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Motivation is the drive that pushes people to become better versions of themselves. Getting out of park and into drive isn't a matter of simply pushing yourself, but of evaluating yourself as well. Once you know who you are and what you're capable of, you can chart a path to improve your skills and performance. For managers, this is particularly important. Motivated managers create more efficient employees, which in turn boosts the company's performance. The good news is, if you're wondering how to become a better manager, then you've already taken the first step to becoming the manager you want to be.
Create a written self-evaluation that rates your goals, competency and overall performance. Be honest with yourself and use work documents and data from the past year as a basis for your answers. Highlight your strengths and weaknesses, and then recognize where you might need improvement.
Talk to employees. Your main task as a manager is to supervise the people you manage. If you want to know how to do your job better, ask them. Employees will tell you what they need from you in order to improve their own performances. In turn, you will become more motivated to be a better manager. For example, employees might need more mentoring, new training opportunities, more constructive criticism or simply more recognition for their daily tasks. Knowing how your employees view you, and what they need from you in the future, can help motivate you to become a better manager.
Set goals for yourself. Think about what goals you want to achieve as a manager as well as what you want from your employees to make the company run more efficiently. Perhaps there's a rash of absenteeism that you hope to alleviate. Maybe you want to increase sales by a certain amount. Make realistic goals in relation to the company and your position as a manager to make these goals happen, then think about where you want to be as a manager in five years. Your goals should help you get there.
Set a plan into action to accomplish your goals. Plan for the long-term, but aim for short-term goals that make your future goals possible. You can't simply say you want to be promoted -- you have to accomplish the managerial goals that make you suitable for promotion. Use the evaluation process, employee needs and your goals to chart a clear plan of action.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.
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