AKRON (Nov. 26, 2014) — I used to love to play dress up. A pair of mom's pumps. A set of pearls. A long accordion skirt.
That's why when I look in the mirror, on most days I can't believe I'm a grown up. Even more so, I'm surprised I'm someone's manager.
Then I realize I've had some great managers to help teach me what it means to be a great manager. I've even made a list of my top five characteristics that I need to strive for as a new manager:
1. Flexibility. I understand that employees connect most with others when there is face-to-face communication in the office. But helping people manage stress is a good way to ensure their happiness in the job. And happiness serves a lot when it comes to loyalty.
2. Be clear with goals for projects and within the position. Being clear doesn't just mean driving the same point home over and over to employees. It means being consistent and clear. Tell them how you plan to measure success on a project or what steps you would take if you were them. If you want things done a certain way, let that be known.
3. Get their feedback. Open communication is one of my favorite things in the world (OK, maybe top 10). The biggest way you're going to improve as a manager is through feedback and change. If your employees feel you're approachable and they can talk to you and give feedback, then you will be better for it.
4. Give consistent feedback. The best way to help someone stop making mistakes is to help them understand what needs to be done differently. This will take a level of understanding of what their job is and what they do each day. But it will help the employee improve if you help implement a process or protocol for various scenarios.
5. Listen to people and try to assess their body language before you react. Some days are better than others for everyone. Employees have bad days. Before responding in some situations, try to understand what caused a problem or a miscommunication. Try to understand if there's a reason they've lost focus. Don't just react. Try to listen and understand first.