Management Success Tip – People Orientation
It seems almost too simple to suggest the importance of a “people oriented approach” to managing a team of people. Anyone who thinks about the term, “people oriented” would suggest they identify with the concept. Yet, given the obvious, why is this orientation significantly over-looked, at least in it’s importance to successful management?
Part of the problem may like in the personality traits and characteristics of managers that have an inclination toward the task and less on the people who make the task happen. They are wired to pursue the objective or assignment and just assume their people will get things done because the manager’s position power dictates that it happen. The team-culture here may be characterized by moderate to low morale, mediocre execution and turnover. The point here is not a right or wrong issue, it is a productivity issue. Even the task driven manager can develop skills around better people-orientation and find productivity improvements.
Manager Stress & Deadlines
Another issue may be the constancy of pressure, stress and deadlines on the manager. When someone is under continuing pressure to deliver results and deliver on a short-time-line, even a people centric manager can be pressed into the singularity of task management. Again, this is not right or wrong (except the high stress level is not good). it is about not losing sight of the people side of the equation. This is not easy in the heat of the project battle, but even modest attention to the people side during the intensity of the project execution will pay dividends in productivity.
If we think about this in the light of a basic premise I have espoused, mainly that a mangers job is to get things done through people, then we can’t lose sight of the “people.” Developing relationships, nurturing the trust, focusing on consistent development of your team and providing earned recognition are all part of the ongoing role of people-orientation. top mangers practice this on a consistent basis. This is not a skill that a manager can turn on & off. It is a constant. No matter whether it comes naturally or as a learned skill, it must be applied all the time. From a skill development and implementation point of view, there are three basic things all manager and executives can do to enhance their people-oriented leadership.
- Make it a point on a regular basis to touch bases with each member of the team to “triangulate” where they are in their careers and their lives. Have coffee, go to lunch, touch base after work or give them a call each week. It simply takes a conscious effort not a lot of time. The more the manager knows about the “state-of-the employee’s life” the more effective their leadership and the stronger their management and effective delegation of work.
- Let out a basic development plan for each employee. Work together to identify their training and development needs and put it down on paper. Once you set it up, mark your calender for periodic reviews and updates. The very act of working together to lay out a plan for the employees growth and staying with it creates a bond and a higher level of trust. Give feedback, give it regularly and give it sincerely.
- The manager must make assessments of how the employee is performing. When the employee performs on a sub-par basis, don’t procrastinate on providing feedback. Give them an honest assessment and coach them up. When they advance, or do something well, give them positive feedback, It their accomplishment is particularly noteworthy, give them public recognition.
It’s About Effective Delegation
In the end, providing people oriented leadership is the engine behind being an effective delegator of work and assignments through being very connected to your team. People will gravitate and support a manager who has this orientation. They will go the extra mile for the manager. They will accept constructive criticism and strive to improve because their is a trust relationship. The amount of time, effort and energy the manager invests in their people is rewarded many times over in both professional satisfaction and a reputation as a people-oriented leader who gets things done. Who would you rather work for?
Learn More: Plan-Delegate-Manage is an organization that strives to bring real world experience, proven skills and valuable management delegation tools to managers and Executives around the world. Learn more from our e-books, “Management By Delegation” and “Delegating Through the Lens of the Employee” that bring real world experience and proven skills and tools to managers world wide.
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