People Management Skills Ultimate Guide

What are People Management Skills?

Welcome to the captivating world of People Management, where the art of unleashing the full potential of your team takes centre stage. In our highly anticipated Ultimate Guide to People Management Skills, we invite you on a transformative journey that will empower you to become an exceptional manager.

As a manager, you hold the key to driving exceptional outcomes by skillfully managing the relationships within your team. In this guide, we unravel the intricacies of people management, equipping you with the essential tools and strategies to ensure that your company, department, team, and individuals perform at their peak.

At its core, managing people is about unlocking the full potential of the most valuable resource at your disposal—your people. With our comprehensive guide, you will learn how to foster strong relationships, inspire motivation, and create a culture of high performance that fuels remarkable results.

This guide is your gateway to becoming a manager who inspires, motivates, and achieves extraordinary results. Don’t miss out on this exceptional opportunity to elevate your managerial prowess!

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A comprehensive guide for your success


This Ultimate Guide will Cover:

  1. What are People Management Skills? (Above)
  2. What is People Management?
  3. Why Do We Need Skills in People Management?
  4. How Do We Best Manage Our People?
  5. Four Behaviours of Good People Managers
  6. What’s the Difference Between People Management Skills and Leadership Skills?
  7. Six Skills of Good People Managers
  8. People Management Models
  9. Motivational Models of People Management
  10. Twelve Practical Tips To Be an Excellent People Manager
  11. How to Improve Your People Management Skills
  12. Further Skills in People Management Reading and Resources

2) What is People Management?

Watch this 1.5-minute video to hear more and how to develop these skills:

Links to one minute YouTube video on what is people management for managing difficult people
This one-minute video will give you an overview of what people management is


3) Why Do We Need People Management Skills?

In a world where the diversity in the workplace is only increasing, people management skills mean more than just having the posture and the look of a boss. In fact, it is about forming and cementing relationships, providing the right motivation, keeping the team on track, understanding the needs of an individual and helping people meet their goals.

The benefits are undeniable. All in all, a great team will be productive, have drive and motivation, and be happy and successful. Poor leadership and management can have a negative effect that can lead to low morale, poor performance and worse, the loss of valuable talent.

Thousands of searches are made to find the 3 skills of a manager, the top 5 leadership skills or the 3 basic types of management skills. People also look for the best management skills, or the type of skills you need to be a manager or leader. But there isn’t a silver bullet for skills in people management. You need to work on a variety of skills and behaviours.

Let’s explore the difference between management and leadership, the skills, behaviours and models that make good people managers. In doing so, we will answer some of the core questions above.

4) How Do We Best Manage Our People?

People management is useful in all areas of business, although, when we think of business we may think of an office and people in suits and ties. However, another place we see people management is in sports. It could be any team activity really. But, it’s easy to draw parallels with the world of football. The reasons why you need management skills as a football club manager are similar to why we need these skills in a typical business environment.

Consider This Football Analogy…

Long before the kick-off, the manager has to make sure they think about every aspect of the team’s performance. From having the right tools (the necessary kit in good order) to their physical fitness (training and diet) to the strategy to win the game. All these things are vitally important. However, once the players are on the pitch, the manager can only watch on.

Therefore, with People Management skills, the team has to be instilled with the mental strength, team spirit and motivation to win. If they fail to do this, the team will lack a sense of purpose. What’s more, communication on the pitch will break down, and there won’t be the will or stamina to beat the opponent.

Now read that football analogy again. This time picture your staff and team and ask yourself this question:

Do your skills in people management enable your team to achieve their goals (and in turn yours) by supporting them with the right tools, a positive physical and mental environment, clear goals and strategy, plus the motivation to succeed?

If the answer is no, don’t worry. This guide to people management skills is here to help.

When leaders feel confident that they can produce creative outcomes, their subordinates become more creative.”

– Dina Krasikova

5) Four Behaviours of Good People Managers

When people see these positive behaviours in their manager, they are more likely to copy those good habits. Basically, practice what you preach in all aspects of your work.

#1- Good People Managers Lead by Example

It is true that in a lot of cases, people do what they see and not what they are told. So as a great leader, you should behave how you want your team members to behave. This could be simple things like punctuality, having a positive attitude and being a good team player.

#2- Good Managers Build Relationships and Trust

People are more than just the eight or so hours they spend in the office. Getting to know your staff means you can notice if people aren’t acting like themselves. Often, when people aren’t performing well at work it is because they are struggling in another aspect of their life.

Knowing your staff well enough and having that trust to have those conversations and get to the bottom of the issue is good for everyone. That person may need some flexibility around work to get things sorted in their personal life. And working together can help to solve things and encourage others to reach out for help. It can also create an engaged employee once the issue has been sorted out.

#3- Good People Managers Have Strong Ethics

Working in a transparent and honest environment makes people feel safe. They know what is expected of them and the consequences if they don’t behave ethically. In addition, knowing that the rules are the same for everyone is comforting for staff. So treat everyone as equals without favouritism and discrimination.

#4- Good People Managers are Wonderful Motivators

Having the drive to be self-motivated is a great skill that your team can then copy into their own work life. One of the best ways to motivate your team to hit targets is to make the challenge fun. This could be making it a competition with prizes, or a monthly team reward for hard work. In essence, simple things that go above and beyond to show your team that you appreciate them.

‘If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

– Richard Branson

6) What’s the Difference Between People Management Skills and Leadership Skills?

The word ‘manager’ and the word ‘leader’ are often used interchangeably. That is, people don’t always know there is a difference. Management and managers are an organisational position. They fit into the organisational chart and are responsible for managing a team of people and reporting up the chain. Whereas leadership and being a leader is a quality that a person has. Not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers.

2 lists showing the difference between Leaders vs Managers for people management skills
Are you a Leader or a Manager?



To be a manager, you need to organise people and carry out the day-to-day management tasks. These are things like performance reviews, managing the team’s holiday schedule, monitoring attendance and sickness and dealing with any potential workplace grievances. Of course, these tasks are important and the team would be chaotic without them. However, these tasks don’t inspire team members to hit their targets and be productive and efficient.


Being a leader is being someone who inspires others to be their best self. A great leader leads by example, motivates people, provides guidance and builds a productive environment where team members get excited about doing their jobs.

People Management is a combination of the two, applied directly to people and not just to tasks. In order to manage people effectively, you need to connect with them and be able to organise them. Moreover, you must also be able to inspire them and guide them to reach the company targets and their own personal career goals. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out the section on 12 Practical Tips To Be An Excellent People Manager (below).

Management and leadership can be learnt. And taking time management training and influencing skills training can help you better manage the day-to-day activities of your team. Equally, taking courses on motivational leadership can help you be a better leader. For further information, read our Leadership Skills Ultimate Guide.

My idea of management is that it is your job (as the boss) to find really good people, empower them and then leave them alone.”

– Ruth Reichl

Excuse the Interruption, but Here’s a Little Bit About Us…

We are the soft skills training provider, partnering with clients that are frustrated by people returning from training courses and then doing nothing differently. Our clients choose us because we achieve behavioural change through our unique training method, sticky learning ®

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Learn more about MBM’s signature sticky learning method


To find out more about the principles of people management, contact us today.

7) Six Skills of Good People Managers

We have already talked about being organised, being a leader and being a motivator. Now other important principles of skills in people management are:

#1- Decision Makers

Making decisions for your team helps to set goals for everyone so people know what they need to do. Whereas being indecisive makes things unclear for people. They may then struggle to make their decisions and plan their day. People won’t thrive in an uncertain environment.

#2- Multi-Taskers

Have your eye on all the activities in the team at once. Try to be on the ball and be able to do more than one thing at a time. This means you are managing your time better and getting more done. Not to mention, that, your team can learn this useful skill from watching you get more done in your day. However, be sure that you are successfully doing each task rather than doing lots of jobs badly. You need to set the right example.

#3- Communicators

Communication is a subtle art form. Specifically, how you talk to people, your tone of voice and your body language makes a huge difference in how people respond to you and the relationships people build. Professor Albert Mehrabian teaches us that communication isn’t just about the words we use, but also the tone and facial expressions during the conversation. Therefore, having an argumentative or disrespectful tone immediately gets people’s backs up. They may refuse before they even know what you’re saying to them. It doesn’t matter what position a team member holds, we should speak to everyone with equal respect, from the CEO to the new starters.

#4- Listeners

Listening to your team members is vital if you want to be a good people manager. Listening to people actively shows them you care about what they have to say. When you are listening to someone, instead of listening to reply, listen to understand what they are saying instead. James Cash Penney said, ‘The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.’  

#5- Negotiators and Conflict Resolvers

In a group of people, there are often personalities that clash and conflicts that come up. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the air conditioner temperature, but people don’t like to work in a tense environment. As a good people manager, you will be able to resolve conflict and negotiate a fair outcome to keep people as happy as you can and ensures you retain your talent over the long term.

In this scenario, having a set temperature for the thermostat in winter and in summer that remains the same and encouraging ‘colder’ people to bring in extra layers and ‘warmer’ people to get a small fan for their desks can help to keep everyone happy. A simple solution that creates a happier work environment.

#6- Team Builders

There will be people in your team who like to be challenged and develop. Moreover, there will be people in the team who like to just do their job and are happy to stay where they are career-wise. Effective team building requires you to recognise these driven people so you can develop and progress them.

Also, ensure to still acknowledge the people who reach their targets but are happy to stay where they are. Because both types are important in the team structure. The driven members could be trained up as deputy managers and encouraged to apply for progression roles in the future. Meanwhile, reliable team members that want to stay where they are can keep your team going.

Maximise Your People Management Through One-to-Ones:

Making time to use the above six skills is essential. One-to-ones provide a good opportunity to work with your team on a personal, individual level. Take a look at our PDF guide to maximise this valuable opportunity. Click on the image below for a higher resolution:

Manager's One-to-Ones Infographic for people management from MBM
Try these tips for hosting impactful one-to-ones for managers


8) People Management Models

First, a History…

The concept of people management skills has evolved through the ages as business and industry have developed. For example, in the 1800s-1900s, the main business activity was done in factories, work was very task orientated and Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory was the approach used. It focused on having tasks and rewarding or punishing workers that met or didn’t meet their targets. All in all, the focus was on results, with a mass of workers and a few managers at the top to oversee this.

Things evolved a bit in the mid-nineties with the Bureaucratic Management Theory by Max Weber. This theory added more layers to the management structure and standardised the tasks that workers carried out. Eventually, it was noticed that not looking after your people led to a dissatisfied workforce and this reduced productivity. This led to the Human Relations Movement and the start of Human Resources. Hence, appreciating, and looking after people became the focus. This movement is still in place today, with Human Resource Planning essential to every business.

The Mintzberg Management Theory

Henry Mintzberg believes that management is something that you learn with experience and he wants an environment for growing your skills for managing people in every business. He thinks that there are five different organisation types, and this is about how the business managerial structure is set up. For example, having no formal management structure, through to a very structured managerial setup.

He also thinks that no matter what type of organisation you have, there should be six basic parts of the business. But the details are less important than understanding the belief system he has. The part that applies to good people management skills is ‘managerial roles’.

Mintzberg’s theory focuses on there being three different roles for managers. The interpersonal, informational and decision-making roles. Within these roles, there are skills to work on to be the best manager you can be.

You will see once you have read the list below, that these are all skills that you may already have, or could develop without needing anyone else to do it for you. Moreover, it is very empowering to know that you’re 10 steps away from being an even better people manager!

Mintzberg maagerial roles blog post image with cartoon managers
The three roles at a glance


#1- Interpersonal Role:
  • Be a figurehead for the company and present yourself professionally. This skill is completely within your own power to carry out and doesn’t rely on other team members.
  • Be a leader. As we discussed earlier, managers and leaders are different. All in all, lead your team, guide and inspire people.
  • Be a liaison. Talk to people and network outside of your team. Also, liaise well with your team members to get important messages across. Think about how you communicate with people and practice putting yourself out there and being more confident.
#2- Informational Role:
  • Be a monitor. This is about being aware of issues that come up and being open to change to resolve issues. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. So this is about keeping your eyes open and not becoming complacent.
  • Be a disseminator. This just means spreading information to the people who need it and can do something with it. Delegation also fits into this role. The reason being you need to know your team members and their skill sets to delegate effectively.
  • Be a spokesperson. This can apply to selling your company brand to others. However, it also applies to being an advocate for your team members. You are their voice in meetings that aren’t open to everyone.
  • Delegating can succeed or fail, depending on how you do it.
Do and Don't bullet points for delegation in people management with thumbs up and thumbs down icons
Use these do’s and don’ts to delegate and improve your skills for managing people


#3- Decision-making Role:
  • Be an entrepreneur. In a developed company this would look more at encouraging innovation and getting people who do the job daily to suggest improvements that can save time and money. They are best placed to make those changes.
  • Be a disturbance handler. Solve the niggling problems and any blocks that are stopping your team or the company from working effectively and in harmony. Don’t let a small issue become a big deal.
  • Be a resource allocator. This can be funding or people’s time. Basically, you are utilising the unique skillsets in the team so that the most efficient people are carrying out the right tasks.
  • Be a negotiator. Help to smooth conflict by being fair and trying to take everyone’s wishes into consideration.
Links to YouTube Video on Mintzberg's managerial roles with Sherri Hartzell for people management skills
Watch this short video on Henry Mintzberg’s Managerial Roles


9) Motivational Models of People Management

Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg both created models about motivating people. You can see more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how this can be used in motivating people in the next section. We will focus on Herzberg’s model here.

Herzberg’s approach is that there are two parts to motivating people. Firstly, motivators, are directly linked to the job being done and include things like recognition, promotion and the opportunity to progress. Then you have hygiene factors, which are the things that would demotivate people if they aren’t there. Things like the environment and the safety of the workplace are examples of hygiene factors.

Overview of motivators and hygiene factors:

In essence, motivators are what is there and hygiene factors demotivate by not being there. See the infographic below for more details.

Infographic showing the Hygiene factors and motivators of the Hertzberg's Theory of Motivation with up and down arrows
Motivation depends on both hygiene factors and motivators


To be a good people manager you should be creating more motivators in your business area. You can do this by giving people variety in their daily tasks. This keeps people interested. So give your team members work at a level of complexity they find engaging. This will make them feel more accomplished at the end of the day. Finally, empower people to make their own decisions so they feel more in control of their working life.

You also want to remove any demotivators which would be the poor hygiene factors. Make sure people are in the right pay bracket, and encourage a harmonious & happy work environment so people want to come to work. Encourage good relationships between colleagues and friends. Furthermore, be mindful to create a workplace environment that promotes good mental health.

Links to YouTube Video on Herzberg's two factor theory
Understand the Hertzberg two-factor theory with this quick video


10) Twelve Practical Tips to Be an Excellent People Manager

#1- Be a Pillar to Lean On

As a manager, you need to be able to negotiate the management iceberg. The first part is everything you can consciously manage above the water, it’s what you can see, it’s tangible. The second part is all those things that lie beneath the surface and are more difficult to pinpoint. Here, you must learn to subconsciously manage and become more aware. The emotionally intelligent manager is able to navigate his or her way around it.

Simple Level:

At a simple level, let members of your team know that you are there for them. Give them the confidence to reach out and ask for help. Indeed, this knowledge alone can boost your team. Even more, this encourages each team player to help one another. However, be careful to not give the impression that you are the only one who can solve every problem that arises. Your goal is to empower, inspire and cultivate a team spirit.

Complex Level:

With ever more challenging targets, customer demands and, of course, a group of people coming from different backgrounds, you can expect workplace conflict to arise. When that happens, the way to a swift resolution is to have a conflict strategy. In essence, take the time to understand the situation, gather tangible evidence, listen to the parties involved and where possible look for a mutually agreeable outcome. However, even when you take a position that isn’t neutral, don’t alienate the other party you rule against.

When you follow a simple strategy and act fairly, everyone is satisfied with the outcome.

Tip: Let your team members know how you prefer to discuss things; Catch up in a weekly 1-2-1? Email for non-urgent matters? A phone call if it is? Do not say, ‘I’m always available, just call me’, because they won’t.

#2- Give Your Team Space

In the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, he talks about how trust is the cornerstone of any successful team. For the people you manage to deliver results, you have to trust them. How to do that is one of the People Management skills you need. If you don’t trust the people you lead, you remove the confidence they need to reach their potential.

Purple trust equation for people management skills
Trusting your team is one of the key people management skills


How to Gain Trust?

It isn’t easy though. There is always a tendency to resort to unnecessary and even counterproductive micromanaging of your team. Stopping the habit starts with effective recruitment. In addition, it is necessary to provide training and establish solid processes everyone can follow. It also involves treating your team members with respect; seeing them as partners, and only together can you meet your goals.

Contrarily, combine a lack of trust and micromanagement and you could be fostering some very negative conditions. In the worst-case scenario, your team could actively rebel against you.

If you’re a business owner doing a lot of hovering, either you’ve got the wrong people, or you need an attitude adjustment.”

– Cynthia Kay

Tip: Once you hire through a thorough process and give the right training, keep off the back of the team members. Find out what to do when you don’t trust your team.

#3- Be a Good Listener

Infographic showing the skills to be a good listener for people management with an ear icon
Master these 10 tips to becoming a better listener


There are Different Facets to Listening

Passive listening makes the people you lead feel unworthy and undeserving of your time. Other bad listening habits include rushing to conclusions, and, worst of all, completing the sentences of those talking to you. These poor habits not only make you miss valuable information and subtle signs but can lead to strained relationships. Lack of effective communication is one of the main obstacles to performance.

So how do you fix this? You need to listen actively.

In other words, you need to be fully present, stop everything you are doing and focus on the person talking to you. Also, pause before replying and never hesitate to ask for clarification. Furthermore, rephrase what you hear in your own words so that the speaker can gauge whether you’ve understood them well.

Many experts agree that effective listening motivates the people who work with you. Therefore, it is one of the people management skills you should strive to acquire.

Tip: Create ample time and space to listen to your team’s concerns.

#4- Share Success With the Team

One of the most valuable skills for managing people is to encourage the mentality and language of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. The ‘we’ perspective makes everyone feel that their effort in achieving team goals is appreciated. This is a key leadership and people management skill that you should work on.

As the team leader, sharing the credit will earn you not only respect but also recognition.

Tip: If you want recognition share the credit.

#5- Delegate Responsibly

The importance of delegating effectively can have a very motivating effect and lets you work on tasks that need your attention the most. Apart from making you more productive, delegating boosts team spirit as well as confidence. It also leverages the strengths of each team member.

Now remember to delegate to team members who are capable to carry out the task. This achieves two things at once. Firstly, the person feels confident that they have the skills to do the job. Moreover, you as the delegator are reassured that the job will be done well because the overall responsibility remains with you.

Tip: Use the Eisenhower Principle of urgency versus importance to choose tasks to give to your team. Begin by letting your team handle tasks that are least urgent and least important. Also, don’t confuse abdicating responsibility with delegating!

#6- Involve Your Team in Decision-Making

Being part of the decision-making process grows a sense of ownership. And ownership creates more passion, dedication, and loyalty.

Good team management involves the team members in decision-making which ensures that you use the skills and knowledge of the team. Past experience, expert knowledge and creative thinking can go a long way in contributing to sound business decisions.

Tip: Develop the good habit of asking for feedback from your team members.

MBM infographic explaining the FEEDBACK acronym for good people manager to give feedback
Giving supportive feedback involves eight different elements


#7- Be Confident

Confident people managers inspire those they lead to be creative and more productive. Confidence is one of the many skills for managing people that enable you to make decisions, resolve conflict and command respect.

The first step to building your confidence is to accept that you are human, that you have strengths and weaknesses, and know yourself well enough to know what those are.

Our strengths:

Exercising and demonstrating our strengths boosts confidence and gives us the energy that our people can feed off. Be mindful not to focus too much on any weaknesses you have. The reason is, this can be draining and counterproductive. Knowing your weaknesses will help you to draw on your team members who have strengths in those areas. After all, your team is there to support you.

Keep Developing:

Confidence is being sure of what you know and who you are. Therefore, understanding more about yourself and new people management skills and leadership skills should be part of your learning journey. Listen to what others have to say, read books and attend workshops that expand and deepen your expertise.

Look Good Too:

Confidence also goes beyond what’s inside, how we physically feel and look can affect us. Investing in a balanced, healthy lifestyle (with plenty of room for fun) is worthwhile. Also, work on your communication skills. Take a course, if you need to, on how to communicate with your body posture. While these might seem minor, they have an enormous impact on how people perceive you. This, in turn, influences how you feel about yourself.

Tip: Embrace the power of autosuggestion to grow your confidence. That means consciously programming your attitude.

#8- Manage from the Front

Simply put, take an active role in what you are urging and directing others to do.

You are defined by your actions, not your words. Honesty, integrity and commitment are outstanding values, and when combined with the effective people management skills we are talking about here, you can expect others to follow you and show the same behaviours.

All in all, being in a position of authority means people will look up to you. Doing what you say you will and how you present yourself has a profound impact.

Exhibiting high standards earns respect. Uphold these and you’ll find your team doing the same. Be on time for 1-2-1’s and meetings, keep your word, reward a job well done, and celebrate success. These gestures will plant seeds of trust and reliability within the team.

Invest time in living and breathing your values and standards, and you will then see this mirrored in your team’s behaviour and performance.

Tip: Work to gain respect from your team.

#9- Trust Your Gut

This is where your intuition should help you make decisions. In fact, prominent business leaders like Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey are known to rely on their instincts.

In the absence of hard evidence, a well-reasoned hunch, validated where possible by data or the team, can be a leading light when nothing else seems illuminated!

Intuition is the natural intelligence that allows us to see ahead of the curve, to generate innovative ideas, to communicate powerfully, and to do so without having to study spreadsheets or gather piles of data.” – Simone Wright

Tip: Read our HBDI Ultimate Guide to help you understand how our brains work, especially in regard to problem-solving.

#10- Be Compassionate

In his book, ‘Leaders Eat Last’, Simon Sinek states that good leaders and managers should show empathy. He explains why a good manager has to understand things from the other person’s perspective. Moreover, managing is more than just demonstrating good People Management skills; it’s also a responsibility to look out for others.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs highlights what motivates people in different ways; basic, psychological and fulfilment needs. Behaviour can change when one or more of these needs are not met. What this means for you is that sometimes you’ll have to dig deeper to understand a performance issue. People are more than just their job, a holistic approach to your team members’ well-being and a flexible give-and-take approach can show your team that you care about them as a whole person.

Take a look at our adapted Hierarchy of Needs for the modern workplace, below. Click to view a larger version:

Pyramid illustrating Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs based on motivation and de-motivation
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Adapted to People Management


How it Works

Take, for example, that one of your best team members misses several deadlines. After the first discussion (and possibly a reprimand), you learn their workload is OK and they are happy at work. Using sensitivity you’ll need to probe to find the underlying reason. It could be a difficult family situation, money problems or health issues.

The point is, sometimes the cause is outside of your control and what you can directly influence. You will need to work together with the person to come up with a solution that meets the needs of both them and the organisation.

In his book, ‘Accelerate’, John P. Kotter, emphasises the need for understanding when managing people. He points out that you must look at things from your employees’ viewpoints. That way you will understand their driving force and come up with effective strategies that will motivate them even more.

Tip: Always imagine yourself in the shoes of those you manage to understand their perspective on situations.

#11- Set Clear Objectives

It’s number 11 on our list of skills for managing people, but it’s one of the most important.

It’s good to have a clear set of organisational values, a great strategy and an engaging vision. We’ve all seen the motivational posters on the wall telling us all about it. Well, let me tell you a secret, they don’t get the work done. Sure they help with how you go about the work, but getting it done well, on time and by the right person? Not so much.

You need to be smarter, very SMART in fact. Having goals clearly defined, documented and integrated with good processes will increase the chances of success greatly.

Click the below image for a larger version:

Infographic explaining smart objectives from MBM
Having SMART objectives means your goal are much more achievable


However, it does even more than that! It helps people focus, prioritise and know what is expected of them… It also creates a sense of purpose motivation and ownership… AND you get to measure tangible results which means you can do more reward and recognition that improves performance and team spirit.

Phew! See why it’s important?

Tip: Check out the useful ready reckoner (above) to assess if your objectives are truly SMART.

#12- Be Ready to Change

Change is the only constant and it rolls at an ever-increasing pace. Being a good leader means staying ahead of the curve. Furthermore, being a good manager means being aware of what is on the horizon and keeping your team heading in the right direction.

Do nothing and you risk being overtaken by events, other people, or your own team. So to stay ahead of the game, continually look to develop your people management skills. Try to spare some time to learn every day. If you do that, your leadership skills will grow exponentially.

Tip: Use these 5 Steps to Overcome Resistance to Organisational Development and effect productive change.

10) How to Improve Your Skills for Managing People

The easiest way to develop your People Management skills is to attend a training session on the core skills and behaviours. This will help you understand the theoretical models in the classroom. This could be a People Management course, or a shorter course on one of the skills, for instance, feedback. It is then critical that you embed the skills by using them in your day-to-day role.

The suggestion for this would be to get someone to coach you. This could be an external professional or someone you trust in the business to push you. All in all, the main purpose of executive coaching is to help you think about your behaviours and skills differently. Moreover, to make sure that you are being held accountable for using the skills you have. You only become a better leader by pushing yourself to use new models and change your behaviours.

11) Further Reading and Resources

Finally, you can find further insight, detailed definitions and clarification of all the key People Management terms mentioned in this guide in our People Management Glossary.

#1- Articles from Our Blog:

#2- Quotes

‘Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to go to work to deal with them.’ – Paul Hawken

‘Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person, not just as an employee, are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which lead to profitability.’ – Anne Mulcahy

‘The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.’ – Ralph Nader

‘Management is nothing more than motivating people.’ – Lee Lacocc

#3- Books About Skills in People Management

2 self-help books focused on people management skills
Suggested reading to improve your skills for managing people



‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’ by Daniel Pink.

This book looks at how to be a good people manager by motivating people. Daniel compares extrinsic (from outside) and intrinsic (from inside) motivating factors. This just means the difference between rewards, such as money or praise and being naturally satisfied from within.

He also looks at comparing two different approaches to tasks, one being a step-following approach and the other a more creative approach to find out which is more motivating. Another concept focuses on flow. This has three parts: (1) having clear goals, (2) immediate feedback and (3) the difficulty level is set slightly higher than the capability of the person doing the task.

Extracting the Most from Your Team:

‘The One Thing You Need to Know: … About Great Managing, Great Leading and Sustained Individual Success’ by Marcus Buckingham.

This book focuses on making the most of your team members’ individuality and strengths. Using interviews with experts in the field means you get to hear from lots of managers that do this well and learn from them.

#4- People Management Videos

Links to YouTube Video with Darren A. Smith and Lord Mark Price on people management
Watch our People Management skills playlist from our YouTube channel


Linka to YouTube TED talk video with Simen Sinek on great leaders
Simen Sinek discusses how great leaders inspire action in his TED Talks video


Links to YouTube Video with Dan Pink discussing the puzzle of motivation
In his TED Talks video, Dan Pink explores the puzzle of motivation


#5- Contact Us

Feel free to get in touch to find out about how our People Management Training can help you improve your skills for managing people. Simply visit here to contact us or email us at, and we will be happy to get back to you.

Related Categories:

Managing Difficult PeoplePeople Management TipsTeam Building Skills Tips

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