There’s going to come a time when your employees might not know how to complete a task you’ve assigned them. While some look for alternative solutions, others might muster up the courage to come right to you, their manager, and ask for help. How you handle this moment says a lot about the kind of manager and leader you want to be.
As a manager, you can use these teaching moments to learn more about your employees and how they best learn. It’s important to know how to help your employees as this can also allow them to feel comfortable asking for help. When you learn what methods of learning work for your employees, you become a better teacher and build trust in the process.
1-Pay attention to learning styles
Once you know how to use different teaching styles with employees, you can individualize how you manage your employees. One method doesn’t work for every employee. Every worker is different and responds to different styles of leadership and management. Finding out if your employees are hands-on learners, better in team settings, or better off as individuals is important to your team’s success.
2-Be relatable, use storytelling
Another tip is to share your prior experience with an employee during a teachable moment. Without comparing yourself to your employee, you can explain to them that you or your team have also faced similar struggles and found a way through the other side. Reassure them that not everyone knows everything, and that asking for help is okay. The situation and solution may differ from your experience that you share, but opening up to your employee builds trust and lets them know they have support.
Our final tip is to remember not to take over completely. Demonstrate only when necessary, as this can make employees feel like they aren’t capable of completing the task if their manager takes over from the first mention of needing help. Let your employees try to find solutions, allowing them to come to you with their progress when they feel it needs assessing.
Remember, an effective teacher makes an effective manager:
- Be curious and study how your employees learn
- Individualize teaching styles
- Share prior experiences when necessary
- Give your employees the space to try before demonstrating how to complete a task.
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