How to be a better manager in 2017?

The most common New Year's resolutions are to get fit, lose weight, save money, and spend more time with family. If you're a manager, however, a worthy alternative is resolving to be a better leader.

To succeed at that resolution, focus less on answering questions for your employees and more on asking them, suggests Small Business Trends contributor Mike Michalowicz.

"So often, being a leader is about having (or getting) answers," Michalowicz says. "We're accustomed to being in charge and making critical decisions, and it's easy to forget that one of our primary goals should be to aggregate knowledge. We hire great employees, and if we don't take to time to mine their valuable knowledge, we're missing a colossal opportunity."

So, what questions should you ask? If you want to be a better leader, start with something like: What's the biggest roadblock you face?

"While your employees may rely on you to be the chief problem-solver, you can't solve problems you're unaware of," Michalowicz says. "Your staff may have struggles you know nothing about, and the first step to eliminating roadblocks is identifying them.  Helping your staff work more efficiently and effectively not only improves their outlook, but it benefits your bottom line as well."

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