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February 2008 - Management: Know Your People—Part 1

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.February 2008

Management: Know Your People—Part 1

The two previous columns said managers eliminate process interference factors and search for better ways of doing things.  But nothing is more important than for managers or leaders to know the people in the group or organization.

A few years ago, I read that nearly two-thirds of managers surveyed said that dealing with their people took too much time away from their work. I have news for them-their people are their work!

Successful managers know about the people who work for them. They learn by walking around the workplace, interacting with people, and listening to what others say about them. Here is a way to see how well you really know your people. First, make a list of all the people who report to you; if you have trouble, then that should tell you something. Next, write down important information about each one. Finally, see if you can readily answer the following questions (or similar ones) about each person.

Does the person like his/her job or position?
How does the person get along with others?
How well does the person perform on the job?
What are the person's strengths and weaknesses?
What motivates the person to do his or her best work?
How does the person react to criticism and crisis?
What are the person's desires, aspirations, and goals?

Knowing these things about people in your organization or group will help you manage more effectively.  Next month we will look at 7 questions that focus directly on your responsibility as a manager.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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