Building Trust And Confidence
Being a manager means taking the blame for other people's failures. Whether or not you broke the fax machine might not matter to your boss. When the case comes up at a board meeting, where all the executive gods are present, there will be a need for reconciliation.
They'll be calls for blood and sacrifices. Your boss would probably think: "Johnson from Accounting would make a great burnt offering." As long as you're not Johnson from Accounting, all is well. But if you are, which you most certainly are — then the reality of being in a managerial role sets in. Maybe you might not get fired because one of your employees broke the fax machine. Still, the general idea is that you will undoubtedly be held accountable for their actions. This is why it is essential to be in synergy with your employees.
This synergy with employees can only be achieved when there's trust in management and personal confidence in individual employees. Trust in leadership is an incredibly essential ingredient for success in today's chaotic work scene. One of the first goals of a first-time manager should be to galvanize trust. At the same time, helping employees become more trusting of their abilities. However, like every other management responsibilities, this is not an easy task. Because confidence is built on success, employees need to experience strings of wins in their roles to build confidence in employees. You can achieve this by assigning them tasks that they will easily succeed. And when they eventually grow at it, part of the confidence-building routine is to let them understand that they've done their job well. From time to time, employees may not always get the job done the way it should be; they'll make mistakes and have an error in judgments.
In situations like this, outright public condemnation will tear their morale and eat at their resolve to improve, if any. The key to boosting confidence in employees even amid underperformance is having a quiet cautionary conversation with them in private. Public condemnation is a no, no! Even when you're talking to them about their errors in secret, the discussion should be focused on helping them understand their mistakes. Rather than passing personal judgment on their overall attitude or seeming ineptitude, such conversations should be geared towards how they can avoid a repetition of their errors.
Another great way to ramp up confidence among employees is to involve them in decision making. Employees will feel valued, needed, and more trusting of their abilities when offering them active participation in calling the shots. During your early days, this will help put your names in their excellent books. You have to display a genuine demand for their input. If employees sense that a manager is putting up a show, the whole idea could seriously backfire. No one wants to know that you're trying to prop up their ego. Some of the inputs that come from your employees might glaringly be destined for the trashcan. Still, it's your responsibility as a manager to help them understand that you value their ideas no matter how Godforsaken they are. Of course, you don't have to add the last part. When you fail to build trust and confidence, you end up creating resentment. There's just so much resentment that can go around before you end up dealing with your little Arab Spring at the office.
After settling in during your first week on the job, you've got to be prepared for the journey properly. At this point, most managers begin to see just how all-encompassing their duties are. You know, it shouldn't come as a surprise when managers get overwhelmed. Being an effective manager involves a whole lot of tasks.
Are you lost about where to get started? I have another article next week, that will sort that out for you.