Managers have a huge responsibility to oversee the output of their entire team. This includes motivating them to accomplish the common goals of the organization. While you may have been promoted because you possess the skills needed to be a manager, remember that it takes a different set of skills to be a leader. Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is one major difference between a manager and a leader. People follow managers because they have to, but people follow leaders because they choose to. Though the relationship between manager and leader may seem complex, there are certain characteristics that great managers share that also make them great leaders.
Establish Strong Relationships with Your Team
Great managers understand that their employees are more than just a number. Rather than focusing solely on the performance and productivity of the group, they work to develop a strong relationship with their team members. They ask about their families, learn about their interests, discover their strengths and weaknesses, and take a genuine interest in their employees as people. Building a rapport with your team is the first step in becoming more than just a manager.
Communication is the driving force behind everything we do, so clear communication is a necessary characteristic for managers. Set clear expectations for your team, be transparent about happenings in the workplace, and establish guidelines for giving and receiving feedback. Great leaders not only know how to communicate clearly, they know when to speak up and when to listen.
Great leaders don’t try to do all the work by themselves. No one wants to work for someone who micromanages them all the time. Rather, leaders believe in and trust their employees to do the job on their own. They give them the autonomy to do their own work and the freedom to be creative.
Motivate Your Team
Believe it or not, money isn’t the only thing that motivates employees. Every employee wants to feel valued and appreciated. If they don’t feel valued, they won’t be motivated. Great leaders understand the importance of motivating their employees through constant support, feedback, and gratitude. If your employees feel like you are invested in their success, they will be more motivated to work harder to achieve their goals.