5 ways to improve people management skills

In today’s dynamic work environment, it is not enough for a leader to be able to just lead a team; s/he must be able to motivate people to go above and beyond, solve difficult problems and be part of a high-performing work culture.
Effective people management can not only influence productivity but also has a direct correlation with morale of employees and their motivation to work harder and smarter. ET brings you some suggestions on how to improve your people managements.

1. Concentrate On Your EQ
EQ, or emotional quotient, is as important as IQ, or intelligence quotient. “Provide direction and goals to your team without micromanaging, and be open to new ideas and approaches,” says Vivek Prakash, co-founder of HackerEarth, a Bengaluru-based innovation and talent management startup. “It is also important to be able to leverage the strengths of people and listen to everyone without dictating what needs to be done,” he says.
2. Involve Everyone
Your team most likely has a mix of introverts and extroverts. Be sure to involve the quieter ones, as otherwise the vocal ones tend to dominate. “Good leadership is about getting the quiet ones—who usually have good ideas—to talk,” says Bala Parthasarathy, co-founder of app-based loan facilitating startup MoneyTap.
3. Focus on Communication Skills
No amount of communication is ever enough, and the most important messages need to be repeated again and again. “Leaders must communicate transparently, and clearly make known the larger goals and objectives to ensure that everyone is on the same page,” says Prakash of HackerEarth. “This instils confidence in the team and creates a sense of fairness,” he says. Parthasarathy of MoneyTap said leaders should use stories and anecdotes as tools to communicate better.
4. Practice Empathy
This is one of the most important people management skill for leaders to possess, according to Arjun Pratap, founder of HR technology solutions startup EdGE Networks. “Cultivate the ability to put yourself in your employees’ shoes, to understand their strengths and limitations: this will help you take better decisions in the long run,” Pratap says. Empathy can also go a long way in creating a great working ecosystem at the office, he says.
5. Recognise Contributions
Every employee is an asset to an organisation and thus recognising their efforts and contributions is an important aspect when it comes to managing people. “It not only builds the confidence of the individual but also motivates her/him to work harder in line with the organisation’s goals,” says Pratap of EdGE Networks. “Create a robust feedback and reward-recognition system at work to help track the employee’s growth,” he says.

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