with team members can make the difference between being an adequate manager and a great one. The following quiz can help you check your progress. For each question, give yourself from 0 points for never to 3 points for always:
1. Do you make it easy for others to talk to you?
Do you stop working and make eye contact when people talk to you? Do you try to listen thoughtfully and react positively to what's said? Do you remember previous conversations with the people you're talking to?
2. Do you talk with each employee regularly?
And if your work doesn't naturally bring frequent opportunities to share ideas and information with each employee, do you consciously build them into your schedule?
3. Do you avoid being "all business"?
Do you take time for personal exchanges as you go through the day? Do you try to soften a brisk, efficient approach? Do you spend more than the minimum time in conversation?
4. Do you know whom you're talking to?
Do you take time to review the information you have on each employee before you discuss major problems, opportunities or changes with them—so you can avoid making mistakes that hurt your credibility?
5. Do you maintain confidentiality?
Do you make sure you keep information private and conversations discreet, so people will share important news and background with you?
6. Do you avoid judging unnecessarily?
Do you try to reserve your criticism or judgment to matters of workplace performance instead of personal choices?
7. Do you remain ready to say "no"?
Are you willing to draw the line against unreasonable requests and unproductive behavior and thus maintain the respect you earn from your team members?
8. Do you invite others to give you feedback?
Do you seek your employees' observations and suggestions on how you could do a better job? Are you willing and able to bear up well when you get negative feedback?
9. Do you encourage honesty?
Do you offer steady prompting for people to be as honest as possible as often as possible, to not hide bad news and to be able to say "no" when they mean it?
What do your scores mean?
If you earned 24 or more points, congratulations! You're on your way to the Managers' Hall of Fame. A total of 15 to 24 points means you're doing a good job, but you can boost your effectiveness by building on the progress you've already made.
If you scored less than 15 points, resolve to increase your score on one of these items, beginning tomorrow. Then tackle another item next week, and another the week after that. Whatever your score, keep this list handy. Post it where you'll see it, and refer to it regularly to ensure you're doing all you can to.