Leadership: How To Bring Out The Best In People

- Leadership

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by Vasco Duarte

Getting the best out of your people isn’t always easy. And for many managers (as well as workers) tips are always welcome. So when I read Victor Lipman’s article 5 Simple Ways To Bring Out The Best In Your People on Forbes, I wanted to share it with you guys. So here are his 5 tips, and my own thoughts about leadership.

First: Tone at the top

Victor tells us to ‘lead in a way that makes it easy for others to want to follow’. It’s all about setting the right examples. What you think is the right thing to do, your ethics, that’s important. For me, management is all about building trust. And you can only make people trust you, if you set the right example by going first. (I wrote about a great exercise in trust in this article about my French friend Pascal.)

Second: Interest in the course of their careers

Hey, I like this one! Remember what I wrote last week about careers and how they shouldn’t all be about ‘going up’? Well, getting the best out of people means exactly that: giving them the best opportunities.

Third: Ambitious expectations, but not unrealistic ones

People are often capable of way more than they realize. Managers should tweak the environment in a way that helps people to get the best out of themselves. Especially those people that are underestimating themselves. But please be realistic about it. And don’t forget to celebrate successes! Too often work is about setting new goals and improving. But what already happened is important too.

Four: Provide honest feedback regularly.

Yes! This one is very important, maybe even too important to leave to managers. One of the best solutions in getting great feedback on how your employees are doing is providing peer feedback. For Victor the key word is ‘honest’ and he tells us how people need regular feedback in order to ‘give it their best’. So I think we agree on this point.

Five: Get to know who your people are

For Victor this is about gaining a basic understanding about “what interests them, what bothers them.” He thinks it’s important for managers to know what motivates their employees. Money, praise, respect, a bigger office or who know what else. And by now that should ring a bell. Yes indeed, I’m talking about intrinsic motivation.

Doesn’t sound too complicated all in all, now does it? That is, of course, the beauty of it, sometimes solutions aren’t that difficult. It’s just like math, once you know how it works, there still are many surprises, but you have an idea where to look for a solution.

 Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões

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