationale for staying the course. Those who welcome change will look to find different, improved solutions.
  • Interpersonal issues can fade with mutual respect…link employees with a Conceptual and Analytical thinking style—big-picture, ROI-driven and visionary—with concrete, Social and Structural thinkers—focused, process-oriented, collaborators. The results are a more holistic, well-rounded approach.

The keys to better management and being a manager and leader are recognizing how to bring out the best in your people. Every manager needs a great team to get things done and a way to accentuate the positives and negate the challenges.

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