What People Management Skills Do You Need as an Entrepreneur?
In this article, we dig deeper in the topic of People Management Skills and explore 1) what are those skills? and 2) how to improve your people management skills.
Every business is formulated with the people who are a part of it. They can be your fellow partners or employees, who range from managers, all the way down to your peon. All of which make the foundation of any business. The strength of this foundation may be loose and breakable with a blow or may be as strong as concrete that is able to face any hardships or difficulties thrown its way.
As an entrepreneur, the responsibility falls on your shoulders alone, of how strong a foundation you make. And why not, after all, you are the one who is going to be reaping most of the benefits from it. This responsibility is yours, also because as an entrepreneur, you have a much clearer perception of where you stand and where you want to get. And in order to get there, and for these people to help you achieve your aims, you need not only give them the idea of what to deliver but show them how to too.
You will need to make them move with you in a synchronized manner, so you all have a singular goal to reach. You will also need to choose your management style that works best for you and your people so not only do they have to follow you but they want to too. This way you’ll be leading a successful and content team that will have had their best brought with them and hence, will be efficient too.
In doing so, you will require certain People Management Skills. But what are they?
People Management Skills are essentially how all the people of an organization are able to coordinate themselves effectively and work to a higher standard. Leading such, is the responsibility of the higher tier of the organization that ensures that the work is done correctly and consistently at the bar set for the people within the organization.
However, People Management Skills is one such umbrella that encompasses a wide array of concepts and skills that induce people to deliver their best.
WHAT ARE THOSE PEOPLE MANAGEMENT SKILLS?
Some of these People Management Skills that one needs to implement in their business to get the most out of the people within the firm can be characterized as following:
1. Communication – Getting your Point through
For any business to work well, there should be a very clear and a thorough flow of communication from the top tier of the management to the bottom tier. Only then will the problems and solutions can be heard of or dealt with complete ease and efficiency. Communication skills can further be divided into three forms that will best explain to you what they imply.
Most of the time, it’s observed that managers or other people in charge, only just let their subordinates know what they want of them. For example, a bank manager may only name the goal that other bank employees need to accomplish, like, increasing the number of accounts, or maintain the reserves. Or the owner of the cupcake business might just let his or her people know that he or she wants the sale of the cupcakes to go up 5 percent. In order to achieve the best out of the people working under you, this is not enough. You may have to do more than just quoting your aims and ask them to bring you results. You will need to make a better effort of explaining further as to showing them the possible ways they can achieve this or giving them a head start. For example, the bank manager could provide his sales executives with a list of possible prospect customers they can visit and convince into opening accounts in their banks, along with the major guidelines to go about it. And the cupcake business owner could provide his employees with a sample batch to take as free testers to attract more customers.
b. Questioning, the right way
When asking questions, you should make sure to make your peers feel important and completely confident when it comes to bringing their queries to you. Focus on what they want and how they think they can achieve it. It may be possible that they lack certain resources or ease with which they could have performed better than without. If denied, it could negatively hamper your welfare along with that of their own. Avoid asking what is wrong and why did the issue come up in the first place. Focusing more on such inquiries can put your subordinate into an awkward situation, and they might think twice before bringing their problem to you in the future. This in turn will decrease their morale and they will never be able to give their best.
c. Careful Listening
When listening to those under your supervision, look for what their main point is and what their stand on the particular issue is. While doing so, ask yourself if whatever that person is trying to explain to you is true, correct, or justified. When you have found your answer with a to and from question and answer session, ask yourself by what means and on which grounds is that person trying to justify their argument or opinion. Once you find yourself content with whatever the answers to such questions are, you will better be able to understand that person’s stance on that particular subject and will best be able to make a decision that is for the greater good.
2. Planning it out before you begin
For any venture to prove successful, it needs to be properly planned out, and its details thoroughly scrutinized. And these skills are what are needed of an entrepreneur too.
Planning requires organization. No plan works out well or is implemented as per your requirements if it has not been organized in a way that is best for execution. You may have planned various things for your little business or your work team. To remember all of it and to deliver it through the channel, it best to jot it all down either in a form of paragraphs or diagrams. This noting down of your thoughts on the matter could be done on a piece of paper, if you are more of a journal person, or if you are a tech related person, computers are your option too. The advantage of noting down all planned points is that: everyone will have the same memory of what happened and thus, any future conflicts may be prevented.
b. Delegate accordingly
Delegating implies, assigning the right task to the right person, that is, per his or her experience, skills, and attitude. Such measures, if taken can ensure a form of development training and helps in motivating and inspiring an individual to give their best, all the while, polishing on their expertise, since through this, you will be making the best of use of people’s skills and their time too. Moreover, delegating frees you up to do more valuable work.
3. Avoid probable Conflicts
Whenever there is a crowd working simultaneously toward something, conflicts are bound to arise. So do not worry when they do. Rather, as the entrepreneur, master the skill to handle situations like these when they come your way.
a. Be Objective, not Subjective
When faced with a conflict, make sure to focus and try to resolve only the matter at hand, staying on the issue strictly, and not bringing your feelings in the way. If you dilute the matter with mingling feelings, the conflict will get even more complicated, making it difficult to solve since that will be a subjective approach rather than an objective one. For example, if you are facing an issue with one of your peer’s behavior, point out the objective repercussions of that rather what you “feel” about it.
b. Be Fair
Fairness is one of the reasons because of which conflicts mostly arise. As the word suggests, being an entrepreneur, it falls upon you to not be prejudiced in your actions, reactions, or behaviors when dealing with your subordinates. Rather, measure everyone according to the same criterion and to the same standard. This way you will be able to eliminate many conflicts within the organization. In practical, never criticize someone for something that you have often been guilty of too, like getting late. Never scold anyone just because you are in a foul mood, rather than because that person is at fault. In other words, do not take wrong advantage of your authority.
4. Lead the Way
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must first work on yourself, before working with others. You must be motivated and driven enough in achieving your goals regarding your business, so much, so that your energy is contagious when it comes to the people you are in charge of.
The best way to motivate yourself is by setting your goals in perfect perspective for you to follow. A well laid out plan makes for a successful implementation.
A good leader inspires others. It does not only make them do the work, but makes them want to do it. And that is what makes for a successful team. You could do so by:
a. Facing the future with optimism
Looking at your goals as if they are already paved the road to success. Do not give unrealistic hopes but steer away from pessimism. This will drive your people to be more motivated.
b. Reject any unnecessary fears from your team
For example, if your sales executives are feeling queasy to face the public for an out-field work, make sure you counsel them or do whatever is in your power, to eliminate such qualms.
c. Continuous compliments and words of encouragement
Such as “Good job!” or “You can do it!” can work wonders with your team members. It not only gives them more confidence but also makes them perform better, happily.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR PEOPLE MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Along with all the skills, that being an entrepreneur, you will need to have, and be your people’s go-to person, here is a list of things that you should follow if you want to improve your People Management Skills.
- Do not dwell too long on past mistakes and disappointments. Implement the phrase, “let bygones be bygones” in your life, both work and private. If you focus too much on what your teams did wrong, they will suffer under the pressure of it and will not be able to perform as well as they could in situations otherwise. Do mention the past failures and shortcomings but only to the extent of making amendments. Because as much as the last motto is of importance, “Learn from your mistakes” is too.
- Being aware of where you and your team lacks and changing that into possibilities rather than taking your hand out of it, is a quality, an entrepreneur should hold. Be aware, so you could improve and prosper.
- Never belittle anyone. Do scold when necessary and do punish when there is a failure but never go as far as to calling anyone stupid or uneducated or uncivilized or is bound to fail. This will only dishearten the other and demotivate him or her. Be objective.
Up to this point, you are well aware of what are some of the basic People’s Management Skills you need to acquire to drive a successful team of hardworking efficient and result deriving individuals.
However, it is not just skills you need to know of, dealing with people requires for you to adapt to a whole new lifestyle and demeanor for your team to take notice and for them to accept you as a leader and treat you as such. In my opinion, democratic style of leadership works best for people in these times. It requires for you treat them as an equal, yet demand a certain degree of respect. The idea is to welcome all the people vital to the growth and development of your business with an energy that encourages them to give you their best. Certain general properties that you might need to adapt to be a “people’s person”.
- Smile: Nobody wants to be around a grumpy person, let alone work for or with one. Smile often as it gives radiates warmth and positivity.
- Speak Clearly: Something that gets noticed and is judged right after your physical appearance is the ability to muster up an adequate sentence. The way you speak says a lot about you. Your confidence, your worth and your skill set can all be shown just through the way you speak.
- Empathize: Treat other people like you would yourself. Get into their shoes. Try and understand their position and use words such as “Ok, I understand.” This will encourage them to come to you with their problems, and you can then take charge of all the rising snags.
- Humor Yourself: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Throw in a little humor every now and then, even if it is at your own expense. This will lead to people respecting you as you show a genuine nature while making you seem more approachable.
- Bring People Together: Avoid talking behind other’s backs. Treat everybody equally. During a presentation or a simple delegation process, stop to ask if everyone is aboard.
- Use Adequate Body Language: Your body language says a lot about you. Keep your posture straight and business like when discussing serious matters. Nod often while listening. Turn your attention and body directly toward the person you’re talking to. Shake hands firmly. This will lead to a higher level of motivation and encouragement among your subordinates.
If you did not know already, there are various training courses and workshops that you can also attend, that aim to help you improve your people management skills. Such training courses aim to give you basic guidelines and a thorough proficiency of how to develop teamwork spirit, how to delegate more efficiently and how to build personal credibility.
You will need to ask around and be proactive in finding out any such workshops that are taking place near your area. Make sure the institutes offering such courses have a web based existence, so you could go through their course outline and compare it to that of others and choose what works best for you. If you’re willing to spend money, make sure you spend it in the right direction so when you walk out of that seminar, you consider yourself more learned.
You will also find several questionnaires online, that, through carefully planned out questions, give you a score of how you did and show you where you stand when it comes to your people management skills. These are free of cost and highly informative. You could attempt these over and over until you get a perfect score.