A lot of people are propelled into management. Larry Polhill Cafe Valley has seen people promoted into positions such as president or director of investors, without ever having learned to be a manager. There are some organizations, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or APFC, that understand that being a manager requires more than in-depth knowledge of the business they work for. Management skills are a set apart that people must learn about.

Larry Polhill Cafe Valley on Developing Management Skills

One of the biggest mistakes managers make, is to not treat staff as equals. Managers must build relationships based on boundaries, yes. However, a lot of managers worry that if they become too friendly with their staff, they will be taken advantage of. The underlying message in that, however, is that they believe their team would take advantage, which is not a positive message to send.

Managers have to show interest in their team. They must also celebrate successes and value contributions. Mainly, however, they must understand that their success is a direct reflection of the performance of their team.

Employees, too often, feel demotivated, demoralized, marginalized, and ignored. They have no faith in their managers and see them solely as people who shouldn’t be there and who don’t understand the hard work they actually do. Yet, when asked when they felt the best about their job, they will usually cite a time their manager told them they did something truly good. This shows just how important it is that managers respect their team members and show them their appreciation.

Thankfully, it is possible to avoid this. Managers don’t have to keep themselves to themselves. They don’t have to mix solely with other managers at their levels and keep a distance from their workers. Instead, they can do the opposite and show the positive effect this has on morale, on motivation, and on general goodwill.

People management is something to be enjoyed, but only if you get it right. If, for instance, you enjoy showing off your business, the products it makes or the services it offers, you have to make it clear that you understand that none of that would be possible without the actual people in your team. This is perhaps the biggest mistake managers make.

For instance, after a refurbishment of a store, managers will highlight the fantastic new flooring and lighting, or the way the store is set up. They forget to mention, however, that it was Paul in shoes or Marcia at the checkout, who came up with those ideas. By forgetting that, people like Paul and Marcia will feel unvalued and as if they don’t matter, and that has a negative impact on the organization as a whole. Acknowledging them, by contrast, will give them a sense of ownership of the organization. It will make them more committed, more engaged, and more productive. And this gives you, as the manager, even more opportunity to praise them and grow the business.


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