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Do you think of yourself as an effective manager? Do you spend time consciously working on your leadership skills the way you would any other talent or ability? How often?

Management development can sometimes get lost in the shuffle when you are focused on your busy work schedule, but it should be an important part of your daily routine. Good managers realize that building strong working relationships with their employees and enabling them to do their best work requires regular attention. Check in with yourself every day to make sure that you are rising to the challenge of being the best manager for your team.

Management Development in 4 Easy Steps

1. Be accessible.

It is absolutely essential that your team knows you are available to coach, direct and assist them as needed. Do your employees feel comfortable coming to you with problems, concerns or other issues? Do you often stay closed away in your office, or do you make a point of walking around and talking with people throughout the workday? Do you make time for one-on-one meetings? Pay attention to your habits, big and small, and what message they convey to your employees. Strive to be accessible and supportive.

2. Ask questions.

Resist the temptation to tell employees how you would tackle a project or a problem; instead, ask questions and provide guidance to help them figure out how they would approach the situation. Create an environment where new ideas are encouraged and valued. Give them the freedom to think for themselves and they may come up with a better solution than you would have. Management development often involves stepping back and letting others’ ideas take off.

3. Take an interest.

Get to know your employees and show that you are taking an interest in them, both professionally and personally. It makes a difference to your team when you notice that Jerome has a knack for graphic design and likes hiking with his family on the weekends and Lydia is going to night school for her MBA and speaks fluent Italian. Stay tuned into how employees are doing on the job, and be ready to step in with support or problem-solving when necessary. Help them with setting and achieving their career development goals and demonstrate that they are a valuable part of the organization.

4. Map a clear strategy.

Develop a concrete plan of action for your team, and communicate it to your employees, both as a “30,000-foot view” and as small tasks and milestones. Know where you are going, and help your team take pride in their work and become invested in the success of the organization.

What are your own personal daily reminders for management development?

Learn more about EDSI’s Communicating to Manage Performance course.

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