- Praise in public, criticize in private.
Criticism, by its very nature, is demeaning. It always should be done in private. Good news should be shared in public.
- Show respect for subordinate's ideas and contributions.
When was the last time you thanked a subordinate for a contribution? When was the last time you wrote him a personal note of appreciation? Those investments have an enormous rate of return.
- Show by doing.
We teach best through our best example. Whatever standards you hold for anyone else -- whether it's hours worked or number of times a report is checked and rechecked -- must be at least equally high for yourself.
- Check in with employees
When giving instructions, ask the person to restate what she has heard. Remember, when you ask, "Do you understand?" 9 times out of 10 people will nod their heads and say, "Yes," even if they have no idea what you want.
- Help subordinates prioritize.
When something is vital, let the employee know. Early in my career, one manager said to me, "I just want to emphasize the importance of performing this task every day before 5pm. It is just as important as if you were in the Army and held guard duty. You know what happened to people who fell asleep or deserted their posts ..." I remember nodding while he nodded along with me. Then he said, "Right. They were executed -- dereliction of duty." I got the point. Perform this task well or I was out of there.
What he didn't say was that my failure to perform would reflect on him. If too many of his team failed to perform, it spoke more of his inability to manage than subordinates' inability to perform.
Thus is the privilege and the responsibility of managing others.