Don’t Be an Average Manager
Average. Doesn’t that sound flat, bland, banal? That’s cause it is! The average manager thinks he/she needs to have the answers and be the smartest one in the room. That makes me yawn. Here we go again…the pompous manager.
The manager is not required to be the smartest one in the room. Relax in the security that managers create the environment for success. The team recognizes this opportunity that you create and they seize it!
Do the One Thing That Makes You Above Average
Create a climate of creativity by being able to listen. You could call it generative listening. The average listener (most people) listens with the intent to respond. You can tell because they interrupt. They work hard to get their ideas and thoughts out there.
Have you been a part of this? Isn’t it frustrating? The initial speaker really has something valuable to say but the listener keeps interrupting and thus the initial valuable idea gets lost in the frustration.
Here’s How to be an Above Average Manager
Listen in such a way that will stimulate involvement, input and creativity.
*Slow it down. Intentionally create space for team members. Eliminate distractions (phones). Don’t allow interruptions or interrupters. Be the model listener, set the tone. You may feel like interrupting, especially if you hear something you disagree with, don’t. Commit your attention to the speaker. Let the idea evolve, give people space and watch what happens. Even virtually, create space by eliminating background noises put everyone on mute.
*Make it safe. Make the space safe for everyone to speak up. In the average workplace, if you didn’t get the memo, you are afraid to speak up. End this! Listen with care to everyone. Add empathy to your listening and watch your team come to life.
*Show interest. When you model that you are really listening with curiosity and fascination, you care and you have empathy, your team members will feel valuable — valuable members of your team.
*Be still. This listening requires stillness. The silence you create is the space. You are the model, the facilitator. You are facilitating the environment.
It’s called generative listening because you are generating involvement and input that will spark innovation, ideas and open discussion. This is above average, beyond status quo…just where you belong!
The manager doesn’t have to be the smartest one on the team. Creating the environment is your manager contribution. Any team is a successful team with the right manager who creates the right environment.
When you create that environment, you have demonstrated how you are not average!
Brian Braudis writes a weekly Memo and blog for managers and supervisors. For nine years he has shared insight, approaches and support for the pursuit of your personal and professional best. Join Brian’s list and get the new report, Management is the New Leadership: How to create a breakthrough in productivity and engagement.