It’s interesting making this transition into being much more of a people manager – but then I suppose it does make sense.
As the business is growing my role within the company is changing quite quickly.
The biggest thing I need to practice doing now is managing the team.
In many respects I’ve been a team manager for some time now – but now I’ve actually just started to educate myself in this space which I think is the difference between now and before.
Ironically – this came as a result of witnessing others in the team in a place of management and realising that things needed to change.
As a consequence, I’ve picked up several books and I’m around 4-6 hours into reading them and now I want to give you some of my insights into what effective team management looks like (at least from what I do and from what I’ve learned):
- Effective team management begins with setting clear expectations of what success looks like
- Effective team management is also asking your team what they expect from you
- Effective team management is also soliciting regular feedback about what’s going well and what isn’t
- Effective team management is giving people constructive feedback as well as praise when things need to be improved and when things go well
- Effective team management is reading up on effective team management so you can learn all of the things you don’t know you don’t know
Let’s break each of these down some more so it’s clearer –
1/What does success look like?
From the beginning – no matter where you get it from – it’s useful for everyone to have a sense of the company’s north star, and their personal north star. Knowing what success should be dressed as and composed of is going to be critical to the success of your team.
So take some time to think about what you expect of people – and where you’re not sure – begin with what you do know – and then let them know ‘you can add anything to this you like that would make you in your own mind an outstanding performer’.
2/Expectations of the team
An exercise I’ve just asked the team to engage in then is to write out what they consider to be their roles and responsibility to more easily understand what they think is expected of them.
Based upon this it’s easier to then course correct or otherwise.
Adding some metrics based outcomes for your team to work towards also is important so that there are some objective measures in place alongside the intangible ones.
3/Expectations of yourself
There are three layers of expectations to consider here –
The first layer is the expectations you have of yourself when it comes to how you manage and lead your team. From a personal integrity perspective you’ll have your own measure of what success looks like.
So making sure you live up to your own standard is important.
4/ Expectations from your management/marketplace
Alongside this – you’ll then have the expectations of your OWN manager. The person who’s given you the role (in my case it would be myself – but more broadly it could also be the marketplace).
5/Feedback from the team re: their performance
You should encourage each member of the team to give you their feedback on their own performance. Sense checking their level of self awareness and how they think they’re doing is important.
This will give you a measure of their own performance
6/Feedback from the team regarding the performance/engagement from the other players
Each member of your team at some level will be engaging with other members of the team – so they will have an ability to offer feedback on the performance of others. Creating an anonymous feedback process is really going to help unfilter speech here.
7/Feedback of yourself
Your team should also be in a place to give you feedback as to how they feel with your support, contribution, direction and all to ensure your performance as a manager up to their expectations. And perhaps where you’re not – seek to change things as you see fit
8/Continuing to read up on how to be an effective manager
This is perhaps the craziest part of all of this. I saw someone else within the team lead and for it to not go as well all hoped. This spurred me on to find some management books to recommend to this person – which ultimately I’ve ended up reading.
Now – in the last two weeks it’s spurred me on to listen to around 5 hours 30 minutes worth of content on management – and I’m definitely seeing how much I should have tuned into this stuff 2 to 3 years ago.
But ah well – we realise when we realise – and I’m glad I realised now. I’m looking forward to finishing the pending 5.5 hours of content I have left and seeing what it does further still to improve my sense of how to manage a team effectively.
And what you’ve just read is touching the tip of the iceberg!