5 Key Steps to Becoming a Great People Manager

— September 14, 2019

The best managers have the ability to harness the groupthink of their teams to enable the very best decisions to be made. Great decision making leads to success. They are polite and respectful yet firm. They are able to lead from the front and their team will follow because they know they are all on the right path.

1. The Ability To Support And Protect The Team.

An integral foundation of a well-running team is that they should feel they are operating in a safe space. This means, in your team meetings they can speak openly and honestly. If your team is a pressured environment where they are engaging with customers or other teams or functions in the broader organization there will be times when they come under attack or face criticism.

These are the important times where you need to protect the team.

2. Promote A Success Mentality

The simple fact is, the reason there is a team is because the amount of work-related to a specific function requires more than one person and more than one type of skill. So for that process to function, or the goal of the team to be achieved, all the team members need to work together. The level of success of the team is directly related to how well the team works TOGETHER.

Believe it or not, you will never be a successful manager if you cannot deliver results. You cannot deliver results if your team cannot deliver results.

As the three musketeers once said “its all for one and one for all”.

3. Understand The Business Objectives

If you haven’t already learned, understanding the goals of the business are critical to being a successful manager. The business might be in fast-growth mode and you need to ramp up as many salespeople as possible.

The business might be launching a new product and you need to attend industry exhibitions. The company might be facing severe competition and you might need to be finding efficiencies and productivity improvements.

You might be battling unions or going on hiring drives as the manager you take on the challenges and drive forward no matter what, with integrity and ethical respect.

4. Know Your Numbers

If you do not know your numbers you could be in trouble. Here we are talking about the financial aspects of your function such as:

  • How many people do you have?
  • What is your salary bill?
  • What are your sales targets?
  • What is your customer support turn around time?
  • What is your customer satisfaction rating?
  • What percentage of your projects are completed?
  • How are you doing against your balanced scorecard?

A myriad of questions that you need to be able to answer.

5. Be Polite, Respectful & Don’t Get Too Close

It can be tempting when you land your first team leader role to let the power go to your head and start to show dominance or authority over your new team members or “show them who is boss”.

To outwardly try to demean or belittle people in a professional environment is deeply disrespectful. Not only that, but other people outside of your team will begin to detest you. No one likes a bully and everyone dislikes someone who preys on the week.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you do not want to get to close. A manager to tries to be the best friend of every member of the team is simply trying too hard and will, as a result, lose the respect of the team.

Keep your team relationships professional at all times

How Has Your Best Manager Impacted Your Work?

The best manager I ever had supported me no matter what. This enabled me to thrive under pressure because I knew I was operating in a safe and positive space and where mistakes were allowed.

Even more important, we were always part of the same team. I would always have his back and he mine.

A version of this article originally appeared here.

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Author: Barry David Moore

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