I’ve been a fan of the sitcom “Southpark” since shortly after it began to air – around 1998, I think. And while I’d never wish Cartman as a manager on anyone, we can use his “Respect My Authority,” quote as a lesson — in reverse — to all the people managers on the planet.
Managing people for more than a decade has taught me several valuable lessons. None more important than knowing your team deserves your respect – just as you expect the team to respect you. For example, when your inbox overflows with emails and your phone won’t stop ringing on a busy day you might think it wise to tune out staff requests in order to focus on your own priorities.
This may serve as a manager’s fatal error.
Instead, call a quick staff meeting and let those you supervise know you’re buried alive in work to-dos, and before you vanish for several hours you want to identify the work of the team that requires your attention. Presto. You’ve communicated your need to go heads down, but you’ve also told the team that what they do is equally important and you don’t want to hold up the work flow.
This little communication strategy helps you earn (and keep) the respect of the team. By connecting with them, and trusting they will understand your need to prioritize, the work that absolutely needs to get done will become clear and you’ll enable others to keep making positive contributions.
Congrats! You’re a great boss. Today.