What 5 People Management Skills Should Every Manager have?

- Leadership

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by Vartika Kashya

Let me paint you a picture of a new manager Becky. Becky is a hard worker and wants to prove her worth in the office as the first female manager of the company so she strives for excellent results and is not deterred by whatever problem comes her way.

She insists that she can quantify people and be nice to them at the same time. One day Robert called in sick but all Becky could think about was how he didn’t turn in his report for the day. Although she is a sweet person, to her team, this can be seen as overbearing and micromanaging.

It is possible that as managers we get a bit overbearing and it’s easy for us to fall prey to the trap of micromanagement. These are things that can give your team the wrong impression.

To steer clear of these small mistakes find out a few things you can do to be a better manager.

Powerful Management is all about having Good People Skills

Being a manager is hard. Walking the line between managing and micromanaging, giving feedback but not being judgmental, is definitely a rocky terrain. But, with the right people management skills, you can be successful in increasing productivity in the workplace all the while promoting effective communication.

The responsibility of a leader is to clearly state the goals, and define the roles for everyone on his or her team. A leader’s main purpose is to guide his or her team and motivate every member to do better. The manager is the one person who has to point out the mistakes and shortcomings.

5 Tips That Can Improve Your People Management Skills

Tip #1 for improving people management skills: Be More Transparent

For a manager to have the proper people management skills, they need to practice transparency. In an office transparency mainly means being clear about your objectives and being open about present progress. This environment can only be maintained when there is trust between team members. Give your team access to information, resources and practices, by using a good project management software that has an easy to use interface for tracking task progress. Transparency can also be maintained when you delegate authority and give responsibility to your colleagues.

Read on about the importance of delegation skills

Encourage open communication and engage in trust-building activities to maintain an environment where people can feel free to talk about each other’s progress. Keep the promises you made to your team. For example, if you had promised to address their issues about a particular problem at the end of the month, honour that commitment. Sometimes all you need is to be more open and upfront with people.

Tip #2 for improving people management skills: Learn to Listen

Listening to your team can actively boost the morale of people at work. In fact, every superstar manager has mastered the art of listening by:

  • Being attentive and expressive when a member of their team talks about his ideas and ambitions.
  • Paraphrasing what they hear to acknowledge what they’re saying
  • When someone expresses ideas, don’t interrupt or jump to conclusions.
  • People who exhibit empathy and compassion are automatically better listeners than people who don’t.

Tip #3 for improving people management skills: Learn to Communicate Effectively

Sometimes engaging in casual conversations can make you come off as an empathetic person, which makes the team want to be more open with you and therefore increase the chain of transparency.

Knowing your teammate’s interests, personality and work ethics can be defining elements when you want to praise your employees. You can indulge yourself and your teammates in more communication by:
Arranging regular one on one meetings with your team so you can discuss their performance and the scope of the project.

  • Scheduling group discussions and brainstorming sessions to get to know your team members better
  • Arranging retreats and office parties can also be a great way to get involved in communication and get a better understanding of your team.
  • Giving credit to the people who are speaking out can also encourage others to take a stand for their ideas.
  • Giving your team a clear picture of how shared goals promotes effective communication
  • Arranging and investing in team activities and small games like: Meddlers, Improv Cards, and Moving Motivators can also be an amazing outlet for your team and a way for them to exhibit their talents and strengths.

Tip #4 for improving people management skills: Practice Praising and Rewarding

For a team to thrive, you need to recognize their efforts as a leader. Appreciating and recognizing your team member’s successes can encourage your employees to do better in their respective jobs.

There are many ways to give appreciation and celebrating the success of a fellow teammate such as:

  • Saying “thank you” for their specific effort, or better yet, writing a thank you note or sending a ‘Kudo Card‘ can prove to be a gratifying response to someone’s success.
  • Going public with your appreciation will give your employees the impression that you do in fact appreciate and recognize their efforts.
    Showing your enthusiasm by arranging a small party for their achievement can also be highly motivating.
  • You can even announce someone’s achievement and/or congratulate them using the collaboration software that your team uses for everyone to see.
  • Showing that you give recognition and present your appreciation you can potentially encourage the whole team to do better.

Tip #5 for improving people management skills: Create a Feedback System

It is true that working without getting feedback can be highly counterproductive. However, some managers cannot figure out how to set the tone for a feedback session. Or, for some it might not be easy to not come off as if you are criticizing them. For me there are 4 secrets to a good feedback session: There’s time, reason, regularity, and preparation.

To control yourself from unintentionally criticizing employees, try:

  • Preparing some pointers on what you are going to say ahead of time.
  • Being clear about the reasons why you’re scheduling feedback with your employee.
  • Make sure to conduct these sessions in private
  • Keep these completely work-oriented and be as specific as you can so that they can understand the changes that they will have to make.
  • Consistency is key so create weekly or monthly feedback sessions that will help information flow effortlessly.


A superstar manager knows how to delegate and knows how to extract the best out of his or her people. A great manager would promote effective communication at work with maximum employee engagement. Reading this article I hope that you now know that to get the best out of your team and increase office productivity in the office, one needs to organize certain events and arrange for certain activities that increase workplace morale.

Getting to know your team and engaging with them can be done in many ways. Using customized games and project management software for transparency can effectively change the office atmosphere.

Photo Credit: Shawwn Tan via Unsplash

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