How to Become a Better Manager If You Are Not a People Person
You often hear that people tend to leave their job because of bad managers.
And while this may or may not be entirely true, the fact remains: working with a great manager makes everything that much easier, and that much more enjoyable.
Being a good (or a great) manager is not something you are born with. True, there are those who are natural leaders. But there is more to management than leading, and it takes constant improvement.
However, what if you are not really a people person? Or at least, if you don’t consider yourself one?
How can you become a better manager then?
Aren’t You a People Person?
Let’s preface this by saying that while you may not think of yourself as a people person (because there are others out there who are better at it than you are), that does not necessarily mean you are not good with people.
Introverts and shy individuals tend to feel a bit inadequate when placed into managerial situations, but just because they don’t thrive in a crowd doesn’t mean they don’t have other skills that will make them great at managing a group of people.
If your team likes you, trusts you, is open with you, takes your advice on board, achieves good results, and provides a nice environment to work in: you may, in fact, be a people person already, even though you might not see it.
Take Care of Yourself, and Not Just Others
Managers often forget that they need to put on their own oxygen mask first before helping someone else, to use that metaphor.
In order to be good at what you do, you need to make sure you are not running on fumes.
Start by getting a good night’s sleep and investing in a mattress that will help you rest and rejuvenate every night. Mind what you eat and make sure you are running on quality nutrients, as opposed to sugar and caffeine. Find the time to get some exercise at least three times a week to keep your mind and body sharp.
Focus on your own mental health, and don’t run yourself into the ground to ensure others are doing well.
Get to Know Your People
One of the traits of great managers is knowing who your people really are.
What are their individual strengths and weaknesses? What kinds of situations do they work well in, and what is something they are simply not that good at? What do they think about each other? How do they complement each other?
These are just some of the questions you need to answer.
And not being a people person can actually help you.
Instead of focusing on the social aspects of the job and allowing what you think about your team as people to cloud your judgment, you can adopt a completely neutral stance and analyze them from that standpoint.
Talk to Them About the Good and the Bad
This could be the one challenge you are dreading: talking to people with authority and making sure you are heard.
If you feel this is what you struggle with, try to prepare what you want to say in advance.
Write down your key talking points and prepare answers to the questions you anticipate. Remember always to be completely honest, even if you are not quite comfortable with it.
Get used to not always being comfortable: that’s not just life, but leaving your zone of comfort will help you grow into a better manager.
If you are the kind of person who needs some time alone to come up with the best solution, make sure you give yourself that time. Tell your team you will get back to them with an answer, take the time you need, and work out the best solution.
Stay on Top of the Bigger Picture
Being a good manager is as much about delegating and organizing as it is about working with people.
If you are good at keeping every moving element in sight, working with timelines and deadlines, delegating the different aspects of a task, and working out the kinks that arise along the way, you will already be a good manager.
Your main role is to facilitate a good environment and to make sure everyone else has the tools and time they need to do their best work. You can achieve that by delegating based on strengths and weaknesses, offering advice where it is needed, and supplying praise once a job is completed successfully.
Managing people when you are not a people person sounds like a bit of a nightmare – but it doesn’t have to be. You can focus on the aspects of the job you do well and work on your people and communication skills. That way, you’ll be making sure the job is done well and on time.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.