The Challenge of People Management

A research report just released this week on ‘Absence Management’ from the Charterted Institute of Personnel and Development & Simply Health cited workplace stress as the leading cause of long-term stress in the workplace and cites one of the main causes of this being ‘management style’.

According to Dr Thomas Gordon (Leadership Effectiveness Training, 2001, p.5) feedback from over twenty peers and direct reports in the case of a single plant manager following completion of leadership training identified him as having the following ‘desirable characteristics’:
– “Listens with understanding; willing to discuss problems; open to ideas; gives time to listen
– Supports and helps; backs you up; is on your side; remembers your problems;
– Uses team approach; helps group reach better decisions, facilitates co-operation
– Avoids close supervision; does not overboss; does not dictate
– Communicates openly and honestly, tells you what he thinks, you can trust what he says”

You might think ‘all very nice but do we have the time and what about the bottom line??’ – however it appears there were also organisation-wide improvements in co-operation between departments, efficiency and cost reduction, profits and productivity.

The reality is that most managers get promoted because of their expertise and experience in their field of training. But management of a team requires not just skills as an engineer, nurse, IT specialist but also skills in effectively managing and bringing the best out in people. Expecting managers to be able to do this without adequate support and training is setting them up for failure and leaving them exposed to being seen as a source of stress.

If you are finding some of the people management aspects of your role challenging, then get in touch – we can provide you with training, consultancy or coaching in key skills around communication, preventing and resolving conflict.