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How to be a Great Manager of People

September 29, 2014

Be a Better Manager by Coaching Your Employees

Managing people is very different than managing projects or computer systems or manufacturing systems.

You can’t be a great manager of people if you’re not a good coach. Start having regular coaching conversations with your team members. These don’t need to be long-winded, on-the-couch sessions. Learn what drives each person, customize your approach to their motivators and provide timely feedback about their performance. Use open-ended questions to ask: “How would you like to grow this month?” If you listen deeply and restrain your impulse to provide the answers, you’ll invite people to open up and to think creatively. Help your team members articulate their goals and challenge them to find their own answers. If someone is frustrated or stuck, acknowledge their struggles and encourage them to think about how to move past them. Hold people accountable: If someone wants to develop new skills, give them a deadline to identify training programs, their costs, and the amount of time needed away from work. Then hold them personally accountable to developing the new skills.

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