Most Effective Ways to Lead and Manage People

  • Never ignore a concern of one of your people. While it may seem trivial to you, to the other person it is a problem that will continue to destroy their train of thought.


  • Give employees an opportunity to speak their opinions and suggestions without fear of ridicule or reprisal.


  • When you are going to make a change that affects others, get them involved before making the actual change. This increases commitment to make the change work after it is implemented.


  • Employees are the only organization resource that can, with training, appreciate in value. All other resources depreciate.


  • People want to be involved in something important. Give them a whole project or a significant piece of the project to work on.


  • Pay attention to small details, the big ones are obvious and get taken care of.


  • Whenever you are having an important discussion with a person, before parting, set a specific follow-up date and time and write it in your calendar.


  • Never criticize an employee in front of others. Have all discussions of a corrective nature in private.


  • Hire people with specific skills and interests that match what the organization needs to have accomplished. The better the match, the better the productivity and the more motivated the person.


  • Have regular “development discussions” with each of your people in which you discuss only how the individual may grow personally and how you and the organization may be able to support them in doing this.


  • Low morale in workers may be an indication of the boss only talking about negative things or what’s wrong. Be sure to balance negative comments with more frequent positive comments.


  • Let your people know you are there to help them not to harass them.


  • Encourage others to develop their plan of action and give you a detailed explanation.


  • Encourage individuals to compete against themselves to achieve more. Let it be a personal challenge to become better as an individual-not competing with others but self.


  • Catch people doing things right and then let them know that they are doing things right.


  • Have regular, focused meetings regarding the projects that you are responsible for.


  • Train others to do jobs. You cannot do them all, nor can others do them if they have not been trained.


  • Expect others to succeed. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when you believe others are loyal, dedicated and doing a good job.


  • Help others see how they will benefit from doing a job. This is when they truly become motivated.


  • Do not avoid talking to a poor performer. It hurts them, the organization and yourself if the situation is not dealt with.


  • Focus on results, not on activities or personalities.


  • Reward people for the results that they produce.


  • Manage by walking around. See what people are doing and listen to what they have to say.


  • Provide workers with open, direct, and immediate feedback on their actual performance as compared to expected performance and they tend to correct their own deficiencies.


  • Never seek to place blame. Always focus on the problem.


  • Stay open in your thinking. Be open to all new ideas. Do this and you will not be setting up barriers that do not exist.


  • Avoid asking others to do trivial personal items for you.


  • Say thank you to those with whom you associate.


  • A warm smile and strong handshake break barriers.


  • Keep things “light” and have fun rather than being too serious. Seriousness blocks productivity.


  • Let people know why they are doing something. It then becomes more meaningful when they recognize their part in a greater vision.


  • Get others to commit to deadlines by asking, “When can you have that for me?”


  • Giving people recognition generates energy within them. They will then direct that energy toward increased productivity.


  • Once a month meet with each staff member to catch any problems or concerns the person may have as soon as possible before they become a crisis.


  • Be flexible and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Remember it is results that count, not activities.


  • Generally speaking, getting something done perfectly is usually not as important as getting it done. Perfection has a high cost and it may not be worth it.


  • When giving or receiving information, don’t hurry. Take the time needed to truly understand. It prevents future problems and misunderstandings.


  • Do things for others. They will be more willing to do things for you.


  • Set up an orientation training program for all new employees. It will help them learn their way around as well as teach them where things are kept and why.


  • Set up incentives that reward desired performance.


  • Before an employee leaves on vacation agree on a “must do” list of activities to be completed.


  • Do not be quick to judge others. Learn to listen carefully before coming to conclusions.


  • Consider sharing ideas and responsibility with others rather than just getting someone to do it for you or just doing it yourself.


  • Inspire others to new levels of achievement by using positive encouraging feedback and ideas.


  • Don’t just ask someone who is busy to get things done for you; look for the busy person who is getting results. This is a doer, not simply a busy wheel spinner.


  • Believe in the good of people.


  • Do not be a “baby sitter” of others, constantly taking care of them and telling them what to do. Challenge them and help them learn to think and do things for themselves.


  • Consider an incentive plan to reward productivity gains.


  • Don’t do what you can get someone else to do by simply asking.


  • Clearly communicate who you want to do what, by when and at what cost. Then identify who needs to know about it and when they are to be informed.


  • For people you relate to regularly, keep a list of things you need to talk to the person about. Then when you meet with or call them, you can review all the items that have accumulated on your list.


  • Recognize you are not the only one who can do a job right. Trust others to do things for you.


  • Be sincerely interested in the people working for and with you.


  • Help others recognize their own importance.


  • If you know that a person will respond angrily to a particular comment, avoid bringing it up. It is nonproductive and bad for the relationship. In other words, “never kick a skunk.”


  • When you appreciate what someone has done, let them know and put it in writing. This can then be added to their personnel file.


  • When asking someone to do something, let them know what is in it for them and the organization. Do not focus just on what is in it for the organization and yourself.


  • Be a member of the 4 F club with others. Be seen as Fair, Firm, Friendly and having Foresight.


  • Encourage your people to come up with new ideas and ways to do things. Give them credit and recognition for the idea.


  • If a new idea won’t work, at least praise the effort of the person so they will come up with future ideas.


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