There are some simple ways to manage others and get the very best from them. Most of us are in 'managerial' positions and we're not even aware of it. Whether you're managing a small team of people, a classroom of unruly pupils or a large group of employees, there are some simple ways in which you can ensure that you get the best from those around you. Managers should be inspirational, not just hated people who are renowned for cracking the metaphorical whip at every opportunity. Using my management experience and some choice words from experts, here are some ways to manage others that may help.
1. Leading by Example
One of the best ways to manage others is to lead by example. If you're always late, leaving early or speaking ill of colleagues, this isn't going to reflect well on you. In short, be just like the employees YOU would want to employ and manage. The 'do as I say and not as I do' model is never going to be an effective one and leading by example involves many things which will ensure you can get the best from others. As Ken Kesey said, "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case".
Professionalism is key, especially if you're in a management position. This means not doing anything which could come and bite you on the behind later on in your career. This doesn't mean you have to be boring or completely devoid of a sense of humor. The best managers are those who can relate to those around them, lend a sympathetic ear when the going gets tough and inspire their team to do the job to the best of their ability.
Peter Drucker once said, "so much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work". This can be linked to organization. Being organized in your organization is key and will ensure you can get the very best from your colleagues. If the organization is in disarray, with systems and processes in states of chaos, it will be very difficult to get the best from others, and it can lead to unnecessary stress. Be sure that systems and processes allow others to do the best they can do without drowning in a sea of chaos and confusion.
I know Aretha wasn't singing about those in managerial positions but respect is imperative in all walks of life. It's essential to treat others the way in which you would like to be treated. Shouting and screaming at those who are reporting to you may not be the best way to get those around you to work effectively. Instead, treat them the way you would want to be treated. As Dwight Eisenhower once said, "You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault not leadership." It sounds simple but it's true!
5. Chances to Grow
According to Harvey Firestone "the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership". Offering people opportunities to grow and unlocking their true potential is another great way to get the best from them. Being genuinely invested in people and helping them achieve their goals is a sure fire way of getting them on board.
There is a great proverb which says 'where there is no vision, the people perish'. Now, this is taking things to the extreme I know but in an organization, you all hopefully share a common goal and have a common vision about where you see things going. Whether your aim is to provide a better service or to ensure that all customers are happy, common goals should be shared and developed with the team so that people can work towards them together.
7. Trust and Honesty
Managers and leaders sometimes have a reputation for sitting in their ivory tower and not having a clue about what those on the front line are having to contend with. Trust therefore, is also important and when people place their trust in you, it is more likely that they will give you their best. You may argue against this one as it all depends on what type of a manager you are or indeed what type of a manager you want to be. John Maxwell said "people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision". Honesty and transparency therefore, can ensure that your workers respect you and are therefore more compliant and willing to help everyone achieve that common goal.
Jim Rohn summed up the attributes of a great leader when he said that the challenges lie in being "strong but not rude, kind but not weak, bold but not a bully, thoughtful but not lazy, humble but not timid, proud but not arrogant and having humor without folly". Is anyone else in a managerial position and has any hints and tips they would like to share?