People Management

One of the key topics of discussion and challenges faced in Management, Armed forces, Institutions, NGO’s and any form of Organization is People Management. The key reason being that eventually it’s people who manage tasks, responsibilities, systems, processes, machinery as well as other people. Even to manage the most advance machinery, you need a person operating and servicing it. And again, a manager in turn to manage this person!

Hence for most managers, 70 percent of their time usually gets spent into managing people, directly or indirectly. And thus people management is one of the key skills they need to learn, practice and imbibe.


My top People Management Skills

Let’s look at some of the biggest challenges faced by Managers and how they can overcome these successfully by having their managerial skills in place:


  • Task vs Relationship

Some managers focus on the task at hand over their relationship with their people. Their focus is purely on goals, objectives and outcomes. While others tend to focus all their energy on their team members’ welfare, their emotional needs, family life and personal needs. Their way of getting work done is by looking into the welfare of their people. Guess what, neither works well in the long run!

If tasks are given priority all the time, human needs suffer. And eventually people feel their managers are ruthless dictators! If relationship is given priority, team members may not focus well on the task and may have a casual attitude towards outcomes.

The best way, is therefore, to maintain a balance between task and relationship, with equal focus on both. This helps keeping people motivated and inspired as well as gets the objectives and goals met.


  • Motivating the Team

A manager cannot achieve results unless he is able to know what motivates his team members. Motivation for each member is different and unique. It can be money, growth, learning, appreciation, teamwork, support, job security, healthy work-relationships, well defined goals and even a bit of constructive criticism!

Hence a manger needs to spend some time with each team member, find out their aspirations and work towards helping them achieve them. After all, organizational goals will never be achieved if they don’t lead to personal goals and aspirations being achieved in some way or the other.


  • Growth & Learning

Most individuals want to grow and learn. However interesting the existing role and job is, after a while it can get monotonous and demotivating. In fact, even the steadiest and the slowest of individuals want to grow, although at their own pace!

Growth can be in terms of scale and scope both, horizontal and vertical. This includes multi-skilling, upskilling, cross skilling, deep skilling, etc. All these contribute in making our human resources more and more capable.

Managers can be instrumental in the growth stories of their team members by using specific managerial skills. Which one’s? Mentoring, Feedback, Training, Coaching, etc. A good manager identifies these needs in each team member and deploys the skills required accordingly.


  • Genuine Interest and Care

Humans are ‘human.’ Which is why we lean towards genuine camaraderie, support, care and fulfilling our emotional needs.

Team members know it when their manager really cares for them and has genuine interest in their well-being versus showcasing artificial care and interest.

You can care for an individual when you consider them as human and an important part of your team. It does not mean you ask personal questions or peep into their personal lives. It means that you fight for them, put in every effort to help them grow and support them, even for the personal challenges that they face.


  • Openness and Vulnerability

Good managers showcase these two abilities very strongly and expect that the same is practiced within and by their team. They operate from the premise that we are all humans and have flaws. We can therefore go wrong and make mistakes.

Vulnerability is a sign of maturity and strength. And not weakness, as many people may think it to be. Teams where mistakes are accepted and corrected have much higher accountability and ownership. Whereas teams where mistakes are not tolerated are lower on the scale, as it creates an atmosphere of fear, hiding and blame.


  • Interdependency

While there are many skills and abilities a manager can practice while managing people, this is one I would definitely like to talk about.

Interdependency helps in enhancing team strength and fosters teamwork. It means that while we can function independently, we also understand the meaning of a team and how through collective efforts team members support each other. After all, no team where members are not interdependent on each other and work happens in silos can function well and succeed. Goals can only be met when you foster teamwork.

Interdependency also means that each member has their back covered by the other.


  • Feedback

Again, a very strong attribute of a capable people manager. It’s about timely feedback whether its good or constructive. And not just one way. Its a two way feedback process where you as a manager are also open to solicit and receiving feedback.

One of the most important elements of good feedback is giving it non judgementally. Which means you don’t colour it with your perceptions and assumptions. Which, by the way, takes a lot of practice to do so!

Receiving and being open to feedback from your team members is also equally important yet difficult. Ego plays a huge role in not be able to accept feedback. So, you may want to give yourself more opportunities to get to know how to deal with it!

Which other managerial skills are important? Which people management skills top the charts for you?

"Managerial Skills: People Management at its best" - By The Yellow Spot - - No Comments