When I was a staff manager, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my team, working with them, watching us succeed and struggle, and most importantly learning from each other. I treated that position with the utmost respect and importance because I knew my team depended on me and I depended on them.
Building a team (and repairing some dysfunctional teams along the way) has been one of my greatest joys in the workplace.
Now, it is really true what they say about there being no “I” in team.
(Unless you look inside the A which always makes me chuckle…. because it’s true.)
Staff managers are tasked with so many duties.
They are resource allocators.
They are performance management specialists.
They are intuitive listeners.
They are astute observers.
They are feedback delivery specialists.
They serve their teams.
Staff managers are charged with the important task of providing support to their team members but often times, they don’t get a fraction of the support from their direct supervisors.
They have questions
They worry about their team.
They question their overall effectiveness and performance.
They are human.
I believe there are two keys to help all staff managers be POWERFUL.
I’m not talking about dictatorial power that makes them rule the workforce with an iron first, striking fear into everyone they meet. (There’s another term for them.)
#1 – TRUST
Staff managers MUST build TRUST with their teams.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight.
As prominent sports psychologist, Dr. Dean Hinitz says, “Trust is repeated behavior over time.”
Staff managers must take the time to build TRUST with their teams.
Staff managers accomplish this by being intentional and following through on their actions every single time. And by being intentional and following through on those intentions, they gain the trust of their team.
I want to be perfectly clear. When a team doesn’t trust their staff manager, there is no team.
Trust is pivotal, important and a foundational principle to building an effective team.
#2 – Communication
Staff managers must be excellent communicators. They must be well-versed in having powerful feedback conversations, be intuitive listeners, ask curious and engaging questions and have strong people skills.
Effective and caring staff managers are able to say “Hello” and “How is your day going?” and MEAN IT.
If you don’t like talking to people, listening to what is going well and what concerns them with their jobs, and would rather be doing something else, you shouldn’t be in a staff manager role.
Staff managers, who are strong communicators, build engaging and meaningful professional relationships with their team members because they leverage their managerial skills to help improve performance, reach and exceed metrics, and move their teams to becoming more cohesive and collaborative. Staff managers, who build these relationships with their teams, get noticed.
For many people, that next advancement opportunity takes them to a role where they manage people and teams. I help staff managers and supervisors build stronger relationships with their teams so they can step up and lead in a way that is authentic and empowering.
If you want to learn more about how I can help you best serve your team more effectively with greater impact and connection, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation about how we can work together to help you and your team.