Three Rapport-Building Techniques Every Successful Manager Needs to Practice.
Management is not a cake walk. Although there are perks to being a manager, there are also hefty responsibilities which accompany the role. Life gets complicated when managers don’t have the skills necessary to effectively interact with their employers, subordinates, and guests alike. Although these relationships have different dynamics, adept managers recognize that all three types of relationships should be maintained with the same principles of respect and service. Although it is clear to see why managers should be respectful and supportive of their employers and patrons, many fail to recognize the value of adhering to high standards of behavior with their subordinates. Most managers fail to practice rapport-building techniques which reinforce the trust, confidence, and respect with the people under their management. This can lead to costly consequences. Here are three tips for effective rapport building every manager should adopt.
Start with Authenticity
Restaurants make an investment with each new hire; they lose money when employees quit. High employee dropout rates are more common than you think and a huge money pit. Managers have a great opportunity with new hires to build a firm foundation for the new hire as an employee. Managers should take time with each new hire to relate on a human level over a cup of coffee. This meeting should be informal with the end of gaining some insight into the character and personality of your new hire. It might seem like a daunting and time-consuming practice, but it will pay off. A 15 minute chat could save you time and money. People invest more energy into areas of their life for which they feel genuine loyalty. If you create an environment with a sense of camaraderie, stability, and support, not only will your employee dropout rates plummet, your staff will work with more energy and motivation.
Practice Active Listening
Managers lose tremendous opportunities when they fail to listen. The warning signs for major personnel issues are obvious way before they implode, for those willing to listen. Think about the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Internalize the perspective that if someone is making the effort to communicate something, it is worth exerting the energy necessary to give them your full attention. Practically speaking, find a comfortable place to sit, put your phone on airplane mode, and look people in the eyes when conversing. These are fundamentals of human interaction, but are not in common practice. We live in a plugged-in, zoned-out society. Managers are need to have break-in some unfamiliar habits in order to adopt the practice of active listening.
Provide Genuine Affirmation
Managers often have a fear of becoming a pushover if they show leniency or compassion towards their staff. And while confidence and assertiveness are essential characteristics for a manager, good managers know how to identify and recognize strong efforts from their team without appearing weak. Recognizing strong efforts from your team not only places an emphasis on good performance; it also conveys the message that you are tuned-in to every effort and detail of the functioning of your team. Someone who is attentive to the good is not blind to the bad. Over the course of every month, find something good to point out for each employee. The recognition, and even the absence of it in future, will have a profound effect on your team.
Lastly, here are some words of wisdom from Seneca that have stood the test of time:
“Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.” Don’t rely on a paycheck to ensure the longevity of your restaurant. Pay and rely on what sustains loyalty.
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