As a manager, not only is much more expected of you at this level regarding performance and bringing business to the firm, but another component you are responsible for is effectively managing and fostering the professional growth of the younger professionals underneath you.
To be an effective leader, I would say one of the most important components is honest feedback. It is extremely difficult to have hard conversations and provide criticism to subordinates – but it is truly necessary for the growth of the individual and productivity of the team.
Here are some lessons learned:
- Be respectful and thoughtful with your approach. Giving constructive feedback is vital for long-term growth. In that same vein, it is important to be receptive of criticism from your own superiors and subordinates. As a Manager, you are still growing and learning, and acknowledging where you need to continue to improve prevents you from being stagnant in your own career.
- Try to remember the good and the bad of those who managed you. What could they have done to better position you for growth and success? What did they do that truly helped propel you forward? Work off of your own experiences to be the best manager you can be.
- Influential leaders embolden their staff to drive results. This can be accomplished by implementing training sessions, providing feedback during and after a project to identify positives and areas for improvement, sincerely listening to their concerns and issues to improve their working environment, and being a true advocate in their corner who is there to support and guide them on their journey through their career.
- Effective leaders generate trust. They also provide appropriate direction, influence others to achieve results and motivate employees to do their best work. You are setting the bar that your subordinates will hold themselves to.
Remember to conduct yourself with attention to detail, thoughtfulness and with pride and integrity and they will follow suit.