How Managers Should Handle Difficult Situations
Managers must strike the balance between being approachable yet still holding strong authority. This is not easy task, and often comes with experience and understanding of one’s own personal strengths. However, there are a few difficult situations and choices all managers must learn how to deal with. Here are a few, and how to handle them:
Addressing bad employee performance
While performance reviews should be given and taken as constructive criticism, there will surely be more than one instance wherein a performance is simply not meeting a company’s standards. Firstly, make sure you’re addressing it as it starts -- you should be aware that poor employee training may be the root cause. Otherwise, have regular check-ins with new employees, and always give feedback to your employees in general. If you’re doing so and an employee is still coming up short in results, you may be faced with the decision to let the employee go. Again, a system of frequent performance reviews, feedback, and general communication should ensure that this won’t need to happen. If it does, see how you can adjust your hiring tactics for your next new hire.
Listen as often, or more than you speak
Many people believe leadership is making speeches and give orders. While one should certainly feel confident in their ability to address a crowd with passion, leadership also requires one less emphasized attribute: the ability to listen. Managers often fear they will lose respect or authority if they aren’t constantly the most talkative or loudest voice in the room. On the contrary, it’s not about being loud, it’s about taking charge of the situation. Instead of believing a manager shouldn’t ask their employees questions, learn to be a manager who can learn from employees as well. After all, you’ve hired these employees because of their competence, and because you simply could do all of their work on your own. Learn to delegate, listen, and understand your employees more. This won’t undermine your authority, it may just make it stronger.
This is a tough one. Again, the last thing a manager wants to do is to lose respect from their employees. However, even the best of leaders can make mistakes from time to time. The important part, is knowing why it was made, and addressing the mistake. Maybe a manager took a risk because they believed in the project, only to come up short. This is a much more understandable mistake than a leader doing something dishonorable, such as using the company’s money for their own personal gain. If a mistake should happen, the most important thing a leader could do is communicate and be honest.