As a manager, I try to model:
I take every day as an opportunity to practice the values I believe in: respect, accountability and trust.
A powerful way to show trust and respect for your team is by welcoming everyone’s opinions, ideas and feedback. Sometimes you will get difficult feedback or ideas you don’t agree with. But this means that the team feels there’s a safe environment where they can be honest.
Accountability requires you to lead by example. I frequently examine myself and my actions, seek feedback from the team and when necessary, I say sorry and recognize my own mistakes. By systematically following this motto, I’m able to foster an environment where accountability is expected.
Ultimately, humans are unpredictable. Businesses are unpredictable. I try to be my best self every day and constantly retrospect, hoping not to make the same mistakes twice.
I believe that my employees want/need…
… to be supported. I’m being deliberately general because I think part of the manager role is to adjust what supporting means for a particular report at a specific point in time. Sometimes supporting your report will be lending an ear so they can vent about a situation. On other occasions, it will mean delivering “tough” feedback.
It’s important to understand what priorities and motivations your reports have so you can create an environment where they can do their best work and continue their professional development.
I take care of myself by…
… having interests and projects outside of work. I’m one of the cofounders of Latinas in Tech NYC, a project I’m very grateful and proud to be a part of. I would be lying if I said that my successes are just my own, I’ve had been lucky to meet people throughout my career that had mentored me and sponsored me. And giving back to the community is something that I find energizing and rewarding.
Also, I cherish my “me time” and I make sure to have time every day to go on a long walk with Cammie (my little dog), or read a book or go to the gym. Little moments that allow me to recharge and refocus. And when the conditions allow, I will take time off. I’ve found that having some space from the day-to-day is a great way to get inspiration, new ideas and overall, new energy.
Here’s a practical tip about managing:
When in doubt, default to trust. People are not purposely trying to do a bad job or act poorly. When a difficult situation occurs, it’s best to start from a place of trust and empathy. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to help our teammates understand what went wrong and how to improve.
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