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Annette Quinn Three easy steps to becoming a better manager

The secret? It’s all about just being human!

Management has changed a lot in the past 30 years. When I started my career in retail, the management style was very autocratic, and quite aggressive, however when I left it almost 14 years after I started, the style had moved to a more leadership style, working collaboratively with the staff. Or so it seemed, but underneath it all, there were so many managers who just couldn’t get it.

They often had offices, meeting and training rooms with great posters talking about working as teams and how leadership comes from within, but could not say “Good morning” and ask how you were.

So, before we can become the Dalai Llama or another leader in current vogue, let’s look at some of the small things that make the big differences.

Say Hello

Whether you manage 1 or 20 people, when they are in the office, make sure when you see them for the first time that day, you say hello and ask how they are. Quite simple and you might be incredulous that some managers don’t do this, but they don’t. If you are so busy, then take a few minutes to go out into the office and do a general chat. And while you are there, you could extend it to 15 minutes and give a general update, on what you are up to and what is happening in your workplace, but I don’t want to scare you too much.

Top tip: You must be genuine. We humans are really good at picking up when we are being handled.

Let them know when they have done a good job

Man _Heel Tap

We like to be appreciated when we have worked hard on a project or done a good job. As managers we know that, as we tend to be pretty quick of the mark to tell our people when things aren’t so good. So get used to saying things like “I really like it when you………well done”. Do this face to face, and if you know your employees well, then you’ll know who likes it done in public and who likes it done in private. But I guarantee everyone likes to hear that they have done a good job. You can take this one a step further, by praising them to your boss or at meetings.

Top tip: Be their cheerleader. 


It is really frustrating when your people cannot communicate with you and when any communication that does take place is via email. I’m not 100% for open door policies, as I know a lot of managers cannot get work done with constant interruptions; however your people will really appreciate knowing they can pop in and discuss issues with you, when they need to. Although it can seem like it’s taking up your time, if you maintain an open channel of communication, issues will be raised earlier and dealt with. So, maybe have a few hours a day, when your door is closed, for you to work on your objectives, but make sure it is open at various points through the day and that you welcome your people coming in.

Top tip: Remember that people are very good at picking up when managers are being disingenuous.

So, three little things to try to help you to become a better manager. Because happy staff are more productive and motivated. Be the manager that people go home and say nice things about, not the one they moan about as soon as they come in the door!

Want to learn more about management development? We love to chat about helping individuals become successful managers, so give us a call today!


Annette Quinn, Performance Management Facilitator

In my series of blogs I will be taking a look at performance management, in particular Time Management, and providing tips on how to develop your skills.

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