ABC's and 123's:

A Blog by Action for Children

Self-Reflection for Managers 


Being a manager is a significant responsibility, especially when you’re juggling multiple tasks. It requires not only competence but also empathy, communication skills, and a genuine desire to support and empower your team. It’s natural to focus on being a good leader, it’s also equally important to recognize when there might be areas for improvement. Consider the following tips to reflect on your leadership style and identify areas where you can grow to become an even better manager!

  1. Lack of Clear Communication: Good communication is the cornerstone of effective leadership. If you find that your team often seems confused or uncertain about expectations, goals, or feedback, it might be a sign that you may need to adjust your communication strategy. Take the time to ensure instructions are clear, feedback is constructive and timely, and channels for open dialogue are accessible. 
  2. Micromanagement: Naturally, we all want things to be done correctly, however micromanagement can stifle creativity and demotivate your team. Trusting your employees to do their jobs and providing them with the autonomy to make decisions fosters a sense of ownership and responsibilities in employees. Practice delegating tasks and empowering your team to take initiative. 
  3. Limited Employee Appreciation: Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. If you find that you rarely acknowledge the efforts of your team or provide positive reinforcement, it might be time to reassess your approach. Take the time to recognize and celebrate successes, both big and small, and express gratitude for the hard work and dedication of your team. 
  4. Not Leading by Example: Your actions speak louder than words, especially when you’re in a leadership position. If you’re not modeling the behaviors and attitudes you expect from your team, it can erode trust and credibility. Take the time to reflect on your own behavior from an objective viewpoint and strive to lead by example in work ethic, professionalism, and interpersonal relationships. 
  5. A Lack of Emotional Intelligence: On the topic of interpersonal relationships, empathy is a vital leadership skill. It enables you to understand and connect with your team on a deeper level. If you find it challenging to empathize with your teams’ experiences and emotions, investing time and effort into developing your emotional intelligence is an important step to take. Start by listening actively, showing genuine concern for the wellbeing of your team, and working towards creating a supportive and inclusive work environment. 

Being a good manager is an ongoing journey of self-reflection, growth, and learning. By honestly assessing your leadership style and recognizing areas for improvement, you can foster a positive and supportive work environment where your team thrives. It’s not about being perfect—it’s about being willing to learn and grow alongside your team. 

Author: Madeleine Bray, The BOSS at Action for Children HR & Compliance Coach 
The BOSS services are provided by Action for Children and funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and Action for Children’s generous donors. Explore The BOSS services. 

Action for Children is the local child care resource and referral agency for central Ohio, and is committed to assuring quality early learning experiences for all children. Our services focus on transforming the lives of children by supporting the everyday heroes who most influence our children’s early growth; care givers, educators, parents, and guardians. Learn More. 

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