Managing People: Secrets to Leading for New Managers [NOOK Book]


In today's hypercompetitive business climate, managers who help employees achieve their individual potential stand to get—and stay—ahead. Managing People, a comprehensive and essential resource for any manager on the run, shows you how.

Learn to:

  • Delegate the right work ...
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Managing People: Secrets to Leading for New Managers

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In today's hypercompetitive business climate, managers who help employees achieve their individual potential stand to get—and stay—ahead. Managing People, a comprehensive and essential resource for any manager on the run, shows you how.

Learn to:

  • Delegate the right work to the right employee
  • Motivate people to outperform the competition
  • Establish and empower effective teams
  • Manage multiple projects and stay on track
  • Inspire trust and lead in times of change

The Collins Best Practices guides offer new and seasoned managers the essential information they need to achieve more, both personally and professionally. Designed to provide tried-and-true advice from the world's most influential business minds, they feature practical strategies and tips to help you get ahead.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061738944
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Collins Best Practices Series
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 375,451
  • File size: 763 KB

Read an Excerpt

Best Practices: Managing People
Secrets to Leading for New Managers

Chapter One

Managing People 101

Managing people isn't like managing things or even like managing projects. Each person has unique capabilities and talents, strengths and weaknesses—and feelings. Helping each person achieve his or her individual potential may require different motivational strategies and tactics.

What It Takes to Be a Good Manager

Before you can effectively manage other people, you need to know about yourself and your management abilities. The Self-Assessment Quiz on pages 2–3 will help you understand what skills you bring to the game.

Managing people used to mean dominating them. The boss's word was absolute and not to be questioned. But today's workplace is very different. As companies continue to increase productivity and reduce costs, operations tend to be consolidated: a smaller number of people do a greater amount of work with fewer managers.

To succeed in this climate, businesses depend on knowledge-sharing, effective communication, and teamwork. These are difficult to achieve without the three C's described on pages 6–7.

Collaboration. A good manager creates many opportunities for people to collaborate in setting goals, determining how work will get accomplished, and establishing criteria to measure a project's success rate.

Cooperation. Fostering cooperation within a work group and setting a good example as a manager encourages employees to focus on the needs of the group rather than only on their own needs.

Consensus. Establishing consensus among your workers creates acommon sense of purpose and involves everyone in working toward the same goal. Good managers use consensus-building to encourage employees to voice opinions while maintaining control of the group.

What's Your Management Style?

Managers can have very different styles and still succeed.

At one extreme are autocratic, heavy-handed managers who govern by fear and intimidation. In the long term, this generates ill will and lack of respect; employees either contribute minimally or eventually choose to work elsewhere.

At the other extreme are managers with a nice-guy approach. They fraternize with employees, delegate almost everything, and generally take a hands-off attitude. This management style can be almost as detrimental as the autocratic style; the overall lack of direction can frustrate employees.

For the most part, good managers of people exhibit some of both styles when appropriate, and with balance. Good managers combine solid direction and strong leadership with objectivity, compassion, and the right amount of delegation. Whatever your style, it is important to be consistent and fair.

It also pays to get to know the people who work for you. Ask them questions and solicit their input and advice. Then listen to what they have to say. Just taking the time to listen to your staff—to hear and respect their opinions and to "agree to disagree" if necessary—makes a big difference.

Managers Versus Leaders

Managers tend to be more rational, objective, and driven by organizational needs, while leaders are more visionary, emotional, and inspirational in nature.

Although the ideal for a good manager is to be a good leader as well, it doesn't always work out that way. A great leader has drive and personality in addition to management ability. A great manager may lack those qualities. However, some managers can also become great leaders. While becoming a leader is something to strive for, the transformation is never a sure thing.

The Fine Art of Delegation

One of the most important skills a good manager must acquire is how to delegate.

There is a difference between delegation and abdication. You can't just drop a project on someone's desk and hope he or she will figure it out—that would be abdicating your responsibility as a manager. Instead, a good manager first gives thought to which tasks are appropriate to delegate to which employees and then diligently follows up to be sure each task has been successfully completed.

An effective manager explains the why of the task and establishes goals, due dates, and criteria to measure success. But a manager should not detail the how. It is the employee's responsibility to take ownership of the job and determine the best way to get it done.

When you delegate, give instructions rather than orders. Instructions acknowledge that the individual receiving them is capable of participating, learning, and doing. Instructions invite people to have a say in how things are done. Orders imply that there is one right way to do something, which discourages employees from thinking independently or showing initiative.

It takes a large measure of trust to delegate. You must recognize that the employee's path to the outcome may not be exactly the one you would have taken.

Overburdening an employee with work is as bad as overmonitoring work that you have delegated. Delegate the right work to the right people, give them enough leeway to accomplish what needs to be done, and monitor their progress reasonably and effectively so that they feel supported rather than micromanaged.

Praise in Public, Criticize in Private

As a manager, you are likely to have your share of positive and negative experiences with employees.

Be sure to praise an employee publicly when you catch him or her doing something right. Praise the individual for the specific action and be honest and sincere about it.

If an employee requires criticism, however, keep it private. Deliver negative feedback as soon as you can after a poor performance or an instance of unacceptable behavior. Speak with the employee calmly, without becoming emotional or heated. Always criticize the employee's specific behavior or performance, not the person's character. Give the employee the opportunity to explain why the behavior or incident occurred.

Finally, help the employee create and implement a positive plan to prevent it from happening again. Agree on a goal and a timeline.

And then move on.

Turn Problems into Opportunities

Managing people isn't always predictable. Some people come to a job with personal baggage that can cause them to become emotional, to overreact, or to object to authority.

As a manager, you need to get to know the people who work for you as individuals. Meet with all your staff members individually, one at a time. Find out more about what they do every day, what decisions they make, and what challenges them.

Best Practices: Managing People
Secrets to Leading for New Managers
. Copyright © by Barry Silverstein. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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