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4 Ways Managers Can Improve Their People Management Skills

Strong people management skills remain critical for anyone working in a leadership role, no matter the industry. In fact, they are arguably the one area differentiating the top managers from those merely holding the title. Ultimately, great leaders inspire their direct reports, and exceptional people skills definitely help provide that inspiration.

So let’s take a closer look at a few ways for managers to improve their people skills. Leverage this information to become a leader able to foster teamwork and high productivity levels. Perhaps an executive position lies in your future?

1. Being a Good Listener is Essential for Managers

Any employee wants to know that their opinions and insights are valued by leadership. This desire is a major reason why any manager needs to hone their listening skills. It obviously plays a key role in effective people management.

Whenever you meet with an employee – be it part of a group or one on one – always listen attentively. Take notes and ask follow-up questions to make sure you understand their points. In the end, being a good listener helps build a meaningful (and essential) relationship between you and your team.

2. Take a Balanced Approach When Offering Feedback

You need to balance praise and criticism when giving feedback to your employees. A balanced approach provides an extra measure of credibility among your direct reports. However, make sure any criticism is always offered in a constructive fashion. Essentially use this as an opportunity to give your employees the means to improve their own skills. It’s an important part of any professional development effort.

3. Don’t Wait For an Annual Review to Provide Feedback

Speaking of feedback, the best managers take a proactive approach when it comes to reviewing their employees’ performance.  So don’t wait until an annual performance review to provide the feedback your direct reports need. Instead, offer constructive insights to your employees throughout the year. Also, give them the opportunity to return the favor regarding your managerial performance.

4. Understand What Gives Each Employee Their Purpose

Your employees’ professional hopes and dreams go beyond their current job duties. When you meet with each direct report, take the time to learn what truly makes them tick. This knowledge helps you work with them to craft a professional development plan to help them achieve their goals.  It’s one of the things any great manager does for their team.

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