Reading: What makes a good leader
The top 18 managing people tips
Managing people is a unique craft, a craft that you will continue to develop and refine for your entire working life. Managing people is for people who are passionate about helping others to succeed, who can bring out the most in their teams.
Here are my top 18 tips for people leaders
Tip 1: Be passionate about managing people
A leader is passionate about three things, their people, their customers and their businesses products or services.
A leader who is passionate about their people will tend to create a work environment where their people are able to flourish and do their best work. So, what exactly is being passionate about your people?
To describe what being passionate about your people looks like we have coined the term "employee service”. This term is used to describe the people centric component of a leader's role, like customer service signifies being customer centric. Where good customer service leaves the customer feeling valued and appreciated, good employee service leaves the employee feeling valued and appreciated.
To discover more ... why not click here and spend 5 minutes finding out how you can be passionate about your people
Tip 2: Keep your emotions in control
Managing people is an activity reserved exclusively for those of us who are emotionally stable. The best leaders remain calm in all situations whilst the worst managers allow their emotions to control their behavior.
1Be business like, emotional decisions are poor decisions
2If you yell you will loose the respect of your people and without respect you cannot lead
Tip 3: Provide more feedback than you think is necessary
80% of employees claim that they do not get enough feedback whilst 80% of managers claim they give enough feedback.
Informal or impromptu feedback is one of the strongest drivers of a high performing culture, especially when your feedback relates the employee's performance with your business goals and the employee's personal aspirations.
To discover how to give the type of feedback that will supercharge your culture and put you on track to build a high performing culture, click here
Tip 4: Schedule one on one feedback sessions with each of your people
Formal performance feedback in a one on one will help strengthen your relationship with your people.
Whilst academics will disagree on the ideal frequency of a one-on-one session you will find that you only need to do them regularly to be effective, however we do advocate for formal one on ones monthly.
After the first few one-on-ones your people will look forward to their scheduled one-on-one sessions. It will give them an opportunity to talk openly with you about their assigned work, their performance and any ideas or suggestions that they may have.
Tip 5: Communicate, communicate, and communicate
You need to provide significantly more communication than your people need to do their job.
As a leader, in addition to enabling your people to do their job you need to create a sense of purpose for your people, providing reason and context for their work. Then there is our innate need” to know what is going on around us, so let your people know what other parts of your business are doing, only then will they feel like a part of the business.
In a business where there is open communication all staff at all levels will feel free to
Ask any and all questions
Cut of the chairperson to ask a question
Interrupt the CEO to ask a question
Leaders also encourage informal communication meetings to just happen in addition to being planned, let the right people gather around, informally, to discuss problems and possible solutions. (Informal communication meetings will help to create passion and energy).
Tip 6: Have Fun at Work
Fun is not something reserved for outside the work environment, work should have a degree of fun about it. You can have a 5 minute fun activity at the start of your team meetings, you can have a fun team name, run a general knowledge quiz of a few questions with a small prize every Wednesday.
The options are limitless. There are hundreds of things you can do to have fun in the work environment.
Tip 7: Be polite and considerate, be nice
Using your manners, saying thank you or please does not cost anything.
There are no situations where it is appropriate to be inconsiderate, rude or unpleasant.
If you are polite and nice you employees will see you as more approachable and they will feel more valued, therefore being nice is a must for all team leaders.
Tip 8: Listen more than you talk
People, the more you listen to your people the more information they will give you. When you listen more you
1Get more employee suggestions
2Find more opportunities to give feedback
3Increase your understanding of each employee and what drives them
4Build stronger professional relationships with your employees
5Improve your ability to influence change
Tip 9: Thank your people for their suggestions
Listen to your employee's suggestions and then thank them for making a suggestion. Let them know that you value suggestions and the people that make them.
Tip 10: Always give negative feedback in private
Feel free to give praise frequently and in public, however always give negative feedback in private - no matter how small or trivial the feedback is. Your people are more likely to listen to negative feedback given in private and are more likely to be defensive when the feedback is given publicly.
Your people will respect you for being discreet.
Tip 11: Develop a keen eye for the doable
Change programs often fail because the change drivers are only focused on what cannot be done. When facing a change scenario, instead of spending early energy worrying about what cannot be done try to find something that your people are ready to do right now and do that first.
Tip 12: Be Persistent
The lack of interest and persistence of top management is the primary cause of failed change. Change applied without intense top management interest simply won't work
Your interest in your people, your processes and your customers and your persistence reinforcement of your business priorities will ensure you achieve the results that you seek.
Tip 13: Tell people what they can do
Often employees believe that they are not empowered to take action to resolve an issue or to fix a problem. Sometimes empowering people is as easy as telling them what they can do.
Helping to get them started is the job of a leader
Tip 14: Creating Passion for Your Product or Service
Allocate time everyday to talk to your people about the value of your product or service
1The benefits it has that your customer value
2It's design characteristics
3The critical characteristics that define its quality
Your passion for your product/service will rub of onto your people, within weeks their passion for your product or service will increase.
Tip 15: Setting objectives
In most planning sessions the peer bravado of the executive leads them to commit to too many initiatives.
Too many initiatives is the same as having no initiatives: with a little luck and a lot of persistence one might actually get two things done in a year.
Choose what seems like too few initiatives and when they are done
Tip 16: Align your leadership behavior. and communication
There is nothing more frustrating than a manager who has not aligned their communication messages with their behavior., employees are often heard to say "They say one thing, but do another” a common example is a manager who speaks at staff meetings about the importance of quality whilst outside of the staff meeting only ever enquires about productivity.
To ensure that your employees all receive a consistent message you need to align your communication messages with your actions.
Tip 17: Motivate your people
Motivating your people is about your "leadership life style” it is about all of the things that you do with your time, the things that you prioritize and the themes of your conversations. Your employee's motivation is a consequence of how you live when you are at work
1Peer pressure is the greatest motivator, you can use peer pressure by setting stretch team goals and team goals around the adoption of change
2Be innovative in your reward systems, you can be innovative by asking your people what reward systems they would like you to adopt. If they choose the reward it is more likely to be a motivator. (Also ask what recognition your people would like)
3Spend 50 - 60% of your time directly communicating with your workforce
4Nothing is more enticing than the feeling of being needed, let your people know that they are needed and that they are doing valuable work.
Tip 18: The Right Amount of Planning
Planning is an essential part of running your business or your projects. Your challenge, as the leader, is to find the right balance between too much and too little planning.
1The old adage "A failure to plan is planning to fail” still remains true, too little planning will result in a poor outcome for your business or projects.
2However, you will also find that the absence of over planning will lead to a successful outcome. Over planning will bog down a new idea and will ensure that the progress of a new project will stall. Requesting further planning is a great way for managers to avoid committing to an initiative or making a decision.
At the start of all projects or initiatives it is worth spending time to determine the appropriate level of planning for that project or initiative.
Managing people can be very rewarding.