03rd December, 2015
People Management – Let’s start with the basics
By Anthony Demeca
There is no shortage of “How to” literature out there on the topic of leadership. In a recent conversation with a successful leader in her field the topic of effective management techniques came up.
She made note that most of the books she had read failed to incorporate the reality of the increasing demand and pressure placed upon managers and their teams. Often the basics were over looked for more cumbersome psychological analysis that offered very little real world application.
After countless interviews with successful leaders I sat down with my team and we discussed some of the answers high performing leaders gave when asked about people management.
Here is a quick list of basic tips that many good managers agreed upon:
1. Take the time to get to know the individual people within your team on a personal level. Understand what drives them and what motivates them.
2. Wherever possible, engage with them daily. You may be having a bad day, but remember they will feed off your vibe, good or bad. So check your emotions.
3. It may be obvious to most to acknowledge large achievements, but strong managers are able to give a pat on the back for small wins on a day to day basis.
4. Don’t be scared to have the hard conversation. If a team member trusts you, then constructive criticism is not only well received but it is sought after. People want to get better and once there is trust they will look to you for guidance.
5. It is just as important to stand by your team as an equal when things are going badly as it is when things are going well.
a. In the book, ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins, he discusses a concept of a level 5 leader.
In short, when things go well, pass the accolades onto the team, when things go badly absorb the blame yourself.
6. It is highly important that you understand your business and industry. This means that your team needs to know that they can come to you for quality advice and guidance. However, don’t fall into the trap of doing their job for them.
7. Clear and concise communication is key to it all. Set clear goals, give clear training and make sure there is always an open line of communication.
In short, being a good leader requires a lot of discipline, commitment and most importantly you have to lead by example.
You can’t fake the above, you need your team to buy into the goals set. They will only do this when they know that you have genuinely bought into them.