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Many managers strive to improve their management and leadership skills, seeking out advice and education from other managers and professionals.

One valuable, but often overlooked resource in the pursuit of improved management abilities is the perspective of those you manage or lead.

If your employees were to rate you as a manager, how would you fare? Place yourself in your team’s shoes by examining your work from their perspective.

Do I know what I need to do, and do I have the resources to do it?

Stress is a reaction that occurs when one faces a challenge with inadequate resources to address it. Great managers seek to reduce stress and boost engagement on their teams by looking at the resources and guidance they provide from their team’s perspective. Do you provide clear, concrete instructions, along with adequate supplies, information and time – or is your staff always scrambling to figure out what needs to be done when?

I need to ask a question! My manager is _____.

Teams with strong managers can complete this sentence with phrases like “just an email away,” “in their office and the door is open,” or “right here, helping me figure out this new project.” By contrast, teams with weak managers may give answers like “hiding in their office,” “not available until tomorrow,” or “missing in action.” Which group of answers best reflects how your staff see your availability, especially during the early stages of a new task or project?

How would I describe my manager’s contributions to my daily work?

There’s a happy medium at play in the answers from the most satisfied, productive teams. These teams often describe their managers as “nearby but letting me figure it out” or “available for questions if I have them.” By contrast, teams that describe their managers as “doing it for me” or “nitpicking the details” are likely suffering from micromanagement, while those that reply “nonexistent” or “actively making my work worse” are suffering from a lack of management.

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