Updated June 2, 2023
Introduction to People Management Skills
Throughout this post, we’ve sprinkled real-life samples, so you know you could make it happen with a little effort on your people management skills! So without further ado. Managers are often a gloriously 2-dimensional lot. You either LOVE them, or you HATE them. You can’t afford to ignore them! If you are a manager of any sort, it’s worth your while to develop ‘wow–inducing’ people management skills. Become that type of manager where every associate goes, “Wow! I’m so lucky to work with him!”
Here we discuss the winsome manager.
1. Is a Charismatic Dude
A hypnotic, charismatic dude!
This is the first rule to develop great people management skills: a healthy dose of charisma.
This manager always has his best face on and is friendly, amicable, and non-confrontational. (See, what’s not to like about him!) This is not to say that you’re a pushover. But you can use your charm to direct your peers and team the right way forward gently.
2. It has Loads of Integrity
Without integrity, your so-called charisma can come across as sleazy. The winsome manager is not interested in bending people or rules to suit his best interests; instead, he strives to make the most out of every situation to suit everybody’s best interests. (Incidentally, it is possible for someone with outstanding people management skills.)
So when Rita from marketing comes over with a request for leave during peak season, for only the third time this month, you can carefully weigh all the options and suggest nicely (but firmly) that there may be better times to take off again. She could work from home instead to do personal chores even as she works. Or put in a few hours extra this week, so she can attend the parent-teacher meeting and make it to work only a little later than usual. Oh, and while you’re at it, did you compliment her for that compelling presentation last week that was appreciated by senior leadership?
Job well done!
With integrity, you (yes, YOU, the “Winsome Manager”) support your peers and team to work with you, not just for you.
3. Is a Great Listener
As a Winsome Manager, you realize that almost all of life’s problems would efficiently resolve themselves if you could listen and let be. We’re not saying that you become passive or lazy with your job. But a manager has many people reaching out to him: Senior management, Organizational heads like HR, Finance, Operations, etc. And then there’s the mixed bag that is your team: high achievers, mediocre folks, people who are lost, and yes, possibly some duds. They’re all vying for your undivided attention.
It’s a good thing that you’re an awesome listener!
So when David from Quality and David from your team butt heads and come to you, you’re able to listen to David (from Quality) patiently and his concerns, and then listen to David (from your team) and his tirade on the cumbersome process and the time it takes away from real work. And you do this without losing your head or mixing up the 2 Davids. (Phew, that genuinely is your crazily good people management skills!)
4. Is Resilient and does not Shy away from Tough communication
See, the thing with communicating with so many people (clients, senior management, team members, cross-functional heads, etc.) is that they all come to you with their vested agenda. Sometimes, situations demand that you take a tough stance.
The Winsome manager is no fence-sitter.
He understands the need for tough communication (lower rates for consultants, more work hours, attrition risks, ugh – layoffs, and the lot) and can deliver this without blaming anyone. On the other hand, he can also take a tough crap that gets thrown at him when people don’t get his intentions right and inadvertently blame him.
5. Is a Darn Good Project Manager
Even if a significant chunk of your work is about managing people and not reports (and hence your awe-inspiring people management skills), the Winsome manager still has solid “project management” skills.
You may not actively use them in your role, but you still understand what they’re all about. How else will you connect with senior leadership when they throw terms like “ROI,” “Bottom line,” and “KPI,” etc., to justify their decisions and understand where they’re coming from?
This knowledge also helps you stay one step ahead of your peers. For instance, even as you plan to expand on your team’s talent, you ask the right project management-related questions from your counterparts so you get a revealing glimpse into their insights for the next quarter. (This could be related to financial aspects, quality, etc.) This knowledge helps you become strong in people management training and a better manager.
6. Is Assertive, Not Aggressive
It’s a myth that all managers are powerful. Between the expectations of your associates (senior leadership, team members, peers, cross-functional heads, clients, etc.), you could find yourself being knocked around and thoroughly powerless.
When pushed by conflicting expectations, a typical manager tends to take on an aggressive stance spontaneously.
But this aggression,
- It incites you to attack.
- It turns the other party off you, so they no longer listen to you.
- It pushes you to think and make decisions from fear, not intelligence.
- Creates a vicious cycle of blame and more aggression.
- Reduces your people management training to rock bottom.
This typical manager expects to create an “only-me-win” solution but returns with a no-win situation! His professional life then becomes an endless endeavor in damage control.
- Invites the other party to communicate more as you listen.
- Carries no prior judgment, so you are open to seeing the other’s point of view.
- It empowers you to make decisions from insight and competence.
- Creates a virtuous cycle of better communication and empathy.
- Strengthens your people management goals that transform you into a Leader.
It is also this manager that consistently delivers win-win solutions. You, the Winsome manager, get the difference.
7. Plans for Growth, Everybody’s Growth
Usually, we find three types of managers:
- The active manager who works aggressively towards his growth.
- The proactive manager who works aggressively towards his team’s growth.
- The passive damage works towards nobody’s growth!
As a Winsome Manager, you proactively plan your team’s growth, even though this will, in turn, (harmoniously) lead to your growth (and vice versa). Of course, you could work top-down or bottom-up, but you constantly have your eyes set on both ends of the spectrum. When you function from this context, your team and peers love you because they know that if you win, they win too! And this forms yet another powerful key to unlocking outstanding people management goals and sustained success.
8. Is Innovative and not afraid to take Risks
We all know that managers are a competitive lot. Everybody’s vying for greatness. Everybody’s trying mighty hard to bolster their (already superior) people management skills. And everybody’s trying unbelievably hard to find yet another secret key to get it right.
Well, innovation is the key, my dear.
This comes with the courage to take (acceptable) risks.
- Courage to push your team beyond their comfort zone to make great things happen.
- Courage to stand up for your team, even when facing unhappy senior management team members.
- Courage to face down disbelief with conviction.
- Courage to move forward even when others have backed off.
Do you think this is impossible? Nope. All you have to do is tap into your excellent people management skills and follow our next tip.
9. Effectively Multi-tasks as Coach, Mentor, and Head Cheerleader
Like modern women, the Winsome Project Manager must wear many hats: friend, coach, mentor, cheerleader, critic, etc. It’s the only way to satisfy everybody while you push them for expansion. Here’s the good news: To the seasoned manager, donning these multiple roles comes almost as quickly as breathing. The trick lies in understanding that every hat has its place and purpose. The Winsome manager uses his evolved knowledge of people and his people management skills to pitch this just right. This brings us to the next tip…
10. Genuinely Cares
Through this post, we’ve been listing out the almost God-like qualities of this angelic Winsome manager. We understand if you think he sounds too darn good to be true for you! But do not give up yet. The simple trick to make this your possibility (and reality) is to be thoroughly genuine in all your associations with people. (Hey, this is about developing Ninja-like people management skills!)
If you genuinely care, you will find a way to make it all work! This is a fool-proof tip to become that Winsome Manager: genuinely care about everything and everybody.
Finally, if there’s one master tip we can give you to win the game, it’s to “become the kind of people manager YOU would LOVE to work with.” Create that dream manager, first in yourself and then with your team. This dream manager is not just a commanding paragon of virtue (see the flowery list above); he’s human too. An exceedingly good human! And there lies your most powerful key: connecting with other humans, as you also showcase your winning people management skills.
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “People Management Skills” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information,