Hi, everyone! My name is Breanna Yashkus, and I am the graduate assistant at The Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Back in May, I graduated from Wilkes with a bachelor's degree in business management, and I decided to come back to complete my MBA. My job as the graduate assistant is essentially to work as the liaison between the scholars and staff, in addition to helping with problem resolution on challenging client ventures. It has been a rewarding experience to lead the team of scholars thus far, and I cannot wait to see all of the exciting things the future will bring!
I have worked with many different types of management styles in my career, seeing both the positive and the negative. Most recently, I have had the opportunity to work as a manager at a local ice cream shop. Not to mention, I am gaining professional experience working as the graduate assistant at the Kirby Center. Based on my own organizational expertise, I came up with five “hacks” that have helped me improve my management style and will hopefully aid you in your journey as well.
1.) Do what you say you are going to do.
I often find myself saying phrases like “I will have it done Wednesday!” or “If you do not do X assignment by X date, there will be consequences.” Then, when the time comes, I do not follow through. True leaders do not lie or leave people guessing. As harmless as these sayings are, it still makes you as the manager lose credibility every time you do not stick to your word. So, do what you say you are going to do or do not say it at all!
2.) Do not react to everything.
Sometimes, it seems like everything can overwhelm you all at once. You are already stressed and overloaded with tasks and then, something else happens on top of it all. It is so important to take a breath and think before reacting. While you may not be able to control every situation, you certainly can control how you react to it. You should never let temporary emotions lead you into making rash decisions and bad choices that you will regret later on. The people who can easily trigger your emotions have power over you. Choose wisely who you give this power to.
Some of the best advice I received when first starting my graduate assistant position was to socialize. As silly as it may sound, it can be hard to get to know your colleagues when COVID-19 precautions are still in effect. Many people are still working from home, so you do not really have that face-to-face interaction in the office anymore. It is important to take the time to get to know your co-workers and catch up with them every so often if you do not normally get to see them. When I did so, I noticed the overall response and communication greatly improved and has continued to strengthen ever since.
4.) Be Supportive.
As the manager, it is very likely you are one of the main factors that determines the tone of the workplace. Regardless of the organization type, the manager should be a support for others when they need it. Having a manager that is positive, encouraging, and believes in their team's abilities improves morale and strengthens relationships.
5.) Have Empathy.
Going off of the last point, having empathy is equally as important when managing a team. Showing empathy towards someone leads to more effective communication and positive outcomes within the workplace. Employees want to be heard and feel like they can openly express their thoughts. I recently came across the following quote from Kamia Taylor that I feel emphasizes the importance of empathy as a manager.
“You can be the most disciplined, brilliant, and even one of the most wealthy individuals in the world, but if you don’t care for or empathize with other people, then you are basically nothing but a sociopath.” -Kamia Taylor
I encourage all of you to give these hacks a try even if you are not a manager. They will help you grow in your personal and professional lives alike. I would love to hear any additional tips that have helped you grow in your position.
Thanks for tuning in, and I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving!