Practice People Management

A relatively young client of mine amazes me with his ability to address and manage his employees. Recently he shared his experience handling an accountability issue.

Quickly after a circumstance happened regarding broken follow-through, he addressed the employees separately and called them on their breach. A good guy with decent rapport-building skills, he did not hesitate to address his concerns with their follow-through.

In response to my question about how he was able to so quickly address these performance issues he replied:

“As a kid, my house had rules. We kids were expected to abide by the rules or we suffered the consequences.” In essence, he learned what it was like to love those he grew up around, respect them and address things that needed to be addressed. His household practiced people management.

Did yours?

Mine did. We kids new what our responsibilities were, what was expected of us and what the consequences were when we fell short. And yes, we did fall short. That also was expected, simply because we are human.

My next question to him was, “How did they respond to you?”

“There have been no problems. I used to hate thinking about telling someone they did something wrong but now I see they really want to know how things are going and often want help with making improvements. My people now know I care enough to call them on something, and they now prove they care enough to do well.”

For us leaders it is vital we practice people management, especially in laying out the expectations, communicating the successes and breaches and encouraging growth. We can expect each other to fall short, in as much as we expect our own selves to.

Yet if we are managers of people – whether clients or employees – we must be willing to take the time to follow through with this important responsibility. Like parents, managers have a complex yet rewarding opportunity to act like adults. To do so we manage the internal voice (intrapersonal communication) in our heads that wants to run from the challenge and instead motivate ourselves to break through the discomfort barrier. We also manage the interpersonal communication by delivering our message with firmness and concern.

We must commit to the regular conversation of managing our expectations, assessing the appropriateness of them and helping others do the same.

My young client is managing.  Not just those around him, but also himself. Ask him if he likes it and he will tell you no. But ask him if it produces results and he will say, not only it does produce results in task follow-through but in respect and relationship-building.

Both in the hiring and managing roles, get clear about expectations. And practice your intrapersonal and interpersonal behaviors when you communicate them.


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