Team management always involves giving and receiving feedback. If you allow your team to share ideas freely, then it’s fair that you do the same. An insincere appreciation or a sugar-coated performance evaluation lowers morale and demotivating.

As a manager, never miss an opportunity to give feedback. People feel valued when you do.

As a manager, it’s best that you view feedback as part of employees growth and development. Most would like to hear that they have done an excellent job and it is your responsibility, as the manager, to appreciate excellent job publicly and privately when they need to improve. However, do remember that public appreciation is great but the most effective reward of a job well done is done in a personal and face-to-face manner.

If there’s trust, your team values your opinion (no matter how direct it is sometimes). They know you care enough to tell them to straighten up. It’s not easy but be courageous enough in giving honest and sincere feedback. Always remember not to insult people and use uplifting words to motivate.

Your impact as the leader of your team is more effective when you decide to speak the truth, no matter how uncomfortable. It’s difficult, but people remember leaders who strive to live up to their values and dare to make difficult conversations to transform an individual or a team. Rest assured your courageous authenticity is something that will be appreciated.

Even with your hectic schedule, remember to check in with your team regularly. Have weekly and monthly meetings. Be sensitive enough to see who needs your attention. Make sure you spend time building connection with each member of your team. If not possible monthly, then schedule to meet individually every quarter.

1.     Lack of Empathic Listening

Most managers are guilty of not having an authentic way of listening which is crucial in developing trust within a team. This concept is as simple as seeking to understand by seeing things from another person’s perspective.

There’s nothing more frustrating when a manager listens but don’t hear what the team is trying to say. Demanding from your team to deliver without acting on their concerns is one way to break their trust. Remind yourself that since your people are the ones who execute the processes or faces the customer, it is necessary to hear their inputs and recommendations.

Make it a habit of listening to your people attentively. Don’t hesitate to clarify things when something is not clear. When they ask for a meeting with you, be focused until you fully understand their views. Summarize in your own words their concerns to avoid miscommunication. In this way, they know you indeed hear them.

And one more thing, never assume that someone’s concern is similar to yours. When a female colleague whines being too busy and having no time to cook for her kids,  you will never fully comprehend why she needs to cook instead of just buying food if you are not a mother yourself.

Empathic listening doesn’t end by hearing your team. When you truly listen, be sure that you act. When you agree on an issue resolution, be sure that you follow through.

Closing Thoughts

Managing a team is a privilege given only to a few. According to Gallup, only about 1 in 10 people are naturally talented to manage. Whether your team management is inherent or acquired, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you care about your team, and you aim to develop a great one.

Sidd Pagidipati, a successful entrepreneur, emphasizes involvement in hiring and not rely on recruitment agencies. Be sure that you hire people that you can trust. It’s the first step in developing a great team.

Developing people involves helping them grow not only as professionals but as individuals. Grow together with your team.  In success or failure, be at their back. And, in as much that you want them to enjoy work, they too want you to enjoy leading them.

Managing them is part of your journey. Your team doesn’t expect you to be perfect. You may blunder from time to time, but a team who trust each other is always willing to understand and forgive.