It doesn’t come easy, managing people takes skill and years of experience. What they fail to teach you at University is that in most jobs you will be doing some sort of managing someone, so it wouldn’t go astray to give us the basics.
Over the years I have been to every course under the sun, read every book, faced every experience and had HRBS on speed dial. I studied journalism, ended up owning a PR agency and somehow I am expected to be a full time psychologists, HR expert and Queen of Diplomacy. The biggest mistake I have made over the years is thinking everyone is motivated by the same things as I and wants to be managed the same way. The biggest challenge to any manager is that each member of your team is different and wants different things from you. I not only manage this in my team, but each of our clients also…scrap that Queen of Diplomacy rubbish, many managers are expected to be Kings or Queens of Everything!
So you get it, managing people isn’t easy and everyone thinks they can do it and yet very few can successfully. Funnily enough, one thing I do know about is communication and managing people successfully comes down to the right and wrong communication!
I see it every year, a super star PR Executive is recruited to an Account Manager and suddenly they are no longer part of the team, but driving that team on that account and without training and mentoring they fail, because being good at your job doesn’t make you good at managing people. Invest in professional development for your managers and even send to positive communications training.
From now on your success no longer depends on just your ability, but if your team are performing and so while I don’t confess to being an expert, or have all the answers – I do have a bit of experience in managing teams and I had a few thoughts I wanted to share…
1. Never ask anyone to do a job you wouldn’t do, or haven’t done.
2. Get over being nervous about giving feedback. Feedback isn’t negative, if delivered in a positive nature. Ie, “ this is where you excelled, this is where I would like to see more research done,”.
3. Ask them to evaluate their performance, so you can gain insight into where they think they are at.
4. When delegating, don’t just divide workloads, but give people meaningful tasks that showcase their talents, strengths and interests and give them the opportunity to grow.
5. Always give verbal instructions and follow up in writing, so deadlines are understood.
6. Acknowledge effort, not just results and never take credit for something your team has done.
7. Be friendly, not friends. Being best buddies with your team is unprofessional and leads to you not being able to give constructive feedback.
8. The buck stops with you, if a job isn’t complete to the right standard, it is actually your fault from now on so step up and fix it, then show your team what you expect next time.
9. Lead by example, no one wants to work for someone who doesn’t pull their weight and doesn’t deliver.
10. Your tone and word choice is critical, there is a distinct difference between saying “ how can we improve this situation together” and “ I have a problem with you and your performance.”
Good luck with managing your team – Fleur