Whether you manage a team of two or two hundred, effective people management can help drive success and ensure that everyone is motivated and working towards the same goal. With the right guidance, anyone can develop good people management skills.
In this article, we will start by outlining some of the essential skills to be a good people manager and then look at the key steps to developing these important skills, including understanding your employees, setting expectations, creating a positive work environment and providing feedback.
The Essential skills required to be a good people manager
Empathy & Understanding
Empathy and understanding are two of the most important qualities an individual can possess when it comes to managing people. There is no single formula for becoming a successful leader with strong people management skills, but without empathy and understanding, it can be difficult to develop strong relationships with your team.
Empathy means being able to recognize how someone else feels, being able to see things from their perspective and responding appropriately. Understanding involves being able to listen actively rather than just hearing what somebody has said and being able to relate their words back in a meaningful way. People need both empathy and understanding if they are going to be managed effectively – if you don’t understand where someone is coming from or why they are feeling the way that they do, then you won’t likely be receiving honest feedback or achieving desired outcomes.
Communication & Listening
Successful communication within an organization is absolutely key to success. Good communication skills start with becoming a good listener. Being able to actively listen and understand what another person is saying is key to being a successful leader in today’s world. By contrast, poor listening can create misunderstandings, lead to disagreements and ultimately impact the success of an organization.
Listening encourages others to feel valued and understood, leading to productive conversations that can help build relationships within an organization. Listening also allows managers to gain insights into how employees think, how tasks should be completed, as well as any problems they may have with their work or team members. An effective communicator is not only able to listen carefully but also knows when it’s appropriate to ask questions or provide feedback in order to clarify any misunderstandings.
Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution
Good people management skills can help create an environment of growth, productivity and efficiency. One key component is problem-solving and conflict resolution. This involves the ability to identify problems quickly, analyse a situation objectively and come up with solutions that are acceptable to all parties involved.
Problem-solving requires creative thinking and strong communication skills. It requires managers to be able to listen carefully in order to fully understand the issue before attempting a solution. Developing effective strategies for resolving conflicts is essential in order for work teams to stay positive, productive and motivated. Conflict resolution also helps build trust among team members by allowing them to express their opinions while working together towards a mutually beneficial outcome.
Delegation & Time Management
The ability to delegate tasks and manage time wisely can be the difference between success and failure. Delegation is a skill that allows leaders to assign tasks to their team members in order to maximize efficiency. By entrusting work to the right people, it can free up time for managers, allowing them more opportunities for strategic planning. Time management is another key component of successful people management; setting goals and prioritizing tasks will help ensure that all objectives are met on schedule. With these two important skills in place, leaders can effectively manage their teams while still accomplishing their own goals as well.
Related post: Conflict Management and Negotiation Skills
Adaptability & Flexibility
Adaptability and flexibility are critical people management skills that can make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful leader. To be able to effectively manage their team, leaders need to understand how to adjust their management style depending on the situation. This means being able to identify when changes are required and being willing to do so in a timely manner. Good people managers understand that no two situations are alike, so they must be flexible in order to maintain an effective working relationship with their team members.
Flexible leaders recognize that they may need to modify their approach based on different situations or tasks at hand. They not only take into account the individual needs of each person but also consider the overall objectives of the team as well as any external factors that may be influencing them.
How to develop good People Management Skills
The above skills encompass the most important ones to have as a successful people manager. Now let’s look at how to start developing some of those skills.
Professional development is an important tool for any manager to hone their skills and gain the tools to lead a team effectively. Investing in professional development opportunities allows a manager to gain the skills necessary to manage people more effectively, improving their overall performance and engagement in the workplace.
Built into professional development opportunities are best practices for leading teams and understanding what motivates individuals. From leadership training courses to management seminars, there is a range of resources available that can give managers insight into how they can get better results from their team. These resources can provide managers with strategies on how to communicate more effectively, delegate tasks appropriately, manage conflict, and build trust within the organization. By investing in these programs, managers will be able to develop strong people management skills that will help them be successful in their roles.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses
Having a good understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses is an important part of becoming an effective people manager. Knowing yourself will help you identify how to best use your skills and abilities, while also helping you figure out what areas need development. Taking the time to develop self-awareness skills such as understanding your emotional quotient can provide a foundation for successful people management.
Self-awareness helps people managers understand their emotions, triggers, and responses, which in turn enables them to better manage their employees. A good manager knows when they need to take a step back or dive in – having sufficient self-awareness allows them to make these decisions with both clarity and confidence. Emotional quotient (EQ) is the measure of one’s ability to recognize emotions in others and respond accordingly – this is particularly important for any kind of leadership role as it helps foster trust between managerial staff and subordinates. There are many different tests available online, prospective people managers should consider taking a test and working with a coach, mentor or experienced people manager to help them interpret the results.
Attend a First Line Manager programme
There are many excellent first line manager programmes available offered by both traditional colleges and increasingly online. Choosing the right programme is very important. Key considerations include external quality assurance including the provision of university credits and professional recognition. While online programmes help with financial and geographical barriers, ongoing student support is an important consideration. If you are new to people management it is important to choose a programme that offers a work placement. Where this is not provided students should seek out programmes where they must compile a portfolio that they can showcase to future employers as part of their assessment. We would always recommend taking a programme that is accredited by a university or reputable awarding body. This provides not just the reassurance that the programme is externally quality assured but also that you have a formal educational qualification to add to your CV or LinkedIn profile