Tag Archive: manager

Managing People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should Know

Managing People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should KnowManaging People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should Know

Managing People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should Know. Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” Albert Schweitzer

1.You set the standard: Work as hard, or harder, than your employees. Be a role model when managing people. Strive to know more than your best employee (or best sales rep) about your product line, industry, and their jobs. This doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Still, educate yourself. I frequently hear in my seminars, “My boss has no idea what I really do in my job. The challenges, the pressures I face, and the time constraints.”

2. Be an effective communicator: Communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly at least weekly. In study after study, employees and business leaders overwhelmingly want a leader who is “straightforward.” I hear this over and over in my leadership seminars and workshops worldwide. Good interpersonal skills are crucial in managing people.

3. Be authentic, be real: The #1 trait people want to see, to willingly follow their leader is honesty. How can you expect them to look up to you if they don’t trust you? Leadership is all about honesty and integrity.

4. The top 5 things: Ask your people point blank, “What are the top 5 things I can do to help you succeed?” For example, if they are salespeople, what can you do to motivate them to be out in the field instead of in the office?

5. MBWA: Management by walking around. Be accessible to them. Get in the trenches with your team. Nothing will gain respect for you more than that. This is another trait I consistently hear from my participants that they want to see in their leaders, and from their management team.

6. Be willing to fight for them: But before that, set the standard so they know how far they can push something before they ask for it. And when is enough…enough.

7. Get the facts first, listen: Never question their integrity without first gathering all the data. Have an open mind. Let them tell their side of the story. Just because you acknowledge what they say doesn’t mean you have to agree.

This leadership article on managing people represents the opinions of a large cross section of employees, most of whom are managers themselves. In presenting approximately 100 leadership programs a year worldwide for the past ten years, these are the top 7 “common-sense” traits I hear employees most want from their managers. I refer to them as common-sense as it seems most leaders would know how important these people skills are to possess. Yet, many in management have risen in the ranks due only to their “hard skills” or technical skills. Many managers are promoted to management positions without any formal training in the area of communication and managing people. As a result, they can be too overbearing, or just the opposite, non-confrontational. Managing People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should Know

If nothing else, develop your communication and conflict-resolution skills. It’ll save you money in the long run. As a manager, it’s imperative to know how to manage people. The courts are filled with hotheads, people who said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or worse, said nothing at all, and enabled the behavior of a difficult employee until it reached a crisis point.

“Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” G.D. Boardman Managing People: 7 Common-Sense Tips You Should Know

10 Ways Small Businesses Can Prepare for 2012

As we approach the end of 2011, it is a good idea for small business owners to take stock of what you’ve accomplished and look forward to some fresh initiatives in the New Year. The following are some ideas to make a successful transition to 2012:

1. Expand the ways that you communicate with customers. Dive into mobile marketing, location-based promotions, blogging and a dynamic social media presence.

2. Stop trying to force your product onto a customer if it is not a good fit. Show your customers you are able to come up with solutions that add value to their business problems.

3. Brainstorm with employees on how everyone can work smarter. Take stock of how much daily time is spent on e-mail; whether you are holding too many unproductive meetings and how to take internal communications to a level that spurs employees to take action.

4. Spend some time on self-reflection and figure out what kind of a boss you are. Do you over-direct, micromanage, enable helplessness, inspire or teach? It may not be easy, but making sure you are a good match for your own business goals is an often-overlooked issue for many managers.

5. Invest in additional training and career-growth activities for your employees. For example, subsidize memberships in industry organizations; bring in a leadership coach; offer reimbursement for career-enhancing certifications; etc.

6. Take real action related to a social cause. Sponsor a fundraiser, write an Op-Ed or go on an overseas mission. You’ll find it not only makes you feel better, but it is highly appealing to the best and brightest young people you may want to recruit to work for you.

7. Walk the floor more. Even with an open-door policy, managers who stay in their offices create a very different work atmosphere than those who get out and spend time among the staff. Take the time to discover something about the personal interests or personalities of the people who work for you. You just might discover some untapped gems.

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8. Redefine your strategic goals after meeting with employees, company advisors and partners to get their input. New goals could include expanding into a new market, merging with a competitor or rebranding your company.

9. Conduct a survey of employees to gauge their level of satisfaction with opportunities for training and advancement, compensation/ benefits and work/life balance.

10. Don’t forget to have some fun: Celebrate the holidays with your staff, even if it’s at the office. If possible, close down from Christmas to New Year’s. Encourage all employees to make end-of-year vacation plans – and remember that “all employees” includes you!