How to manage people? ; The Golden rule of people management

We often think that people around us are difficult to manage.

Our boss does not understands us and our sub-ordinates are not willing to work if not monitored on a daily basis. Is this really true?

(You may read an earlier blog post on: People don’t understand me, what should I do from: http://wisdomfrombooks.com/?p=623)

I recently read an interesting article in which Nic Peeling has defined a golden rule for the front line managers . However, I was thinking that this golden rule can also be applied in our personal lives too. In our family set up, in our community set up, in our offices, in our businesses – every where. The golden rule for the managers for the people management is:

“You will be judged by your actions, not by your words, and your actions shall set the example for your team to follow”.

It is often said that ‘actions speak louder than words’. Therefore, our actions need to be taken care of.

How can we manage people as individuals in an effective manner?

Here are some advises from Nic Peeling on managing people as individuals:

• When you talk to an individual, make sure you give undivided attention, that means no interruptions from phone calls, or beepers, pagers, and the like. Set a clear time limit to your talk.
• Do not finish the other person’s sentences. Listen and wait for your turn. Here are five tips on effective listening: http://wisdomfrombooks.com/?p=938
• Make sure you are interested and give affirmations that you are really listening: make listening sounds, nod your head, or lean forward a bit. • Don’t be judgmental or argumentative
• Think about how the other person perceives things
• Don’t jump to conclusions
• Do not gossip about something told to you in confidence
• Do not tell the same thing differently to different people
• Don’t say things about people you wouldn’t tell them to their face.
• Be straightforward

Just take one moment and think: Are we following the above advice?

I found that I need to improve on a few – what about you?

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33 Responses to How to manage people? ; The Golden rule of people management

  1. Here the key point is . . . thinking about what I lack and need to improve upon.. . Not what my seniors and juniors need to improve upon!!

    More often than not, we think as if its not us who have to change, and till we change this perception, progress wouldn’t be made.

    • This is so true Jawad sb that instead of bringing change in people around us, if we change our perception a little, things can be improved a lot – thanks for sharing

  2. it is indeed difficult to manage people beign straightforward is more difficult. We need to use diplomacy at times. good article keep it up.

    • Thank your papa for comments and encouragement – I think that by being straight forward, the sense is to convey the message clearly. Being tactful and being diplomatic are forms to convey the message without making other person offended. Though, tact and diplomacy are difficult to apply at times – thanks again for encouragement

    • Thanks Asad for comments – a few things might be in the module but a few things come from practical work; Thanks for sharing your thoughts. In my view, the key is application in real world and ensuring that people are managed in best possible manner.

    • Thanks Sara – Nice to hear from your side after long time. In my view, leadership traits can be acquired / learnt – will write on it soon – thanks again for appreciation.

  3. Very practical and true thoughts. I must agree that I have been violating many of these ideas and that is why my relationship with people around are not what I want these to be.

    Keep it up Malik Mirza!

    • Thanks Shakeel sb – I think that at some point in time, we do violate some principles and see the reaction too. If you have time, please share your thoughts on other posts on this blog.

  4. Many people do all the talking, and I’m a silent spectator. How should I make sure that I’m heard?

    Also, I often find being straightforward impossible without being rude, the result being that I can’t say “No”.

    Sir, any suggestions. I think I’m way too nice and easily make friends but as I said the biggest problem is that I can’t say No.

    Thanks. Great Post

    • Interesting points raised Umair sb – Its not only you but many of us who are silent spectators at time. It is nice to observe than to speak unless and untill our speech is fruitful. Here is some advise from What they don’t teach you at Harvard Busienss School: http://wp.me/pHUHq-6t

      And yes, if we want to crticize, there is an approach called ‘hamburger approach’. Read about it from: http://wp.me/pHUHq-aU

      Saying no at times is a big challenge. However, we need to negotiate at times. Here are some tips on negotiations: http://wp.me/pHUHq-eH

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Umair – keep on reading and sharing your thoughts

      • Thanks for the useful links. I’ve done a few mba projects entirely unwillingly, but just because someone requested me. I’ve seen so many mbas not do this themselves, either it’s plagiarized or done by somebody else. The culture of not doing it yourself at higher level of education is deplorable.

        Sorry for the mba-bashing but not doing it yourself kills the purpose of the activity. It’s not good of me to accept such assignments :(

  5. Malik sb,

    I agree that effective listening is essential in people management, both upward & downward. Please share how to manage very young people who start work at a very early age like 23/24 years of age. For them life style is more important than carrier. They can easily switch 2/3 or 4 jobs till they reach 30′s. Any suggestions?

    • Thanks Faheem Sb for your comments and appreciation. The young generation of 24 – 26 years is called millennial in the management literature. They are young, vibrant, energetic and agile. They use technology easily and have vigor to deliver. The question on changing jobs or in the career development is: what is the ultimate goal and where does that youngster see himself or herself in next ten to fifteen years and why should this goal be pursued? Once this “why” is answered, “how” becomes easy to respond to. Thanks again for comments and please share your experiences and thoughts on this blog whenever you feel it adequate regards

  6. realy nice shareing Mirza sb, I jst started my profesinl lyf and some things are creating problems for me bt now after reading ur artile i understand wt to do. Keep it up n thanku.

  7. I can’t deny the points mentioned in this comprehensive article. I agree that I need to work on some points. Your advice is required. The fact is that I am a very good listener and people come to me to discuss and talk about different matters whether regarding family or work. But I sometimes fall in to arguments while talking with peers (not juniors or seniors) or friends. I maintain a respect level but still I fear someone might feel bad although this hasn’t happened yet.

    Being straightforward is a difficult thing. I am not because I cannot establish the limits where I can deliver the message with full power with soft words. I think and I observe that people have to use strong words and style to deliver the straightforward meaning. And this is the thing which makes them unpopular amongst others. The other way is to deliver a weak message in soft words without harming others, yourself and the work.

    • Thanks Adeeb sb for your comments and sharing your thoughts. In our toasmasters’ international sessions, we were told to have: hamburger approach when we want to convey some message which is criticism. Here is the post: http://wp.me/pHUHq-aU

      One of our teachers mentioned that one should be tactful – the objective is to convey our message and to convince the person with whom we are talking. Here is a post on negotiation: http://wp.me/pHUHq-90 and here is another on 10 tips when we have any argument: http://wp.me/pHUHq-cT

      Thanks again for sharing and appreciate your thoughts on other posts too.

  8. A very important and practical approach towards “work ethics”.
    However, in our corporate work environment, these “ethics” are rarely followed and practiced, this causes a lot of unease for people who want to follow them. We as a society have let go our ethical values, which I consider one of the basic building blocks in a society.

    Malik Sb, what advise do we give to people who want to follow these work ethics, but are forced to involve themselves in “office politics” otherwise are shown the way out !!.

    • Thanks Khan Sahib for your comments. I remember that Mother Terresa once said that even if people do bad, you should do good as what is inside you comes outside!.

      Office is an organization / collection of people. At the end of the day, it boils down on how do you handle people. If some one is not ethical, that certainly does not mean that we can do the same. Revolution can be inculcated through non-violence too. Take examples from lives of Mr. Mandela and Mr. Gandhi. However, it is easier said than done. Again, in my view, when situation is complex, there exists a simple solution – all we have to do is to find some solution and act upon it. Thanks again for sharing your experience and comments.

  9. The write up is prepared from the Background of the Developed World. Most of the values shared are from the developing countries. How to interpret? and how to impliment in developing countries is a question here. Where there the law changes for person to person institutions to institutions.

    Again-the points need adjust from person to person for the organizations to organization.

    One more point is how the preachers / evengelists managed the people in most of the very typical areas of their time. Need a research and sharing with the YOUTH would be helpful. In mountainous areas, people living are so problematic to deal with today. What ud be the situation at that time which was dealt with by those preachers.

    • Thanks for your comments Baig sahib – In my view, basic human values remain quite same whether its developing country or a developed country. Its purely upto people whether they follow ethical principles or not. Speaking truth is a universal value. Praising people or saying ‘thank you’ is a universal value. From your comment, I had another thought too: Are developing countries still developing countries because they are not following the ethical values which are demonstrated by the developed world?

      You are right that needs vary from organization to organization but human values i.e. respect for each other, tolerance, patience etc remain same. Your last point is really thought provoking and need some research – Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Thanks for your comments Baig sahib – In my view, basic human values remain quite same whether its developing country or a developed country. Its purely upto people whether they follow ethical principles or not. Not speaking truth is a universal value. Praising people or saying ‘thank you’ is a universal value. From your comment, I had another thought too: Are developing countries still developing countries because they are not following the ethical values which are demonstrated by the developed world?

      You are right that needs vary from organization to organization but human values i.e. respect for each other, tolerance, patience etc remain same. Your last point is really thought provoking and need some research – Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • I wouldn’t be so quick to say that these ethics exist in the developed world and not in the developing world. I don’t think it is that simple. Some cultures are too rushed and people are overly ambitious leading to disrespect of others. Other work environments/cultures are ultra polite and more caring but the individual worker may have much less power and may expect less.
        I believe how you lead varies with each person and in each situation and should do so in order to be effective. But this has a foundation stone of treating individuals as responsible adults who are doing the best they can with the skills, experience and knowledge that they have (jncluding the leader) at that time.
        My golden rule picked up from Lee Iacoco (I believe) was ‘Lead, follow or get out of the way.’

        • Thanks Teresa for your thoughts in which you have beautifully explained the ethical premises prevalent at different work environments. Lee cocoa was bit harsh! Don’t you think so? These days we are having discussions in our office that a person can be a leader and a manager at the same time I.e. A person can be a ‘manader’ thanks again for your thoughts. If you have time, please go through other posts and share your thoughts

  10. Very true and interesting…your positive actions spreads positive energy towards other people around you. At times you just have to turn the first page, people will complete the book!..

    thank you sir..

    regards

  11. Mr Malik, You have fabulous writings, always inspiring and motivating. They just give composition and reinforsment to my already existing thoughts.

    I am gratefull for this great service to humanity.

    Best Regards and complements

    Mumtaz Ali

    • Thanks a lot Mumtaz for your comments and appreciation – you may spread the words to others so that people can share their thoughts and experience on this blog. Thanks again

  12. Good post! Crucial part is that transformation of thoughts into words are very well organized which is easy to understand.

    Thanks God Bless!

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