And I think this is a balance that really shows up for managers, especially when you have a little bit more of a casual style when you want to be friends with your team members that you find a real hard time. I know for me, I, I really struggled with this, finding a hard time of, of being fun, manager and friend, manager, and then having to be serious manager, give hard feedback manager. And this is why the intention is so important.
Welcome to the Managing Made Simple podcast, where I bring a decade of experience working in some of the most influential companies in tech to help you navigate the ins and outs of being a people manager from conflicts to feedback to delegating and more, we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to what makes us love managing, kind of hate it and everything in between. Doesn't matter if you're a new manager looking for some tips or a seasoned manager looking up their game. Everyone is welcome to hang out with managing Made Simple. Let's go, let's go, let's go. Welcome back to the show. Today, I wanna ask the question, what is your management style? This is a question I think would be really helpful for all of us to think about and, and to form a conclusion around before we become a manager. But if you're already managing people and you've done been doing it for a while, that's still okay.
It's never too late. This is something though that we, we wanna set an intention about. We want to know what is our style, how do we want to communicate with our teams? How do we wanna come across? And I think a lot of times we think about this after we've gotten feedback about our management style, and it was really contradictory to like what we were trying to put out there. So for example, you get feedback that, oh, you're really, you're really tough manager. You, you are always finding little mistakes to try to course correct and, and make people, you know, work harder. Or you get the feedback that you're pretty lax and you kind of let things slide, or you learn, people see you as someone that only gives course correction. Like positive feedback is assumed not said, and that people sort of feel like they never know how they stand.
These are the perceptions that people make about you when you don't set an attention because you're kind of just letting, like, caution go to the wind and, and, and things just chips fall where they may, I just let like left many metaphors there, but you get what I mean. We wanna set an intention. So think for a minute to yourself, well, what were some of the qualities of managers that I really loved that I wanna embody? Hey, a lot of times we manage in the style that we've been exposed to, and a lot of times that is not a style that we wanna reflect to our teams, but just like with parenting, you know, if you don't think about it, you're gonna follow the way that, you know, your own parents parented you. You're just gonna do those same exact things. Same with managing, you're going to give feedback in the same way or, or ask questions in the same way or, or direct things in the same way, or maybe same way with parenting.
I think a lot of folks, you do the polar opposite and you're like, I was horrible. I wanna do nothing of those things. There was no value in that. I'm gonna be the opposite and do the best. But you still don't set an intention about what that is. And when tensions get high or something goes wrong, a lot of times when we're not intentional, we fall into our defaults. So we are really deliberate about trying to give positive feedback about being really accommodating and things like that. And then someone, they take it a step too far and you're like, no, I'm sick of being walked all over no more. And, and people are like, whoa, what happened? Okay, so none of that. We, we don't wanna do that. Instead we wanna set that intention. What is your management style? And this is going to be something that you wanna think about often.
Okay? Let's say your management style is, I want to be an authentic leader who brings compassion, who works really hard to cultivate trust with my teams, but also really commands respect. Okay? I don't want that to mean I'm a doormat. Or people think, you know, yeah, here, here comes Leah. They, they can just like say whatever and do whatever. No, I want people to know I'm really, really solid and in my expertise, know what I'm doing and I wanna get shit done. And I also really care about you. Like, let's say that's my intention. It's probably is my intention. I'm not managing people right now, but I would say like, yeah, let's go with that. That is my intention. So this means I have to think about every single day when I'm interacting with my team, how do I wanna make sure I'm coming across with that?
Okay, so when someone has a challenge, how can I demonstrate this compassion when I'm hiring or, or interviewing or bringing on a new team member? What can I do to establish trust? And then the big one, how do I balance this with really wanting to come across, you know, really make it clear that I am an expert, I'm an authority, and, and it's really important to be respected that we're not just friends. And I think this is a balance that really shows up for managers, especially when you have a little bit more of a casual style when you want to be friends with your team members that you find a real hard time. I know for me, I, I really struggled with this, finding a hard time of, of being fun, manager and friend, manager, and then having to be serious manager, give hard feedback manager.
And this is why the intention is so important because it, it helps us rationalize these things in our minds before we get stuck and we don't know how to get out of it. So for me, being a compassionate manager who's built trust, that allows me to have harder conversations because there's a foundation there already. So when I have trust with a team member, I can say, Hey, let's talk about this thing. You know, I've, I've noticed you're really working hard to demonstrate your leadership skills in this space. We're seeing a lot of great progress there. Unfortunately, there was a little bit of a misstep here, and I wanna catch it, I wanna talk about it because we, you know, I wanna help you work through it and here's what I'm gonna do. And, and to be clear, you know, these were the expectations. Let's make sure we're all on the same page.
I wanna make sure you are very clear, here's what the expectations, here's what success looks like, and there is a gap. I'm gonna help you close it, but we do have to close it. So these are ways that you can communicate, you know, that you do mean what you're saying and it's not like a whatever situation. If something doesn't go well while still bringing empathy, it's gonna be different for every one of us. But we do want to think about this upfront because then we can practice it, we can reinforce it, and when we get feedback that we're out of, of alignment with that style, we can be self-reflected and really be proactive about shifting that. For example, when I was managing one time, I got feedback that my emails sounded sort of like short and harsh, and I was like, what? I'm not harsh.
Come on. And I, I felt really sad about that and I was like, well, what is this coming from? That's not at all. And, and when I communicate face-to-face or you know, over, over video conference, I always communicate warmth, but it wasn't showing up in the email. And I looked back at a couple of emails and I said, wow, wow, okay. I was rushing to, to send this email out. I kind of just wanted to get to an answer and I sort of, I, I leaned more into this urgency as opposed to some of the warmth that I wanted to communicate. So I grabbed 30 minutes with that direct report and I said, Hey, I, I really appreciate the feedback that sometimes I've written communication isn't, isn't landing in, in the way that I intended. And I wanna say sometimes I'm going to have to get a message out quickly and just say, Hey, what's the status of this?
nd I'm, I'm asking you to trust that, you know, because of this conversation. You know, it's not intentional to be harsh. It is about just moving stuff faster. Now notice in that conversation, I didn't say, okay, I will change my style completely because that wouldn't necessarily work for both of us. But because we, we had the conversation and we had trust, I brought the compassion, I brought the understanding, I appreciated the feedback, then we were able to figure out a process that would, that would work for us. So in the future I would say, Hey, I just got five minutes and wanted to make sure to respond to this. So that's setting the tone that I'm gonna be a little bit short with my response, or let's connect at length tomorrow. But in the meantime, can you give me an update on these three things?
So we had the conversation, we reestablish the trust, I recognized the feedback, and then we were able to continue communicating in the way that, you know, essentially worked for both of us because they weren't really wanting a longer response. But I think sometimes when we get a short response, we think our manager's mad at us or something like that, we sort of create a story in our mind. So I was able to dispel that concern and then we were able to communicate with in a shorthand with a lot more ease. So again, this is a really helpful tool for if you're given feedback that feels out of alignment with how you want to come across to your teams. You can say, oh, let me address this. Let's figure out how to get back on the same page so that we can work together in the way that works for both of us.
Neither of us have to sort of be different people and, and show up completely differently, but we build more understanding for where each other's coming from. So today or, or in the next few days, I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about what is my management style and how do I wanna come across to my team? You know, one of the biggest things that I wanna share is trust is built through predictability. And this is a really important thing to remember because it's not just built through vulnerability and, and having conversations and liking each other. People need to know what to expect from you. And when they don't know what to expect, when they get a different version of you every day, they don't feel comfortable with, you know, they don't know what they're gonna get so they don't feel comfortable opening up.
They don't trust you. And I think people really hold back a lot in that situation. And, and that can be detrimental to their motivation, to, you know, their psychological safety to them feeling comfortable, making mistakes, all of these things because we don't know what version of our manager we're gonna get. So this, this idea of setting that intention, figuring out how do I wanna show up for my teams? And being that version of yourself and asking for feedback and reflecting. And when you're not that version of yourself talking about it and talking through why and what, what you both need to get there, this is going to help create that predictability which will fuel trust. So if you wanna have trust in your teams, you have to have predictability. And that means you have to figure out how you wanna show up for your teams. What is your management style?
That's all I have for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to the Managing Made Simple podcast where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive. I always love to hear from you, so please reach out a liagarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn. See you next time.