Many of us want to be appreciated for our work and talents. Do you feel appreciated by those you work with and for? This is not limited to a yes or no answer. There are more things to look at here:
• The reasons appreciation matters or does not matter to you.
• How you want appreciation expressed – possibly in words, action, money.
• What you want to be appreciated for.
• Whether you feel you deserve appreciation.
• How your organization’s culture shows appreciation.
Your emotions and mindset can play a part in this, either positively or negatively. Getting clear on how you want appreciation expressed and what’s possible in your organization can go a long way in avoiding the quicksand of feeling unappreciated. Find a way to reach clarity on both what you want and if your organization is willing to or can give that to you.
photo: Tumisu, pixabay.com
You know that your work involves managing both people and projects. Do you ever find that people managing gets second play to project managing? People make your projects go and sometimes, the needs and drivers of individual team members get lost in assuring a project is managed well. People are complex and the prospect of knowing, much less meeting, individual needs can be too much. However, each person’s individuality must be taken into account if you want to motivate and assure high performance.
Here are some simple ways to put focus on people managing while keeping your eye on project goals and accountability.
• Encourage feedback from your team on a regular basis. You can have “open door” times for people to provide feedback, ask questions or discuss their work
• Schedule debriefings after completion of major projects that provide opportunities for people to identify what went well for them and what didn’t on the project. Ask for their recommendations for improving performance on your next project
• Ed Koch, the late Mayor of New York City was known for frequently asking people in the city, “How Am I Doing?” You can ask that periodically, as well as asking “How Are You Doing?”
If you give these simple ways a try, you will gain a better sense of the needs and drivers of your individual team members, without needing 48 hours in your day.
The ability to give constructive feedback is an essential manager coaching skill. Feedback involves offering evaluations or opinions of someone’s performance or behavior. This is a skill many do not feel at ease with and must cultivate. (Just think of many managers’ views of writing and giving performance appraisals.) To do it effectively, a manager can first give time to objectively assess a team member’s performance or behavior, think about the person’s personality and the best way to communicate with them (so that they hear you), communicate the impact the performance or behavior has on the organization (why it matters) and always provide suggestions and avenues for the team member to improve. Feedback is not a once-a-year practice. It should be given frequently, whenever it is needed.
Why spend time cultivating the skill of providing effective feedback? Given well, feedback can build a team member’s self confidence, create desired behaviors, undo destructive behaviors and move your team closer to achieving their goals. Without effective feedback, you are sailing a ship without a rudder.
Following up on my last post Are You Valued As A Manager?, here are some questions to get you started in assessing whether you are valued as a manager.
In Your Organization:
• Are you respected by upper management?
• Does upper management support you when you are dealing with issues with your team?
• Do you have the resources you need to do your work? Or, if not, are the reasons clear and you are supported accordingly?
• Are your role and performance measures clearly defined?
• Do you receive positive feedback for your work (recognition and financial reward)?
• Do you feel positively challenged or constricted in your work?
• Do you see your job as a good fit with your skills and talents?
• Are you proud of your work and accomplishments?
• Are your best traits recognized by upper management?
• Are you doing what you love?