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Five Tips to Becoming a More Caring Manager

Aug 17, 2007
What kind of manager are you? Do you want your people to be successful? Are you genuinely happy for your associates when they experience success, or are you always peering around the corner hoping no one is more successful than you? Are you secretly happy when they fail and get "egg on their face?"

Why is it so difficult to be genuinely happy for the success of others? As children, we cheered for our teammates when they scored the winning run. With our own children we're always celebrating their achievements at soccer games, plays and spelling bees.

My children are a different breed altogether. They are more likely to be working the lights and sound board at the latest production, rather than performing in front of the camera, but rest assured, we always relish their success.

The best managers delight in the success of their teams. They realize that their success depends on the achievements of everybody, and that the more the group achieves, the more they will grow and develop.

Short-sighted managers are the curse of any organization. They are constantly looking over their shoulders to see if anybody is gaining on them. Reminds me of my days as a somewhat (much less, really) decorated high school cross-country runner. Common practice for runners was to be continually looking over our shoulders to see who was gaining. We were discouraged from doing this and told, instead, to keep looking ahead. This turned out to be great advice for later in life.

As promised, here are five tips for becoming a better manager:

1) Tell your people how much you need them.

William James, a writer and philosopher, said that the greatest human need is the desire to be appreciated. Get out from behind your desk and start roaming the halls and factory floors. Tell your people you are happy they are on the team. Let them feel valued.

2) Ask for their opinions.

You would be very surprised how much your people know. They can really help, if you let them.

3) Show others that they are superior to you in at least one way.

Let people feel good. You don't have to have all the answers. I never have. It is much easier to let others shine. One of the parts of hitting the "Grand Slam" with your customers is motivating associates and making it fun to work with you. When people feel motivated they are more likely to do a better job.

4) Create obligations for the right reasons.

Some managers create projects that make their people look bad. For many years I owned and operated a chain of wine stores in Chicago. I remember a few cases where managers gave people jobs that they were destined to fail. Their manager's objectives were to look better in my eyes. They picked the wrong guy for that nonsense. I wanted everybody to do well.

5) Show your lighter side by creating laughter.

Life is hard enough without taking everything seriously. Further, numerous studies show that laughter actually has many physical benefits for the body. Remember how your mother told you not to worry about everything because you would get an ulcer? Turns out she was right. When you experience stress, your digestive system shuts down a little. When this happens too often, the effects (one of them, ulcers) can be very harmful to your health.

Well, that's enough of the medical advice. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Get out there today and compliment someone on your team. Give them some relevant, timely and specific feedback. As the one-minute manager would say, "Catch someone doing something right" and tell them about it right away. The results will surprise and motivate you, not to mention the positive effects on your team. A healthy company and healthy profits will not be far behind!
About the Author
Mr. Rosen served as President and Owner of Sam's Wines & Spirits, a family-owned business established in 1940. Mr. Rosen has founded Grand Slam Results, LLC, a speaking and training workshop firm. For more information, visit http://www.grslamresults.com
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