The beginning of the year is a perfect time to review your processes, try out new things and find what sticks.
As a leader within an organization the constant need to improve should drive you to try new things that’ll help you be a better manager and member of an organization.
Here are 4 small things that you can to do be a better leader this year.
Fred Dust, CEO of Ideo, argued that face-to-face engagement is a dwindling art. He believes that the way we communicate with each other at work is unproductive, as it’s more talking at each other then with each other.
To make matters worse, we are now taking the easy route when communicating, opting to use emails, texts or tools like Slack to shoot out messages and “talk.” Though easy, it might not be as effective as simply going up to somebody to ask a question, make a request or even settle a dispute.
The empathy shown when people communicate face-to-face allows people to bond, and the interactions help bring an understanding that people are aiming to reach the same goal.
There are a couple of other things that face-to-face chats help with, like:
- Putting an end to “Cyber Miscommunication”
- Coming up with solutions faster
- Enabling more creativity between the two people.
Make time this year to chat with your employees. It can be about work or it can help you get to know them a bit more. Start a conversation and talk with them, not at them.
More Effective Meetings
Unproductive meetings waste more that $37 Billion per year and the average employee spends more than 4 hours a week just preparing for meetings.
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that people are getting the most out of their meetings. Do your best to make them informative, brief and productive for all the people attending.
The best thing you can do to run effective meetings is to set a goal for the meeting and share it with the team beforehand. Try to include it in the agenda. This will (hopefully) allow people to understand what the purpose of the meeting is and reach that common goal together.
A couple of other quick tips for better meetings:
- Keep meetings short — 30 minutes (maximum)
- Only invite people that need to be there
- Have a notetaker
- Have the notetaker assign action items as you go
There are dozens of other ways to make meetings run better, but find what works for you and your team, then continue to improve on it.
There are three things that employees would like to have: job security, career advancement opportunities and transparency at work.
Transparency is nothing more than the exchange of trust between the employer and the employee. Having a culture of transparency creates more trust throughout the office.
As a leader, being more transparent with employees will help them learn to trust you more. It will also help you communicate more effectively with them and create a better office environment.
If your company culture isn’t already transparent, see how others are doing it. Buffer has almost perfected transparent culture: They have a list of every single thing that they do, buy and read — as well as a list of all their employees’ salaries — available publicly online.
Their co-founder, Leo Widrich, said in a speech that the transparent culture not only improved the morale of the office, but made people so engaged and happy that it reflected on the product:
The more information that is spread with employees, the more devoted to the company or person they become. Consider sharing more information and letting employees know that they are an important part of why the company continues to grow.
Raise The Bar, But Embrace Failure
If you’re looking to improve, stop going after small modest goals and aim to have big, fat, hairy, audacious goals. The value in going after big goals is worth the risk, as they make us stretch what we believe is possible and get us working harder to reach new heights.
Risk-averse organizations tend to go after modest goals that make them look successful. But growth-oriented organizations thrive on ambitious goals, as they allow them to find new, innovative ways to grow and learn.
The only trade off: you may (probably will) fail a few times. Embrace it! Utilize an OKR/KPI system that will set the framework toward hitting the goal. At the end of every quarter aim to have a retrospective meeting that’ll help you figure out how can things be improved moving forward, and adapt accordingly from there.
What Are You Planning To Improve On This Year?
Are you looking to be a better manager, leader, person, all the above? Leave us some of your suggestions to help become a better manager in the comment section below.
Start the new year off right by downloading our e-book “Your First 50 Days”.
It highlights some of the things that you can do to improve as a manager. And it’s absolutely free. Check it out by clicking here