Being a Good Manager & A Kind Person
Everyone always discusses how difficult it is to be “kind,” but still lay down the law with your employees. The first issue with this stems from the fact that you think employees work for you, when in actuality they are working with you, but that is a story for another time.
The simple answer is the original question though is, yes, you can be a good manager and a kind manager at the same time. Being a good manager and a kind manager is not difficult if you make sure that your employees have fun with you and understand that you are there to get a job done. While most people may say you have to be ruthless when running a business, not allowing people to have no fun or running things with an iron grip will both lead to failure, unhappy employees, and people developing a general lack of interest in working with you. That being said, here are three ways to be a good and kind manager.
Employees are people, not just workers. Understanding that your employees are people is key to understanding how to manage them properly. Everyone has a rough day and coming down on somebody because of it is not going to help them or help anyone else around them. Understanding that sometimes the best thing to do is spend five minutes trying to resolve the problem is better than yelling at them and kicking them out for the day. Be a good manager by taking them aside and saying something like “I see your not entirely focused today, is everything ok” can really help to get the employee to realize that they haven’t been doing a good job, and at the same time give them that little push to move in the right direction for the day. Never pry into their lives, but try to remind them through this simple pull aside that we have customers or a job to do, and I think your mind might not be in it today. Depending on the type of business you can send them home or switch the position (I.E front of the house to the back of the house) they are in that day.
Be their friend, but know the line. Being kind and running a group of people are not mutually exclusive, and it is ok to be a friend to the employees that work for you. While sometimes you may have to tell them something is not working or something they’ve done is incorrect they should NEVER fear you. A wise man once said fear and intimidation are traits of a weak man/women, but kindness and forgiveness truly make you a great leader. Understanding that when you walk in everyone should be happy, as opposed to fearful for their job, is key to making sure everything is running smoothly. At the same time being kind and being a pushover are two very different things, and you should know the difference. Make sure that your employees see that you are their friend, but at the end of the day make sure they don’t take advantage of that friendship. Even then though you don’t have to be rude to ensure that is the case, you can politely remind them we have a job to do, we are getting paid to be here, or everyone else is pulling their weight and you are not being helpful today.
Do your job too. So many managers I know get so caught up in doing everyone else’s job or making friends with the employees and forget they have a job to do as well. While making sure everyone is a friend, everyone knows the line and everyone is doing their job is a part of being a manager it is not everything. Make sure that you are doing your job with as much seriousness as you ask them to do their jobs with. Don’t just command your team, but lead by example and you will earn their respect, friendship, and be a kind and good manager at the same time.
Overall leading any type of team whether it is staff at a restaurant or a branch of major company being a good and kind manger are traits that can co-exist.
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