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Top 10 Management Principles to Live By

Not all individual contributors are natural-born managers. But with the right toolkit, anyone can improve their management capabilities. We at Catalytics have developed a robust set of principles to turn ordinary people into extraordinary managers. The list below outlines our top 10 mantras to help managers flourish.

10. Inspect what you expect to gain your team’s respect

A crucial part of managing is setting clear and specific expectations, and then following up to ensure those expectations are being met. Failure to do so sends the message to your employees that it’s really not that important. It might seem that a hands-off approach fosters a happier and more productive work environment, but that’s just not the case. To gain your team’s respect, maintain a consistent presence in the workplace and follow through on the expectations you set for them.

9. You can’t manage what you don’t measure

A good set of performance metrics is essential for any manager to measure, monitor and manage progress against goals. Just as an elite athlete needs continuous feedback on key indicators to evaluate and improve athletic performance, your team members need regular feedback that tracks their progress against business goals and highlights areas for improvement. And with metrics, keep in mind that less can be more; focus your performance metrics on the drivers that will have the greatest ultimate impact on achieving the desired results.

8. What gets measured gets done

To the same end, tracking the right data sets up your team to accomplish more by focusing them on what’s important. Numbers aren’t everything, but when used and interpreted smartly, they’re incredibly useful. Stay on top of key metrics to keep your team’s eyes on the end goal.

7. What gets recognized and rewarded gets repeated

It’s human nature and common sense, but unfortunately not so common. To ensure employees perform to their highest potential, it’s crucial to acknowledge their achievements. Express your gratitude for jobs well done and seek out creative ways to reward your team members. When they see that you’re paying attention and appreciate their contributions, they’ll work to keep up the good performance.

6. Manage activity and reward results

A common mistake of many managers of all experience levels is trying to manage end results. That’s ineffective management. A sales manager can do very little at the end of a month to manage the team’s monthly sales results. Sure, maybe the manager can intervene to help team members close some pending sales. But it would be far more impactful—for the team and the end sales results—to manage the team’s day-to-day sales activities throughout the month to maximize the month-end results. Redirect your focus this way, and the results will take care of themselves.

5. Provide FAST coaching feedback

We believe in the value of real-time coaching, delivering frequent feedback as close as possible to the activity being coached. The more often you are able to provide clear, timely, relevant, actionable insights to your team members, the faster they will improve and grow. Make sure your coaching feedback is FAST: Frequent, Actionable, Specific, Timely.

4. Accentuate the positive to minimize the negative

Constructive criticism is an art, and it takes time to master. Giving it can be just as difficult as receiving it. The most important part of constructive feedback is striking the right balance between the positive and the negative. In top performing companies, the ratio of positive to corrective feedback is 5:1, but in many organizations that ratio is flipped. Take the time to “catch” your employees doing the right things and acknowledge them for it. Then, when it’s time to give corrective feedback, they’ll take your input more seriously when they feel recognized for the things they do well.

3. Manage by the platinum rule

The platinum rule states, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” This variation on the golden rule calls you to consider perspectives outside your own, which is crucial to master in any management role. Never assume that your values, goals and desires align with everyone else’s. Instead, work to understand the individual wants and needs of the people on your team. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show them that you’re paying attention and truly care about them as individuals, and you’ll earn their respect and loyalty far more quickly.

2. Management success is 90% EQ and 10% IQ

An enormous misconception in the business world is that being “book smart” is key in climbing the professional ladder. While a high IQ doesn’t hurt, emotional intelligence—or EQ—is far more important. EQ is all about awareness and management of your own emotional state, and tuning into what’s going on with others to relate to them most effectively. The best managers are people smart; they are self-aware, communicate naturally and masterfully pick up on both verbal and nonverbal signals. Make sure you invest sufficient time in developing these “soft” skills, as they are the hard currency of successful managers.

1. Walk the talk

Good management requires that you maintain as high of a standard for yourself as for your employees. Hypocrisy will never go unnoticed. Be your team’s biggest cheerleader, and that requires you to practice what you preach at all times… even when you think no one is watching.

Want to keep building your confidence as a manager and instill those qualities in your team? Let’s help you become Fluent in Influence.