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4 Ways to Get More Out of Your Team

By Aaron Field

Like most researchers I am intellectually curious.  So in college I tried a book about Wittgenstein. The first two sentences were fine. After that…

But research has a lot to learn from those ancient Greeks. It turns out that the most insightful researchers have Socratic relationships with their bosses.

Funny thing. Open avenues to our bosses create exactly the risk-taking environment we need to be our creative best. Managers will get more out of their teams by following these four tips:

  • Get personally involved; employees invariably respond well to personal interaction.
  • Understand how engaged your team members are. You will have to depend on your employees to deliver results, and will need to understand their readiness to do so.
  • Spend time communicating the right goals. Projects will never succeed unless the teams involved understand exactly what is required of them.
  • Show team members why their jobs are important; it is imperative to maintain positive communication and engagement as projects unfold and issues arise.

Funnier that the most cutting edge conference (SXSW Interactive Festival) recently reminded us of some very old truths. T.A. McCann of RIM and Gist delivered the secrets of good management. He believes the key to effectively managing others is simply “letting go.” Managers should enable teams to tap their own ideas and expertise, avoid micromanaging their employees’ responsibilities, and allow teams to build their own organizational standards.

Astonishingly they amount to Socrates’ old trick – think with people and not for them.

Turns out I’m a better historian than philosopher. What’s old is new again.

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