Lead and Manage People
Selecting and Developing the Right People
Finding great new team members, and developing the skills needed for your team’s success is another important part of team formation.
You can improve your recruiting skills with our Recruiting Skills Bite-Sized Training pack, and with out articles on Hiring People – Questions to Ask , InBox Assessment , Using Recruitment Tests , and Aptitude Testing .
And you can develop people’s skills with our articles on, among others, Successful Induction , Understanding Developmental Needs , Training Needs Assessment , and the GROW Model . You’ll also find our Bite-Sized Training session on Mentoring Skills useful.
Your score is 3 out of 10
Having the right people with the right skills isn’t sufficient for a team’s success. Managers must also know how to get the job done efficiently. Delegation is the key to this. Some managers, especially those who earned their positions based on their technical expertise, try to do most of the work themselves. They think that, because they’re responsible for the work, they should do it themselves to make sure it’s done right.
Effective managers recognize that by assigning work to the right people (not just those with the most time available), and clearly outlining expectations, teams can accomplish much more. But it’s often difficult to trust others to do the job. As a manager, remember that when your team members have the right skills, training and motivation, you can usually trust them to get the work done right.
Your score is 7 out of 10
Another necessary management skill is motivating others. It’s one thing to motivate yourself, but it’s quite another to motivate someone else. The key thing to remember is that motivation is personal. We’re all motivated by different things, and we all have different levels of personal motivation. So, getting to know your team members on a personal level allows you to motivate your people better. Providing feedback on a regular basis is a very powerful strategy to help you stay informed about what’s happening with individual team members.
Managing Discipline and Dealing with Conflict
Your score is 8 out of 15
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there are problems with individual performance. As a manager, you have to deal with these promptly. If you don’t discipline, you risk negative impacts on the rest of the team as well as your customers, as poor performance typically impacts customer service, and it hurts the team and everything that the team has accomplished. It’s very demotivating to work beside someone who consistently fails to meet expectations, so if you tolerate it, the rest of the team will likely suffer. In our article on team management skills, we explore this issue in further detail and give you some examples.
Team performance will also suffer when differences between individual team members turn into outright conflict, and it’s your job as team manager to facilitate a resolution. Read our article on Resolving Team Conflict for a three-step process for doing this. However, conflict can be positive when it highlights underlying structural problems – make sure that you recognize conflict and deal with its causes, rather than just suppressing its symptoms or avoiding it.
Your score is 11 out of 20
An element that’s common to all of these management skills is effective communication. This is critical to any position you hold, but as a manager, it’s especially important (you can test your communication skills with our quiz here ). You need to let your team know what’s happening and keep them informed as much as possible. Team briefing is a specific communication skill that managers should improve. Also, develop the ability to facilitate effectively, so that you can guide your team to a better understanding and serve as a moderator when necessary.
Planning, Problem Solving and Decision-Making
Your score is 8 out of 10
Many managers are very comfortable with planning, problem solving and decision making, given that they’re often skilled specialists who’ve been promoted because of their knowledge and analytical abilities. As such, one of the most important issues that managers experience is that they focus so intensely on these skills when they think about self-development that they fail to develop their people skills and team management skills. Make sure that you don’t focus on these skills too much!
However, if you need to develop these skills, see our major sections on Problem Solving, Decision-Making, and Project Management. You’ll find many rich skills improvement resources in these areas.
Avoiding Common Managerial Mistakes
Your score is 13 out of 15
Good communication helps you develop facilitation skills, and it also helps you avoid some of the most common problems for managers. Some of these common mistakes are thinking that you can rely on your technical skills alone, asking your boss to solve your problems, putting your boss in the awkward position of having to defend you, and not keeping your boss informed. Our article on Team Management Skills highlights what to do to avoid these, and other managerial problems that you should be aware of.
You need to develop and improve your managerial skills on an ongoing basis as your career develops and as you meet new managerial challenges.
Whether you manage a department or a project team, it’s important to know how to get the work done right. When you’re asked to achieve something with the help of others, it’s complex – and you spend much of your time managing relationships instead of doing the actual work. So, you must develop not only your technical skills, but your management skills as well.
Delegating, motivating, communicating, and understanding team dynamics are some of the key skills needed. With those skills, along with patience and a strong sense of balance, you can become a very effective manager.
Throughout business, people often focus less on good management, and more on the elements of leadership, which may bring inspiration and vision to the organisation but fails to address efficient implementation brought about by good management.
To be a great manager, you must have an extensive set of skills – from planning and delegation to communication and motivation all of which assist in achieving both short and long term success. It is therefore wise to analyse your own skills in all areas of management – and then to challenge yourself to improve in all of these areas.
Management Aptitude Questionnaire
• Read the following information to clearly understand what is required of the project.
• Save and upload relevant documents onto the learning platform to support the project.
Read the following case study and complete the project that follows:
You are the General Manager of a well-known airline and three months ago you appointed a new Team Leader (Harry) to the reservations section (your most profitable section). You appointed Harry because if his obvious knowledge and many years of experience in the industry. In fact, Harry held a very senior national position at one point and was responsible for over 200 employees for an opposition company. Harry also ran his own very successful booking agency for many years with his brother. Currently, Harry has a small team of only 10 people, many of which are young and new to the organisation with no previous experience.
Lately, you have heard ‘whisperings‘ from staff, suppliers and customers alike that things aren’t running all that smoothly in the reservations section. You have noticed that sales are down; staff absenteeism is up as is the number of customer complaints. A quick walk around the section reveals long queues, staff talking to each other (instead of customers) and many unanswered calls. The only person that seems to be working hard in the section is Harry himself. Unfortunately, much of Harry’s time was spent ‘putting out spot fires’ in the form of customer complaints and chasing around the new staff to find their whereabouts. Even the experienced staff in the section seemed to have lost focus.
A quick chat with a number of the section staff revealed that Harry delegates responsibility to the new staff members for all tasks within an appointed section of the department in the same way as he does to the experienced staff (regardless of their knowledge or experience). Consequently, the more experienced staff have simply ‘thrown their hands up’ in exasperation at constantly having to clean up after the new staff members or dealing with unhappy customers. When the experienced staff members challenge the new staff members about their appointed sections, the response is generally along the lines of “worry about your own section instead of mine!”
You call a meeting with the Team Leader (Harry) to discuss your observations and reinforce the team goals and values which advocate working hard, giving customers the highest level of service and treating others with integrity, respect and empathy. During the discussions Harry revealed that he is used to delegating responsibility because that is how he did things in his previous role and primarily because he was surrounded by experienced and mature people. He also revealed that he has never had to deal with young and inexperienced employees before and is finding it very challenging.
Finally, Harry reveals that he has recently divorced and as a consequence has lost touch with his two sons. He has also lost a lot of confidence in his own abilities and is seriously thinking of handing is his resignation to avoid the humiliation of being ‘sacked’. At the last minute, Harry asks for you advice on what to do to address the situation.
You are required to attend a scheduled management meeting but understand the urgency of the situation and the need to offer Harry a response to his request so you have asked Harry to attend a meeting the following day to enable you to think through the situation and discuss strategies that could be implemented to improve the situation.
Throughout this project, you are required to read the case study provided, research the Hersey- Blanchard model of Situational Leadership and submit a report (minimum 1200 words) analysing the performance of Harry (Team leader) throughout the case study to determine his:
1. Performance as a positive role model for others throughout his team
2. Ability to develop team commitment and cooperation
3. Ability to manage team performance to meet organisational goals, objectives and targets
Your analysis should include:
• Description as to strengths and weakness of Harry’s current leadership/management style/s i.e. ability to delegate responsibility, commitment to quality service, etc.
• Overview as to the teams current culture, dynamics and cohesion
• Description as to current stages of team growth
• Recommendations for the leadership style that Harry should be adopting with the:
• new and inexperienced staff members (and why)
• experienced staff members (and why)
• Recommendation as to how Harry could overcome current delegation barriers
• Description of the motivational theory that could be adopted by Harry to improve the current situation and ensure that the team performance
• compliments the team goals and values within the section
• support teamwork principles
• Description of the leadership style that you as the General Manager would adopt with Harry to influence these recommended changes