The Secret to People Management: How to Lead, Motivate and Empower your Team
People management is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a leader. It involves not only overseeing the work of your team, but also inspiring them, developing them, and creating a culture of trust and collaboration.
But how do you become a successful people manager? What skills and strategies do you need to master? And what are the common pitfalls to avoid?
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best practices and tips for effective people management, based on the experience and insights of successful leaders from various industries and backgrounds. We will also share some of the tools and resources that can help you improve your people management skills and become a better leader.
What is people management?
People management is the process of leading, motivating, and empowering your team members to achieve their goals and perform at their best. It involves:
- Setting clear expectations and objectives for your team
- Providing regular feedback and coaching
- Recognizing and rewarding achievements
- Resolving conflicts and addressing issues
- Fostering a positive and supportive team culture
- Encouraging collaboration and communication
- Developing your team’s skills and potential
- Delegating tasks and responsibilities
- Managing performance and accountability
Why is people management important?
People management is important because it directly affects the productivity, quality, and satisfaction of your team. According to a Gallup study, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. This means that the way you manage your team can have a significant impact on their motivation, commitment, and loyalty.
Moreover, people management is essential for achieving your organizational goals and vision. As a leader, you are responsible for aligning your team’s efforts with the strategic direction and priorities of your organization. You also need to ensure that your team has the resources, support, and guidance they need to succeed.
Additionally, people management is crucial for your own personal growth and development. As a leader, you have the opportunity to learn from your team members, expand your network, and enhance your skills. You also have the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others, which can be very rewarding and fulfilling.
How to improve your people management skills
People management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different situations may require different styles and techniques of managing your team. However, there are some general principles and best practices that can help you improve your people management skills and become a more effective leader. Here are some of them:
Know yourself and your team
The first step to becoming a better people manager is to understand yourself and your team. You need to be aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and values, as well as those of your team members. You also need to understand the dynamics and diversity of your team, such as their personalities, backgrounds, roles, skills, motivations, and goals.
By knowing yourself and your team, you can:
- Adapt your leadership style to suit different situations and individuals
- Communicate more effectively with different types of people
- Build rapport and trust with your team members
- Leverage the strengths and talents of your team
- Address the needs and challenges of your team
One way to get to know yourself and your team better is to use personality assessments or psychometric tests, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DiSC, or StrengthsFinder. These tools can help you identify your own personality traits and preferences, as well as those of your team members. They can also help you discover how you can work better together as a team.
Another way to get to know yourself and your team better is to solicit feedback from others. You can ask for feedback from your peers, superiors, subordinates, customers, or other stakeholders. You can also use tools such as 360-degree feedback or employee engagement surveys to gather feedback from multiple sources. Feedback can help you gain insights into your own performance, behavior, and impact, as well as those of your team members. It can also help you identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth.
Communicate clearly and frequently
Communication is key to effective people management. You need to communicate clearly and frequently with your team members to ensure that they understand what is expected of them, what is happening in the organization, and how they are doing. You also need to communicate openly and honestly with your team members to build trust, transparency,
Some of the ways to communicate effectively with your team are:
- Set clear goals and expectations for your team
- Share relevant information and updates with your team
- Provide constructive feedback and recognition to your team
- Listen actively and empathetically to your team
- Encourage questions and feedback from your team
- Use multiple channels and formats of communication (e.g., email, phone call, video conference)
- Tailor your communication style to suit different audiences and situations
Empower and delegate
Empowering and delegating are essential skills for people management. You need to empower and delegate to your team members to enable them to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and solve problems. You also need to empower and delegate to your team members to free up your time and energy for more strategic and high-level tasks.
Some of the ways to empower and delegate effectively to your team are:
- Identify the tasks and responsibilities that can be delegated
- Choose the right person for the task based on their skills, experience, and interest
- Explain the purpose, scope, and expectations of the task
- Provide the necessary resources, support, and guidance for the task
- Monitor the progress and results of the task
- Give feedback and recognition for the task
Develop and coach
Developing and coaching are vital skills for people management. You need to develop and coach your team members to help them grow their skills, knowledge, and potential. You also need to develop and coach your team members to help them achieve their goals, overcome their challenges, and perform at their best.
Some of the ways to develop and coach your team members are:
- Identify the learning needs and goals of your team members
- Provide learning opportunities and resources for your team members (e.g., training, mentoring, coaching, shadowing)
- Create a supportive and feedback-rich learning environment for your team members
- Encourage your team members to learn from their mistakes and failures
- Celebrate your team members’ learning achievements and successes
Motivate and inspire
Motivating and inspiring are crucial skills for people management. You need to motivate and inspire your team members to keep them engaged, committed, and passionate about their work. You also need to motivate and inspire your team members to help them overcome obstacles, cope with change, and pursue excellence.
Some of the ways to motivate and inspire your team members are:
- Align your team’s vision and values with those of the organization
- Communicate the purpose and impact of your team’s work
- Recognize and reward your team’s efforts and accomplishments
- Challenge and stretch your team’s abilities and potential
- Share stories and examples of success and inspiration
- Express appreciation and gratitude for your team’s contributions
People management is a complex and multifaceted skill that requires constant learning and improvement. However, by following some of the best practices and tips outlined in this blog post, you can enhance your people management skills and become a more effective leader.
If you want to learn more about people management, you can check out some of these resources:
- The One Minute Manager – A classic book on how to manage people effectively using simple yet powerful techniques by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.
- How To Win Friends And Influence People – A timeless book on how to communicate, persuade, and influence people positively by Dale Carnegie.
- The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – A popular book on how to achieve personal and professional success by developing habits of effectiveness by Stephen Covey.