Managing people 101


By Jes Egan

Managing and leading people successfully is a harder task than it may seem and often something that you have to work at just as hard as your job. Learning to manage someone can become easier with experience as you’ve developed these skills over time. Here are a few tips to consider.

Manage yourself first

Managing yourself may seem easy or unnecessary, but managing yourself so that someone else who works with you can feel confident in what you are doing is key. If you want to inspire and motivate someone to do their best, you have to show that you are also managing this yourself and understand your strengths and weaknesses.  Leading by example, passion and determination is infectious.

Be consistent and flexible

Try and be consistent. Don’t be the type of manager where your staff feel that they have to gauge your mood or temperament before they approach you. Allow them the confidence to feel that they can approach you for anything: a problem or a success.

Stay flexible though. It’s not being inconsistent but allows you to change direction when the task at hand needs it.

Treat people how you’d like to be treated

Leading by example is key, creating a good work environment where people feel respected, safe and confident is a great combination and can allow your employees to thrive. Think about the type of environment and how you’d like to be treated or spoken to and do all you can to ensure this happens.  Consider people and show compassion when needed- you can get the best out of people when you do this.  Acknowledge good work, especially when someone or a team does a good job.

If you have multiple employees, ensure you give equal treatment, they don’t have to be treated exactly the same but don’t show favouritism or give one special treatment over another.

Get to know your employee/s

Showing a healthy interest in your employee's lives outside of work will help make you an interested and involved employer. You don’t need to know every detail of their lives or be their shoulder to cry on but having an interest in what they are doing on the weekend or their hobbies or children can really help you to get to know your employees. Having interests outside of work is healthy for an employee and acknowledging this can help develop a great working environment.

Trust your workers

Trust your workers and encourage them to do it their way and try not to get too caught up in the finer detail, let them do that and empower them to take charge of their jobs. Don’t get angry if they don’t do it exactly how you’d do it. Allow them to do it their way and you may learn how to do it differently. If you give people your trust, I have found that they may go out of their way to ensure they don’t disappoint or lose that trust.

Be clear

Ensure you are clear in your tasks and are specific with what is needed to be done. What you get out of people  can be related to what you put in, so explain why things need to be done and share your vision. Communicate and value the people who work with you - make sure you listen to their ideas.

Take responsibility

Be responsible - if a problem is pointed out, help find a solution and don’t focus on the negative or what was done wrong, just find a way to fix it. If feedback is given to you in the form of a problem, understand it and try to resolve it, making sure that you feed information back to them on how you’re resolving it. If there is a human error or a mistake made by a team, don’t throw your employee/s under the bus, instead focus on making it right and sit down after it is resolved and debrief on what went wrong and where so you can ensure you don’t make the same mistake next time. Remember, mistakes happen, it’s not always a bad thing in the long run, so learn what you can from it.

Managing people can be a hard thing to do, check in with your staff, see how they’re going. Don’t take it too personally if some of their feedback is negative - work on finding a way to make it better.

Jes is a ‘practical creative’ and a very busy lady, doing the business in a digital agency, being an artist, a university lecturer, and small business owner who can creatively be found cutting up a storm at Follow Jes on Instagram and Facebook