Your MSP business needs to inspire confidence among staff. The best way for your business to have confident, obedient, effective, dedicated and driven staff is for leadership to evince such qualities themselves. You need people in management who don’t just bark orders; they inspire staff to follow them through strong leadership qualities. Unfortunately, those who must manage often have little to no experience with leadership, especially when it comes to IT. Following are some tips to help you facilitate better leadership:
- Personable Interactions
- Empathetic Leadership
- Reasons, Reasons, Reasons
When you’re personal, personable, caring and legitimately concerned about the interests of staff, they reciprocate that feeling. Here’s a great example: say you’ve got somebody on staff who paints pictures in their off-hours, selling them at coffee shops for $20. If you want to really make that employee love, respect and follow you, buy one of those paintings. Don’t get a bad one; find one you legitimately like and would hang up somewhere–because if they don’t ever see where you put it, they’ll see your purchase as a ploy. This is only an example, but you get the idea— don’t treat employees like a number. They’re not a number; they’re people, so be personal.
Your MSP business will have many jobs that require general work. Generalizing directives is a surefire way to improperly communicate, ultimately pushing employees into time-wasting practices that don’t work out for anyone. Be specific. Don’t talk down, but say exactly what you want, how you want it and why.
Don’t be a jerk. If you’re asking someone to do something hard or unlikable, or something that they have expressed disdain for, then empathize with them. Consider this example:
“Listen, John, I know you hate coding X during X hours, but I’ve got nobody else. I’m gonna have to ask you to get X amount done. Can I count on you?”
This is much better than:
“John! Shut up and get X done!”
Again, they’re people, so treat them personally.
Reasons, Reasons, Reasons
Give your staff reasons why you’re telling them to do something. Don’t just bark orders and expect military obedience. Soldiers are taught not to think, but to act–they have to: death is around every corner. However, when it comes to business, things surely are never so dire. Your employees should think, then act. That’s a good habit. So, to foster it, explain why you want workers to do something. Eventually, they’ll trust you enough that you may even be able to slack off on this.
Always listen carefully to anything any employee tells you. This is necessary in terms of objections and virtually all aspects of your interactions with workers, positive and negative. A manager who listens will be spoken to. One who doesn’t will be avoided. Good leaders listen; bad leaders don’t. So, learn how to listen actively.
Your MSP business must compete in a marketplace that’s growing more competitive by the hour. You want staff who are willing to follow you and aren’t compelled to; this increases your competitive edge and satisfaction all around. More competitive, satisfied personnel are more likely to expand your profits.