Evaluate Your Skills
If you already have a team, the first step is to find out what they think of you as a manager. You may think your team runs smoothly, and it may, but you may be surprised at opinions being expressed just below the surface. Even those people with whom you work extremely well may have noticed certain traits on which you could improve. Remember, criticism is only negative when you cannot use it to improve.
Asking for this kind of input is better carried out in private, as people may not directly criticize, constructively or otherwise, in public, particularly when the object is their manager. If you have someone with the confidence to do so on your team, build on that and encourage them to constructively voice their opinion. Your worst critic may often be your strongest ally. For shy team members, provide a written method for input. Make sure that their voices are heard.
Individual discussion is one of the best team building tools and should never be underestimated. If you or your team do not feel comfortable doing this, two alternative approaches work well.
- A simple rating system that can be carried out online, anonymously if necessary, depending on the size of your team.
- A group discussion, rather than asking your team to tell you directly how they view your skills. Set up group interviews where members of your team can tell each other what they think. People are more likely to open up to those they view as being in a similar situation.
In either case, have a list of management skills assembled so the discussion has focus. Always remember to allow for additional topics. The answers should help you understand where you have been successful and where you need to improve.