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iManage, Issue #34 - 3 Steps to Gaining Confidence As A People Manager
August 26, 2012


3 Steps To Gaining Confidence As A People Manager

Marie is a successful IT Manager for a small software company. She can solve just about any software issue with her razor sharp problem solving skills. An incredible organiser, Marie never wastes time looking for things as everything is in its place.

I could go on.. but when it comes to managing people, Marie feels unsure and lost at sea. So how can Marie reduce the stress she feels around that part of her job? If you have the same concerns, here are 3 steps to gaining confidence as a people manager.

Step 1: Take a look outside

Sometimes it is good to look at where you are from an external viewpoint. If you are managing people, then someone, somewhere, recognised that you had the ability to manage others, maybe not immediately, but with time, training and practical experience. Or maybe you earned that right by building your own business.

List all the positive attributes that you bring to the job and give yourself a pat on the back. It is so easy to focus on the negatives that you can lose sight of the bigger picture, and why you were put in a people management position in the first place.

Step 2: Face the issues

When you feel anxious, unhappy or even intimidated by the behaviour of someone in your team, don't just hope it will go away. Have an open and frank discussion with that person.

Listen to their concerns. Perhaps you have not made yourself clear to them regarding what you expect. Or maybe they feel you are unapproachable for some reason. Let them know your concerns as well, without blame or accusation.

Yes, there is a danger that this will create a splash. But sometimes that is better than having a stagnant pool. It could be the first step to getting the issues resolved and that will help you in gaining confidence in the long term.

Step 3: Trust your instinct

Your team all have different personalities, needs and ways of working. It is highly likely that some will not warm to you as a manager, however good you do your job.

If you aim to be a people pleaser, then you may lose sight of what you are supposed to be achieving in the first place, to maintain or grow the business. So when you make decisions, ask yourself are you making them for the right reason. Your instinct will guide you, if you listen to it.

If like Marie, managing people does not come naturally to you, don't despair. It is a skill that can be learned, both off the job, and by reflecting on situations that develop on the job. Communicate with your team on a regular basis, get feedback on your management style and see it as a long term journey of self-improvement.

Recognise what you are doing right along the way, and you will find your are gaining confidence in small but significant steps over time.

For a comprehensive guide to managing people and yourself in the workplace download our Essential Management Skills Workbook Collection

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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