APSE 2014: Successful managers carefully tend relationships

By Torin Koos

@torinkoos

USA TODAY Sports intern

Master chefs call it mise en place _ the 10 minutes of prep before cooking commences. Managing a newsroom takes a similar appraisal of mission and objective.

Nothing a leader says or does goes unnoticed. This is a blessing, when a manager gets off autopilot and acts with intent. Effective newsroom leaders do more than just push copy off for publishing. They help their journalists cultivate skill-building and self-efficacy. In turn, this leads to innovation and creativity.

Easier said than done, here are three best practices from Butch Ward in his session "Management 3.0: Leading in a New Digital World."

I.  It’s all about relationships. And you have relationships with everyone you manage.  Each member of your team needs something different from you. Some need a little praise, others might need a little nudge to follow through with the hard question in an interview. All need something. You are the boss, and you get the big paycheck for a reason. You’ve got to be conscious of this for all your journalists and act on it. This builds mutual respect.

II. Yogi Berra once said “You can observe a lot just by watching.” In your newsroom, who's speaking and who is not? Challenge yourself today to find a new, better way to get your quieter members of your newsroom to contribute at the next four o’clock meeting.

III. Don’t fall into the e-mail trap. Words leave a lasting memory. Words are forever. With these words, context is so important. It’s also so difficult to convey through instant messages and e-mail. Get up. Walk over to your colleagues and talk to them directly at least once every day.

If you hear your journalists say, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this” you just might be doing something right.

 

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