Managing a team is a difficult and sometimes daunting experience. When I was still a beginner I wish someone would have taught me the keys to being a successful manager. Taking full responsibility for anything that takes place in your work place and treating it like your own business could be very stressful even for the strong ones.
It is also very rewarding to see it succeed, watch your team grow and bond together. Which leads to a better service, better communication and overall success of the business. This automatically drives sales up and makes business thrive.
Even the best of the teams will have difficulties and struggles, experience ups and downs due to unforeseen circumstances. How we deal with those will determine whether we will succeed or fail in the long run.
1. Stress management
Stress is simply the body’s response to changes that create taxing demands. Stress is not always a bad thing. there is a difference between eustress, which is a term for positive stress, and distress, which refers to negative stress.
Eustress, or positive stress, has the following characteristics:
- Motivates, focuses energy.
- Is short-term.
- Is perceived as within our coping abilities.
- Feels exciting.
- Improves performance.
In contrast, Distress, or negative stress, has the following characteristics:
- Causes anxiety or concern.
- Can be short or long-term.
- Is perceived as outside of our coping abilities.
- Feels unpleasant.
- Decreases performance.
- Can lead to mental and physical problems.
Distress can be caused by the conflicts at work, job insecurity, lack of training and so on.
Eustress happens when we are excited to work on a new project, different objectives or learn something new in our current workplace. Find more examples here.
How to deal with stress
You will get stressed. We all do and when it happens do not panic. You will know you are stressed because of the excess sweating, starting to talk really quickly, move fast, become disoriented and distorted reality.
So what should you do?
Key here is to do the opposite, force yourself to move slower, talk slower, take a step back to evaluate the situation, to measure the facts. More often than not, there is no good reason behind your stress as often it happens in your mind. As a leader you will get stressed often. It is the key to at least look like you are not. Your team will look up to you and mimic your actions – if they see you stressed, they will be too and that’s a recipe for disaster. If you look calm, even though you might be boiling inside, they will see you and feel the confidence. Then it won’t cripple the team performance, it may even enhance it.
2. Praise and Criticism
Golden Rule: Praise in front of everyone, the more people can hear the better. Criticise in person, make sure there is no one else listening but the person you criticise.
Ensure to follow this rule and will it take you very far. One of the most important lessons I have ever learned as manager. Logic is very simple yet powerful.
People enjoy being complemented. If done in person, he will feel good but will quickly forget as positive unfortunately does not register as well as negative. It takes 3 complements to make the same emotional impact as one negative feedback.
If done in the group, not only the person feels good but also everyone else will see their leader showing confidence and rewarding a good performer, which will make them want to perform well to get the same benefit. In the long run, this can you really far. Also it will create an aura of respect towards yourself.
Vice versa, criticism is essential part of job for any manager. Negative feedback when something was not done the way it was expected must be communicated. Avoiding this type of commentary will result in bad work habits, slacking and allow skipping on important work duties. Criticism must be delivered in the right way, as otherwise it might undermine your relationship with your team-mate.
First, try to praise them for something good which they did earlier, as this will create a feeling of trust and appreciation before the negative comment starts. Then explain what bad actions have been observed and how to best avoid them. Ensure to make them feel like they still are important part of the group and by no means this should be demeaning to them.
If this would be done in front of anyone else, employee would feel embarrassed in front of their colleagues which would create the negative atmosphere. Never embarrass your team. This is one of the worst negative emotions which can be felt and may result in hatred towards yourself.