Even for seasoned managers, managing people can be challenging. However, it can also be a highly rewarding and deeply fulfilling opportunity. So if you’re early into you’re people management role, then here are a few key things to be aware of that will help ease you into the role.
MANAGEMENT IS NOT JUST AN EXTENSION OF YOUR OLD JOB
Becoming a manager isn’t about doing your old job with the people stuff added on. Managing a team takes a great deal of time and your team need to become your first priority. Whilst initially you may feel comfortable completing the tasks or getting on with the work, spending time with your team to understand them and support them, should be top of your list.
PUT THE RELATIONSHIP BEFORE THE TASK
Within the workplace many people often become task focused, deadlines looming, pressure to complete. However, the key for any lasting relationship is to focus on the relationship itself. Make time to check in with how people are feeling, levels of motivation, difficulties or challenges, both in and out of the workplace. Spending just a couple of minutes talking to your team members as humans and not just as workers will not only help you to understand them better but also build a much stronger relationship.
YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING
Engagement has become a very popular word within organisations and managers are often taught to find ways to engage their team. However, it’s important to remember that you cannot make someone else feel engaged or motivated, as the way they choose to feel is ultimately their choice. Focus instead on what you can do to create a positive working environment that helps foster engagement. Spend time understanding your teams’ personal drivers and then look at what you can do to help ignite their intrinsic motivations.
SEEK TO UNDERSTAND YOURSELF TO BETTER UNDERSTAND OTHERS
Remember not everyone likes to be managed in the same way so it’s important to recognise your own preferences as well as those of your team. When you understand more of who you are, the type of management or communication style you may naturally prefer to use, then this will go a long way in helping you to understand others. Developing deep self-awareness is critical, as it is only when you are conscious of the way in which you communicate or act that you have the knowledge and power to adapt your style in order to build effective relationships.
DELEGATE TO THEIR STRENGTHS, NOT YOUR WEAKNESSES
Without realising, many managers actually delegate task or assign responsibilities for the things that they don’t want to do or are not great at. However this doesn’t always benefit their team! Look at the individual strengths or potential development areas of your team and work out which tasks would be best suited for them. This way the team will feel valued and be more motivated to complete the work, allowing you to then pick up anything else that is left over.