Are you a member of middle management? Whether you’re new to the role or a veteran, new leadership tips are always helpful. Here’s a bit of guidance to those aspiring leaders in middle management. Now let’s take a look at 4 key points to consider.
- Seek Parallel Engagement
What do we mean by parallel engagement? Middle managers have a unique opportunity. Lower level employees and upper leadership are two audiences that you as a middle manager can actively engage. One of the key attributes of leadership is initiative. Don’t wait to be approached to spend time with your employees to learn about their needs and motivations. Keep in mind every individual is motivated differently. In a professional context, get to know them as individuals too. Cultivate your professional rapport with both sets of coworkers. Remember that upper management deals with a lot of negatives by default. Share your employees’ successes with their peers and the executive team. Sharing genuine praise about others openly is but one hallmark of a good leader.
- Stay Open to Feedback
Everyone loves positive feedback. Unfavorable feedback can be tougher to swallow. The truth is, all people within an organization can improve on a few things. Separate personal feelings from the professional scope and focus on how the feedback can help you grow. This shows professional maturity. The opposite is true, too. Not being open to constructive criticism will cast a dim light with your own leaders. For employees that you manage, they may shut down and neglect to give feedback. Useful feedback from your employees and upper management will help you better yourself and, in turn, your company. It’s a win-win.
- Remain Aware of Strengths & Weaknesses
In the workplace, a lot of time is spent attempting to buff out weak areas. But, equal time should be spent building on your strong areas. It is easier to gain speed when momentum already exists. While you work on your weak areas, make a list of 3-5 skills you’re doing well as a middle manager. Awareness and equal effort paid to both strengths and weaknesses will make you a better leader over time. The caveat here is that these two areas are dynamic and will evolve as you do.
- Find a Mentor
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Look around for another middle manager you can emulate. Do the dynamics in your workplace not allow for formal or informal mentorships? No problem! Think outside the box. Find professional organizations in your community or you can even find middle management mentors in online forums and communities. The bottom line is to scope out someone who is knocking your same role out of the park. Then get under their wing. In time, you too will fly high.
MG (Retired) Mike Diamond is CEO and founder of Diamond Strategy Group. Diamond Strategy Group is a leadership development and consulting company. We focus on improving the quality of leadership within organizations by utilizing the same methods Mike and his consultants have used in both military and civilian sectors. We invite you to stay connected! Visit us online at www.DiamondStrategyGroup.com and connect with Mike Diamond Strategy Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org! To request Mike as the keynote speaker for your next event, e-mail SEM4MD@gmail.com.
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