Managers – Why Aren’t You Getting The Help You Need

Whether you are a new manager or a seasoned veteran, chances are, there have been (or will be) times when you weren’t getting the help that you needed; either from your direct reports or from the leadership above you. Ever heard the phrase “it isn’t you, it’s me,” take a good look inward to see if the saying holds true to your particular situation or environment. Here are some common issues many of us tend to overlook which can have adverse results, not only on our ability to achieve goals, but consequently on the organization as a whole.

1. Failing to Communicate Effectively

Effective communication should be the cornerstone of your leadership style. Without good communication skills, developing the necessary relationships to help you succeed in your role will become an arduous task. For example; if you fail to clearly communicate goals and expectations to your team members, chances are; they are not very likely to achieve the results your were looking for. From your perspective, if you are not communicating to your next level of leadership your particular needs or concerns, how can they provide you with the resources that you need to be successful in your role, or in achieving a specific goal?

Your goal in developing an effective communication style should be to deliver a message to a specific audience that conveys your expectations clearly. As a manager or leader in your organization, learning to be versatile in adapting your communication style to your audiences will be one of the most important aspects of communication you’ll need to master.

2. Not Setting Time Aside for Professional Development

In many cases, those of you who have ascended the ranks; have done so because you have proven to be strong individual contributors, unfortunately managing others is a whole other ball game. Being a successful individual contributor doesn’t guarantee you’ll be successful at managing others, not only do you need to be technically proficient in understanding the work of your subordinates, but you’ll also need to develop a whole new skill set in order to be a successful leader.

Whether you’re a first time manager or an experienced executive moving into a more senior role, partnering with a mentor from within your organization or perhaps someone externally will help make your transition smoother. If your organization does not have a formal training curriculum to develop you in your current role and prepare you for future roles, don’t waste your time waiting on your company to see the error of their ways, be proactive and set your own professional development goals. Joining a professional association, or attending online learning courses and webinars will provide you with invaluable resources that you can apply to your specific role.

3. Your Tactical and Strategic Mindsets Are Imbalanced

Being detail-oriented is a great skill set to have, especially when it comes to over-seeing a project, but being able to step back and understand the bigger picture is a must have for managers. If you’re going from fire to fire, or immersing yourself in every detail of a project, chances are that you are too focused on the tactical execution of your role. An imbalance of your tactical and strategic mindset will hinder your ability to anticipate issues before they arise. Learning to identify issues before they become a problem will help you coordinate the resources that you will need to overcome those issues in advance (and make you look like a rock star in the process).

4. You Lack People Skills

There is hope for those of you who may be lacking in this particular area. As a leader, you will need to be able to develop relationships with your subordinates, peers, superiors, and other entities that you will encounter in your role. These relationships will be built through your daily interactions and communications. An employee is more than just a company resource or asset; they are a person…get to know them. Think of successful relationships within your own personal life, what are some of the traits of those relationships that has made them successful? Take for example trust, which is a basic tenet of any successful relationship; in an organization; trust is an important context for the development of teamwork and cooperation. Your ability to lay the foundation for successful relationships in the workplace will determine your teams’ reciprocity and your ability to gain resources from them when needed most.

Being self-aware of your own skills gaps will make you a more effective leader. Your ability to develop a good self-awareness will help you to leverage your strengths and constructively engage your weaknesses. There is an abundant amount of resources to help you become the leader your employees need you to be, you just need to know what exactly you need help with.

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