People management is a natural responsibility that comes with career growth for many – unless one chooses to go with the technical/specialist path. For some, people management is a natural instinct. It just flows. For others, it needs learning, awareness and conscious effort. There are many managers who put in the required intent and effort and excelled in people management.
Irrespective the track one takes to become a people manager – let it be the natural way or through training, it is important to be conscious of certain mistakes that might roll in their way of managing people. There could be many – but I just chose to highlight most often found mistakes.
1. Abdication in the name of delegation – One certainly learns the importance and need to delegate; but some manages might miss out to spot the thin line between delegation and abdication – that is, to completely become hands-off after assigning the task to a team member. One needs to truly understand the spirit and process of delegation to avoid the possible mistake and reap full benefit.
2. Forming opinions too quickly – Some managers have the tendency to form strong impressions based on one or two incidents and stereotype people. Such approach creates a close-ended relationship and operates within the frame. It creepts into the managerial decision making and impacts the nature of communication. It requires effort to postpone the judgement and exercise unbiased approach, giving a chance for the other person.
3. Expecting engagement but not extending engagement – I have seen managers who feel alienated and disengaged when their managers or organizational leaders do not involve them. However, they may not consious of the fact that even they may not be reaching out or engaging with their teams. Engagement requires communication with awareness and more importantly genuineness.
4. Same approach with all – Life will be certainly easy if one managerial approach appeals to all the team members. However, in reality, each team member is different and needs a personalised way of dealing. Prerequisite of this is to understand each team member and accordingly choose a suitable approach.
5. Telling, than listening – several managers have a lot to communicate and set expectations. Certainly true! However, in the process of telling, managers should not miss out ‘listening’ which is a powerful tool to respect, engage, develop and inspire the team members.
To conclude, it is common to miss out on some of these subtlities; but by being aware of the likely chance of missing out, one can certainly avoid these mistakes and retain the people management effectiveness!
Note: If you wish to know more about our experiences of how we helped many managers develop their people management skills, and about our Certified People Manager (CPM) program, please do write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9000177207.