People Management is Easy, Right? Wrong...
We’re all people. We all know how we’d like to be treated. Given this, you’d think that working with people and interacting with people as a manager would come naturally enough.
If you’re finding this element of management a challenge, you are not alone.
People management is often classed as a “soft skill” in business. In this case, "soft skill" is a misleading term. We hear regularly that people find this one of the trickiest areas of their management, supervisory, or team lead role.
This is probably why the QQI Certified - Managing People Course is one of our most popular!
Are you getting it right?
This can be a tricky question to answer straight away. Instead of immediately sending a questionnaire around your workplace asking for ratings on your people management, perhaps the best place to start is to ask yourself if you find it easy to work with others.
How can I accurately answer the question: “Do you find it easy to work with others?”
Do you find that many of your daily challenges involve dealing with others?
Everyone faces challenges in their working life, but there is a difference between difficulties arising from a situation and difficulties arising from your interaction with other team members.
For example, let’s imagine you are managing or leading a team that is working on a way to make handling customer queries more efficient.
If the project obstacles are mostly related to resources and information available to you and your team, or bridging a gap in the current process, then your challenges are situational.
If however, the project obstacles involve miscommunication, conflict, low morale, or low engagement within your team, or between you and your team, the challenges are people management orientated.
Take a moment to apply this kind of thinking to your team and environment. Are you facing any of the following challenges?
Low team morale:An un-enthusiastic approach to new projects, team dicussions, or problem-solving.
Lack of communication:Team members don’t let you know what they’re up to, or if they have encountered a roadblock to productivity.
Miscommunication:Getting garbled, insufficient, or simply wrong information about progress or a situation can cause confusion.
Low productivity:You'll notice this when things just aren’t getting done.
Conflict:This could be either within the team, or involving you.
If any of the above sounds familiar, you’ll find the following tips and strategies will help improve your working day. They may even transform how you and your team work together!
Step 1: Start with Yourself
When you’re facing interpersonal challenges in any workplace, it can be so tempting to play the blame game - “he’s causing the conflict”, “she doesn’t communicate”, “they aren’t delivering on tasks”, and so on. If you’re recognising your own voice in those statements, don’t worry. We all do it!
Truly, the most effective catalyst for change is evaluating and modifying our own behaviour.
As the famous 13th century scholar, Rumi states “yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself”.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Behaviour
Begin by noticing how you interact within daily situations. Keep reflecting on your own words and actions as we go through these steps, and as you go about your day.
You may be surprised at what you notice. Perhaps you’re already doing a lot of things really well. Maybe you can identify and resolve some gaps immediately.
You might even gain some ideas and insight into how to improve the team overall when you look at how you respond in situations, and how certain behaviours affect you.
Step 3: Communication is Key
After awareness and consideration, communication is perhaps the most important element in successful people management.
This includes clarity in how you communicate, tactfulness and use of correct language, ability to ask the right question, and - often disregarded - active listening skills.
Step 4: Avoid Becoming a “Conflict Ostrich”
When it comes to conflict within your team, or between you and members of your team, sticking your head in the sand will only make it worse.
Addressing conflict is never anyone’s favourite task, but avoiding it just amplifies the problem and spreads the damage.
Work on developing some conflict resolution skills, and have a strategy ready for handling conflict early and efficiently.
Step 5: Be a Cheerleader!
You may have heard about the “carrot and stick” motivation theory, where the “carrot” represents reward, and the “stick” represents punishment.
Honestly, there are very few people who work well with the “stick” part of this theory. People respond best to encouragement and acknowledgement.
This is not to say we should give false praise. It’s about building up people’s confidence in their own ability by communicating your faith in their capability. It’s also about giving the “carrot”, the praise and recognition when they contribute valuable work.
Step 6: Develop and Solidify your Skills as a People Manager
As with most areas of management, the best way to develop your confidence and solid skills is by attending a training course that addresses what you want to achieve.
If people management is an area you’d like to work on, and you’ve found the steps above helpful, we recommend diving a little deeper with our QQI Certified - Managing People Course.
Over 3 days, it focuses on ways you can lead and manage others with ease. Focus areas include communication skills, team building exercises, handling conflict and low morale, and performance management.
If you're ready to get started on developing your people management skills through training, here are 4 easy ways you can take action.
- Click below to read the full course details.
- Click at the top of this page to reserve your place on an upcoming date.
- Use our "Ask A Question" button below to ask us anything about this course.
- Contact our training consultants on Freephone 1800 910 810 or 01 861 0700 to chat more about this course.