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How to develop people management skills

Let’s drill down into people management skills and how to further develop them while leaving room for the specifics.

People management skills can be vague, numerous, and difficult to grasp. And what about different teams in different roles? Leading a team on an oil rig is surely not the same as leading a team on a quiet shop floor.

With this in mind, how do you find a common ground for all managers?

What does people management skills include?

People management is, to no surprise, half about people and half about management. As obvious as this sounds, let’s break down what that actually means:

The People side

People are varied, complex, and often unpredictable. Anybody who wants to manage people well needs to understand all of these things, and feel comfortable and competent dealing with people who will approach you with all manner of problems.

Of course, people management isn’t just dealing with others’ issues, but it’s far more common that you’ll be approached with problems than solutions. So, you need to have empathy, patience, listening skills, diplomacy, and a range of other ‘soft’ skills that make managers well suited to helping others perform their roles happily and with plenty of support.

The Management side

Delegating tasks, giving team members feedback, and being a line of communication between staff and business leaders. Managers fill these roles and more, being essential cogs in the business machine (but ideally much more than just cogs).

Being a good manager needs a mind for data and analytics, especially when needing to talk about KPIs and getting into the nitty-gritty of business. It also demands good organisation, time management, and a drive to actually help others improve—not just ticking boxes on an appraisal sheet.

Of course, people management brings all of these things and more together. That can be a confusing mish mash at times. You often need to be a people person that also deals with cold data and can tell a colleague when something needs to improve.

How to develop management skills

Many management skills are so-called soft skills, but they can still be taught, built, and sharpened like any other skill. Of course, this needs to be done in the right way and with empathy and intelligence behind the methodology. Nobody ever learnt empathy sitting in front of a presentation.

That’s learning how to develop people management skills needs to happen ‘in the field’, as a result of situations that test and challenge us rather than knowledge that’s just dictated. Many people management skills are things that develop in the brain when we come to understand and trust the people around us.

Team Academy build such situations to develop skills in surprising ways. Our work has amazed teams that didn’t expect our approach, yet the lessons last a lifetime.

To learn more about our work in team building and skills training such as how to lead a team and more of our leadership training programmes, contact us today.

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