4 ways being a good PR manager is like teaching swim lessons

You need to get your hair wet, have patience and know when to let go.

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The leadership style of managers—and the one you ultimately settle on yourself—seeps into everything.

While part of leadership is your personality and past experiences, good managers push themselves to learn and evolve. As I sat at my daughter’s swim lesson last weekend, I started thinking about how her teacher uses many of the same approaches of a good public relations manager:

1. Have patience, but keep things challenging.

Everyone learns at a different pace. Some dive into new things full throttle without thinking about the risks, while others take a slow, cautious approach. As a manager, it’s your job to understand individuals’ different work styles and how to get the best out of them.

There are a number of different methods for motivating people. Leadership expert John Baldoni outlines four techniques here. There is no right way; it’s a process that requires patience in accepting you’ll get things wrong sometimes, as will others. But that’s part of the learning process. These hurdles can help you figure out people’s comfort zones, and find the best way to encourage people to push past them.

2. Get your hair wet.

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