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4 Steps to Managing Anyone

These steps have not changed throughout my many-year career. Managing means getting results through people. We do this all the time. If you are alive, you have already been a manager. You’ve managed delivery people, repair people, pets, children, in-laws, spouses and more.

One myth is that you need to throw money at people to motivate hard work and loyalty. That’s not true. Neither is the opinion that charismatic leaders are best. Management has less to do with charisma than with consistency. Managers depend on consistent effective communication to get things done.

Many of you are called “boss.” To avoid “boss” becoming another four-letter word, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Tell the person clearly what you expect them to do. Easier said than done. In management training environments, this is called “delegation.” “Delegate” is to empower and motivate a person to accomplish results for which you are ultimately responsible. Guidelines: choose a person capable of doing the job; explain the result you want; give the authority to get it done; monitor the activity; give recognition or praise along the way.

Step 2: Give them a reason to do the task. This is the fine art of motivating. Reasons change with the generations. There must be something in it for them. Here’s what I know about motivation:
Remember when you were in third grade, sitting at a little desk in class, listening to the teacher? He or she was droning on and on, boring you to sleep. Suddenly, an obnoxious kid in the back row yelled out, “Hey, teacher, is this gonna be on the test?” You were so embarrassed to hear someone actually ask that question. But you listened very carefully to the answer. If the answer was “no,” your reaction was to relax — it’s not on the test. But if the teacher said, “yes,” you straightened up, borrowed a pencil, started taking notes — it’s on the test. Ever since then, we have done only what we perceive is on our test.

To motivate people, you’ve got to find out what’s on their individual test. Then put your priority squarely on their test.

Step 3: Give the person the tools and resources they need to do the job. This requirement can range from a desk and pencils to on-the-job training and enough time to get it done. This is the “put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is” step.

Step 4: Give feedback. All people, even your “stars,” when accomplishing a task, want to know: “How am I doing?”

There are two types of feedback: positive and corrective. Here are four tips for each:

Positive feedback:

• Make it succinct, specific and sincere.

Corrective feedback:

• Be prepared to tell the consequences if the problem continues — and be prepared to carry them out.

It takes practice and, quite often, some training and acquiring of new skills to carry out these four steps to managing. But stick with it; managing people and empowering them to accomplish things makes a difference in their lives … and yours.

If this is your paid job or your strength, TED Talks wants you and I’m your speech coach. Please call me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute call.

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