Be a Star Manager: 5 ways to improve your relationships with your people

For better or worse, there is no magic wand for creating healthy, productive, and rewarding relationships with the people who work with you and for you. Just roll up your sleeves and make a genuine commitment to engaging your troops. It will pay big dividends—for them, for you, and for the business. Here are five critical focus areas:

1. Know them
People are more than a resume. Take the time to get to know your people—their values, their interests, their capabilities, their challenges and aspirations. You can discover untapped skills and abilities. They can air any unaddressed concerns. People will feel better understood and appreciated.

2. Develop them
Offer opportunities at work for your people to grow. There are many ways you can tap their potential: coaching, skills workshops, courses, shadowing, mentoring, increasing responsibility. Offer them challenges. Encourage them to step up and grow.

3. Communicate clearly, early, and often
Be clear about your expectations of them. Wherever possible, keep everyone informed about the whole business, and particularly about anything that impacts their jobs. Walk the talk. If you expect honesty and openness from them, model that in the way you communicate with them.

4. Inspire them
You’re the architect. Communicate a clear vision of where you want to go as a team, and talk about how to get there. Invite collaboration and participation. Introduce opportunities to solve problems together. Encourage risk taking, and acknowledge that failure is a by-product of innovative thinking.

Live the values and mission you’ve articulated for your group and for the business. Give people room to think and contribute. Then step out of the way and let them perform.

5. Recognize performance
When you celebrate accomplishments, you demonstrate you care about them. Acknowledge and offer feedback (once a week at a minimum and every 6 months regarding overall progress). Try to assure that they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day, and remind them that their job is important.

Next week I’ll post five more ways to improve your relationships with your people.

What can you share from your own experience that has benefited your relationship with your reports, your peers, your boss?

If you found this post helpful, check out “About the Book” on this blog, and order yourself a copy of “What could happen if you do nothing?” A manager’s handbook for coaching conversations.

7 Responses to “Be a Star Manager: 5 ways to improve your relationships with your people”

  1. Cyril Beauvert
    May 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I like number 1…have you ever worked for a boss who didn’t really know who you were? Your interests, your capabilities outside your job description…even your kids’ names. Somehow I don’t think any of the other tips can really happen until you know them. Thanks.

    • Della
      June 16, 2011 at 5:44 am #

      Cool you should come up with that. Excellent!

      • Mauve
        June 23, 2011 at 9:24 am #

        Wonderful explanatoin of facts available here.

    • Mildred
      June 18, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      You’ve hit the ball out the park! Incredible!

  2. Kelis
    June 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    More posts of this quality.

  3. Suevonne
    June 18, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  4. Marissa
    June 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Much needed information to keep performance and job satisfaction levels high! Applause, applause!