It’s that time of the year again. The end of another year and the time we think of all that we failed to accomplish.
But once you are close to the end, there’s no point in dwelling over what could have been. Instead, focus on the year ahead of you. Wipe the slate clean and start over with fresh resolutions. And of course, hold yourself accountable to them.
A manager is only as good as the team they manage. With that in mind, what are some of the new year’s resolutions you should be setting for yourself?
It’s important to be grateful for what you have accomplished over the past year. Instead of thinking about all that you did not achieve, think of all the things you did achieve in the past year. Maybe you got over your fear of giving feedback. Maybe you and your team successfully completed a big project. Either way, you must have accomplished something of value in the past year. Use that optimism to create new goals for 2018.
If sharing feedback is something you haven’t frequently done during the past year, let that be your new resolution for 2018.
You might think, why should sharing feedback be a resolution?
The reason behind making it a resolution is this. It has to be a conscious act, and one that you do conscientiously, day in and day out. It’s the only way feedback can become a habit and that’s the only way you are going to fulfill your resolution.
There is one other thing you need to keep in mind as well. Sharing feedback is a good thing. Even better is taking note of how and when you share it. Don’t just share feedback for the sake of doing so.
Set challenging goals for yourself (and everyone else)
Setting good goals is a tricky business. You need to tread the line between too easy and too complex. Goals have got to be realistic but they have to push you as well. When setting goals for your team, don’t forget to set goals for yourself as well and vice versa.
Most importantly, remember to keep goals fluid and challenging. Otherwise this resolution is very quickly going to go bust.
Set high expectations and standards
In addition to setting goals, you’ve got to set expectations for your team as well. What constitutes good work and bad work for you? Does your team know that? Only when they know what you expect of them can they do anything of purpose.
Very often, managers set challenging goals but they fail to set a quality benchmark. If your team does not know what to aim for, in the end you have no one to blame but yourself when their output is not up to the mark.
Set an example
I know, this is the third resolution that begins with the word ‘set’. This time however, it’s not about goals or expectations. It’s about setting an example. The easiest way of getting your team to do good work is to set a good example.
A good leader shows the way, and the team follows. This includes not losing sight of your own goals, not losing sight of the big picture, being someone your team can depend on and of course, pushing them to excellence.
Don’t shirk the hard stuff
If there’s only one resolution you make for 2018, let this one be it. Make a resolution to not avoid or ignore hard decisions. Sometimes, this might include sharing some particular harsh feedback. Sometimes, this might involve letting a teammate go. Either way, as a manager, the one thing you cannot do is avoid conflict.
If you have been conflict-avoidant before, then now is the time for you to change. Make this your new resolution (or your only resolution) and make those hard decisions. It will definitely put you on the path to becoming a better manager.
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