In the ever-evolving world of business, effective management of human employees (HE) is a crucial aspect of success.
An organization's ability to harness the potential of its workforce directly impacts productivity, innovation, and overall company culture. To excel in this aspect, managers must embrace certain principles. I would like to discuss three fundamental principles that I find most important to this task: becoming a better listener, remaining objective, and thinking before opening one's mouth. These principles are taken directly from my book, The Effective Management of the Human Employee. Yeah, it's a really long title. I know. But when applied correctly, these principles can transform potential challenges into opportunities for growth and success.
Challenge - Become a Better Listener: Turning Misunderstanding into Understanding
One of the most vital skills a manager can possess is listening actively and attentively. When managers become better listeners, they create an atmosphere of trust and respect, fostering positive employee relations. Nothing is worse than a manager who pretends to hear their employees while quietly dismissing them simultaneously. So, it is a must to develop active listening. But how can this skill be turned into a management asset? Let's see!
Opportunity 1: Disarming Tension
In challenging or confrontational situations, genuinely listening can disarm tension and pave the way for productive conversations. Employees who feel their concerns are heard and understood are more likely to engage in a constructive dialogue. Trust me; I know how easy it is to become defensive instantly. You may feel as if you are the one being attacked. But, instead of reacting defensively, managers can take the opportunity to absorb the employee's perspective, thereby diffusing potential conflicts.
Opportunity 2: From Frustration to Equanimity
In situations where employees are frustrated or dissatisfied, effective listening can swiftly transform their emotions into equanimity. When a manager listens empathetically, employees feel valued and appreciated. This shift in perception can lead to a more collaborative and harmonious work environment where problems are addressed with solutions in mind.
Challenge -Remain Objective: Turning Bias into Fairness
Human nature often involves forming biases and subjective opinions. However, these personal feelings have no place in the professional realm of managing employees. If you want to excel in this area, it is essential to remain objective. Leave all your personal feelings of intolerance or prejudice at home. It is crucial to foster a sense of commonality and community. Think of your employees as an extension of your own family, and in doing so, you will develop an understanding of respect and impartiality for each person you encounter.
Opportunity 1: Fair Decision-Making
Objectivity ensures that decisions are made fairly and without favoritism. This one can be tough because we all have our favorites. But when managers treat all employees equally and base decisions on merit and performance, it promotes a sense of fairness within the team. This not only enhances workplace morale but also encourages healthy competition and motivation. And who knows, the more you resolve to treat all employees equally, the more you will see favor in those you deem your least favorites.
Opportunity 2: Building Trust
An objective approach builds trust among employees. Employees who perceive their manager as unbiased are twice as likely to confide in them or seek counsel. Trust is the foundation of a solid manager-employee relationship, leading to increased loyalty and a more engaged workforce. It is unbelievable how often managers lose employees' trust simply because they favor one employee over another.
Challenge - Thinking Before You Open Your Mouth: Turning Thoughtlessness into Effective Communication
In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say things that may be hurtful or counterproductive. Effective managers know the importance of thinking before they speak and use this skill to their advantage. I will not lie; it took me years to learn how to hold my tongue, but once I did, I realized how much power I possess by simply being silent. So, try your best to wait until all the information is presented before speaking. I promise you won't regret it. Plus, you will make better-informed decisions now that all the facts are available.
Opportunity 1: Leadership and Confidence
Have you ever wondered why great leaders look so calm and level-headed when dealing with stressful events? Well, thinking before speaking is a hallmark of outstanding leadership. It allows managers to maintain a level-headed demeanor, even in challenging situations. By carefully choosing their words, managers can convey confidence and authority, essential traits in a leader.
Opportunity 2: Building Bridges, Not Walls
By filtering out unhelpful comments and focusing on constructive communication, managers can build bridges between themselves and their employees. Instead of creating barriers or misunderstandings, thoughtful communication fosters openness and mutual understanding. This type of bridge encourages employees to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas more freely, ultimately benefiting the organization.
Overall, the effective management of human employees is an art that requires mastering various principles. By becoming better listeners, remaining objective, and thinking before speaking, managers can transform potential challenges into growth, collaboration, and success opportunities. These principles are tools and building blocks of solid leadership and a thriving workplace culture. As managers incorporate these principles into their daily interactions with employees, they not only enhance their effectiveness but also contribute to the organization's overall success. If you want to learn more about leadership or want to read my book, The Effective Management of the Human Employee, please click the link. Stay strong, stay positive. You are on the road to success, guaranteed!