This article from Marketplace hit me because it’s sound, practical advice for millennials who are thinking about management, are emerging leaders, or have been thrown into management with no training or support.
Here are my takeaways and added advice from How Should Millennials Lead in the Workplace?
1. A Good Manager Is – Brian Wong, the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of Kiip states, “A good manager is someone who believes in you not just because of your skills, but for your natural propensity to do something…someone who wants to help you unearth that and isn't concerned about their position or any politics, but rather just about passing on as much knowledge as possible. The beauty of a manager-employee relationship is that you have someone who is there to fight for you.”
My Advice: Mic Drop! I have nothing to add.
2. Not Everyone Wants to Be a Manager – Ask yourself if you want to be a manager in the first place.
My Advice: List the reasons you want to be a manager. Look at the quote above and picture yourself in a management position. I don’t agree with the article that doers and creatives can’t be good managers. If you get the training and support you need, any personality type (except for jerks) can be a good manager. The most important thing is to ask the big WHY.
3. Never Eat Alone – Take an employee out for breakfast or lunch. Listen, be collaborative, celebrate your subordinates’ success.
My Advice: Not everyone has the budget to eat with employees, so go on a 30 minute walk instead. You’ll clear your brain, connect with employees and get some steps in.
4. Provide Realtime Feedback – If something is going wrong, don’t wait until an annual review to share it.
My Advice: Timing is important. Provide feedback promptly, but if you’re really mad about a situation, cool down before approaching an employee. If you’re struggling on how to give feedback in the first place, check out our blog Keeping it Professional When Things Get Personal.
5. Walk the Talk – Don’t talk about your management style, live it authentically.
My Advice: Write down the type of boss you want to be. That list is often based on the lousy bosses you’ve had in your past. Post it where you can see it and set goals, read articles and books, get some training, and make it happen!
6. Managing Older Employees – If you read the entire article, there are some good ideas, but I’m at my 2-minute-read limit that I promised you and this subject deserves a blog of its own.