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Thom Dennis

Serenity in Leadership Ltd


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Top ten New Year’s resolutions for managers

To start 2024 with purpose, Serenity in Leadership CEO Thom Dennis looks at the potential managerial pitfalls that need to be avoided in 2024…
black baby monkey eating grass

As we wave goodbye to 2023 and reflect upon what we could have done better, perhaps we need to take a moment (with a bit of tongue in cheek) to look at where managers, leaders and organisations at large need to do better if they want this year to be a success. 

1. Be a better model

Embody the attitudes and behaviours that you expect to see within your team so if you want to raise the energy in the room and improve company culture, head up the conga line by embodying respect, purpose, inclusion and empathy.

2. Release control

It’s simple…trust your team. Delegation frees up your time and allows you to focus better on your work instead of monitoring theirs. Think of it as putting your feet up a little. Sound appealing? But not too much! Build up your team’s skills and knowledge so that you are both confident in their abilities.

3. Listen attentively

OK, so hearing Barney give an update on the traffic he met on his way to work may not seem all that interesting. But your colleagues can be vital in making valuable improvements to your business and need to feel comfortable enough to share. Let them discover “what big ears you have" because they’re all the better to support them with, and don’t forget the best way to show that you are listening is to act and respond to feedback. You never know Barney may just save you 30 minutes by suggesting you avoid the A34 on the way home.

4. Move with the current of flexible working

The world has changed and most employees have a taste for working at home with The Office for National Statistics reporting that 44% of workers are home or hybrid working. Employees want trust, they demand flexibility, and they crave work-life balance. Crazily enough many of us would love an extra hour in the day to spend with loved ones or in the gym, rather than sat in traffic. Refer back to Barney’s point. 

5. Let go of the power play

If you’re shaking your head at the thought of it, then this point is for you. Power games are not the right way to get what you want. If you’re looking for a promotion, admiration, or to be a role model, you have to lead with respect rather than fear. Treat people kindly and fairly and stand out from the crowd as a team player rather than a character from the Game of Thrones.

6. Focus on giving credit to team members

Always, and we mean always give credit where it’s due. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will showcase your strength and integrity and highlight how well you support your team. Still wishing you had your own great idea? Get your thinking fedora on and come up with something new that will knock their paisley socks off!

7. Have better boundaries

 Contacting staff out of hours is a major no-no. It is wonderful to make someone feel like they are really, really needed but instead of encouraging employees to work or answer emails out of hours, encourage them to enjoy an all-important work-life balance. 

8. Communicate effectively

This is a big one. First and foremost, be sure that your instructions and expectations are clear and concise. Trying to decipher your handwritten instructions or poorly worded emails can lead to miscommunication and conflict. Also, consider the best method of communication – do your employees work better with verbal or written instructions? Check-in regularly with your team members to discuss their performance and development opportunities and focus not only on constructive feedback but also on praise and gratitude for work well done. 

9. Be honest. Always.

Messed up? Own up. Admit your mistakes and take responsibility because demonstrating accountability enhances your credibility despite the error. In addition, the sooner you admit the mistake, the sooner it can be rectified. To ensure a culture of integrity, be sure to extend ownership of mistakes to the eating other’s food in the work kitchen.

10. Face your problems

If you are losing employees left, right, and centre, it’s time to take a long look inward. Avoid losing talent and repeating the hiring process again and again, wasting company time and money, and ask yourself why it is that people don’t want to stay. Perhaps it's you? Perhaps it's Barney. Interested in this topic? Read: Embodied leadership: How to be comfortable with being uncomfortable

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