After the discussion around my 7 tips for new managers, I decided to add a few more:
8. “Do unto others”
Treat employees the way that you would want to be treated. Never ask an employee to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.
9. “Turn chickens into pigs”
During bacon and eggs breakfasts, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. Don’t just ask people to work on tasks, ask them to explicitly commit to delivering them on time and within budget.
10. “Credit where credit is due”
Don’t worry about getting credit for completing a project. If credit is given to you, be sure to give it to everyone who was involved. People prefer to back leaders who share the spotlight.
11. “Practice the Socratic method”
Ask open-ended questions that encourage unscripted dialogue. Be sure to ask why people are doing things not just what and how they are doing them.
12. “Admit your ignorance”
If you don’t know the answer to a question you’re asked, don’t try to bluff a response. Challenge that person to research and propose the best answer. Employees appreciate the honesty and will grow from the experience.
13. “Trust but verify”
Hire good people and get out of their way. Periodically check that they are on the right path by comparing results to targets.
14. “Open your mind, not just your door”
Many managers pride themselves on their open door policy but have firmly held beliefs based on their experience and biases. If you can’t see someone else’s point of view, ask yourself what arguments would cause you to reevaluate your current opinion. Find out if there are facts to support those arguments.
Bonus tip: Encourage your direct reports to give you constructive feedback.