Take a moment to think about the best manager you have ever worked for.
What attributes did he or she have? The chances are that they led by example with calm authority and that they, more often than not, made the right decisions at the right time.
But the chances are that they were also great at managing people too, both individually and as a collective. The best managers are those that make their staff feel valued, respected, and rewarded – conversely, bad managers are those that make their employees feel worthless!
People management skills are essential for those with ambitions of being a respected leader, and the truth is that you don’t even need to be an extrovert or a ‘people person’ to thrive in this way.
Indeed, many of the basic tenets of people management skills can be taught on an MBA online program. Comprehensive courses like a Master of Business Administration will touch on many of the building blocks for would-be managers or those looking to up their game – including how to get the very best from your employees.
In the meantime, let’s think about the people management skills that any effective manager needs to possess.
People Management Skills Necessary For Management Role
Patience And Empathy
Any workplace, no matter how well balanced and organized, will occasionally experience episodes that cause stress, panic, and maybe even anger.
At this point, your ability to be patient with people – no matter what their conflict and turmoil might be – will be essential, as will lending an empathetic ear if they have an issue they need to discuss privately.
Treating staff as human beings – it’s a trait that some managers occasionally forget.
Communication – Speaking And Listening
Conversations require two parts – speaking and listening.
Often, that can get lost – particularly in times of conflict – so if you want to command the respect of your staff you have to ensure that you deploy both sides of the art of conversation.
Even if they don’t get their way in a dispute about pay, conditions, or anything else for that matter, the member of your team will at least feel some positivity from the experience if they believe their concerns have been listened to and taken on board.
Leadership And Decision Making
It’s fair to say that, to some extent, a successful manager will be determined by the quality of their decisions.
In tough times, strong management particularly comes to the fore – your staff, who may be fearful for their future if cuts are being made, will want clear leadership from you.
You can look to the worlds of politics and sport, where the effects of weak management can be seen, to see why leading from the front is crucial – even if inside you’ve got the jitters at the prospect!
Approachable And Supportive
If discontent and frustration are allowed to fester, it can make for a very unproductive working environment.
That’s a scenario that can unfold when staff doesn’t feel that their manager is approachable – they may internalize their anger, and that can only make the matter considerably worse.
But if you present yourself as approachable and supporting – even when somebody might be questioning you – then your team will feel more comfortable in broaching tricky subjects with you. That way, you can solve problems before they get out of hand.
Firm But Fair
Some people are ‘nice’ managers – they are approachable, supportive, and good listeners. But they cannot maintain discipline, and that too can be disastrous for the workplace.
The reality is that you need the balance of being that ‘people person’ we discussed, but also being authoritative and a disciplinarian when the circumstances dictate as such.
Firm but fair. Those are decent watchwords to build your management career around.