Unless Michael Scott is your management hero, you probably care more about getting results than getting your reports to like you. That's as it should be: it's too much to ask people to do what you tell them to do and validate you at the same time. But that doesn't mean that you should be indifferent to how your team feels. To be most effective, you need to build the kind of relationship where your people have trust in both your judgment and your discretion. Building respect should be one of your top priorities.
"I have to go to work tomorrow," a friend of mine recently informed me. "And the worst part is, I'm still not Batman." For most of us, work is a far cry from superheroics, unless you count being able to endure an interminable meeting without sighing a feat of strength. (And sometimes, it is.) But as the lead story in this week's roundup shows us, being good at managing is a superpower – but one you can develop over time, with no origin story required. Read all about that, plus the assumptions you should stop making about LinkedIn, and the ways in which your brand will change over time, in this week's post.
Whether you manage four people or 400, chances are, you consider that part of your job the most challenging. Supporting, training, and motivating others while holding them accountable is tough, even if you work with a dream team. But, when someone difficult enters the mix, it can feel downright impossible.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen at the office? For one manager, it's probably the time a report pulled out a harmonica and started singing his status update. The question, of course: is that OK? And if not, how exactly do you tell your subordinate that this is not the opera episode of Mr. Rogers? All that, plus avoiding student mistakes, and how to accept a job offer the right way, in this week's roundup.
An attractive compensation package may bring in good employees, but it definitely doesn't guarantee that they'll stay. We'll take a look at what encourages high-quality employees to stay put at their jobs, and what causes them to pack up and move on to greener pastures in their careers.
Hollywood would like us to believe that everyone goes to school, works hard, and quickly winds up in their dream job. From pauper to Wall Street, shy guy to leading man, or mailroom clerk to CEO, it's all about that fairytale ending. Now brush the popcorn from your lap and let your eyes readjust to the light, because the movie's over and we're heading back to reality.
Mobile technology was supposed to set us free from the tyranny of the 9-to-5, allowing workers to escape the office and plug in wherever they happened to be, and work when inspiration struck. Instead, studies show, improvements in technology have blurred the boundaries between work-time and personal-time, and changed managers' expectations of the managed. In short, many bosses and employers now expect workers to check their email at night, on the weekends, even on vacation. The result? Workers are getting mad, and getting less done.
Even if you're not into sports, you can learn a lot about leadership -- good and bad -- from watching the managers of professional sports teams. It all comes down to using data to help you make better decisions. Plus, also in this week's roundup: how depression affects working memory, and thus our productivity, and the best way to answer, "Why are you looking for a new job?"
No one likes negative feedback -- either receiving it, or giving it. In fact, we might hate giving constructive criticism more than getting it; leadership development researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman found that while 92 percent of respondents to a survey valued corrective feedback, most managers felt uncomfortable giving it. Comfort levels aside, it's obviously unlikely for performance to spontaneously improve, without direction from leaders. So what can you do, as a manager, to offer negative feedback that leads to positive results?
Introverts sometimes get a bad rap in today's business world, portrayed alternately as antisocial types who can't work on teams or reclusive geniuses that are best used in moderation. In fact, successful teams are often a mixture of extroverts and introverts. The key to supporting your more inner-directed reports is understanding what makes them tick and how to give them the best shot at success, both for their own sake and that of the company.