From the American Management Association
Sponsored by Lab Manager Boot Camp, October 25, 2007
Set aside one hour each day to absorb new information. Don't let yourself be the person who is unaware of a major development or situation that needs attention.
Recognize the power of questions. Stop thinking in terms of what you have to say and start thinking in terms of what you have to ask. Managers and employees will respect you for asking their viewpoints and you are likely to learn more in the process.
Learn to laugh at yourself. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Whenever you say or do something foolish (and we all do), be the first to see the humor in it. Laugh at yourself in front of your direct reports, and they won't laugh at you behind your back.
Solicit an employee's advice for solving a problem. You'll make the employee feel important and you may wind up with a solution that never occurred to you.
Be upbeat even when giving negative feedback. Communicate optimism that the employee's work will improve and that he or she is capable of better performance in the future.