Managing People

Managing people is a skill. It can take time and energy to develop strong skills in people management. Sometimes, in fact quite often, it does not come easy.

A manager is responsible for getting results through their people.

  • As a manager you need your people more than they need you!
  • You only succeed when they succeed!

Therefore, you need motivated and engaged staff. You must create an environment that will create motivated and engaged staff. Your skills in managing people will determine how successful you are.

Be careful of blaming your team of people:

  • They are not.......
  • They have no interest
  • They are difficult/awkward....

 If you hear yourself saying this stop and start asking yourself:

  • What could be causing them to behave like this?
  • What I am doing or not doing that is causing those behaviours?
  • What could the reasons be that they not showing any interest?


People are different: We all have different needs, personalities, drivers, values, beliefs, interests, motivations, feelings and experiences.  We see things and interpret things differently. The list could go on. These differences create challenges that managers face when managing people on a daily basis.  These differences create challenges when we interact with and work with people.

To manage people effectively:

  1. Spend time with each person on your team to understand and know them. Ask them these questions:
  • What interests you about your job?
  • What do you like and dislike about it and the reasons?
  • What would you like more of? (you are not promising that you will give them more of this particular aspect, however, if tasks/projects/activities do come up that you can delegate then having this information will help you. 
  • What do you see as you key strengths and the reasons?
  • How do you like to be managed/what do you need from me.

Your communication skills here are crucial. It is very easy for communication to breakdown due to common communication barriers. Watch out for these. Communicating is not telling. Practice and develop your communication skills. Paramount to this is active listening. 

     3. Create opportunities for each team member to develop in the role and/or for future roles.

     4. Use each person to the maximum, working to their skills and natural strengths.   To do this:

  • Know and understand the natural strengths, skills and interest of each person so that you are matching them to the right activities.
  • Respect their strengths recognising that they may well be stronger than you in some areas. This is a benefit.
  • Treat each person with dignity and respect.
  • Practice assertive communication. Focus on behaviours and not personalities.
  •  Be constructive when giving feedback.

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