by Colleen Kettenhofen

In my management and effective leadership skills seminars, I often ask participants, based on their years of experience, to list their top do’s and don’ts for effectively managing people. After conducting these workshops and keynotes all over the world for over 12 years, I’ve come up with 10 timeless principles, or tips, for managing people. Here are the top ten:

    1. Set goals collaboratively with your employees. You’re more likely to get buy in from them because they were involved.
    2. Follow through. Always do what you say you’re going to do. Otherwise, your credibility is destroyed. As the saying goes, they remember your last act.
    3. In managing people, be empathetic and compassionate when the situation calls for it. For example, when a good employee is experiencing personal problems. Remember, your employees are your most important asset. And, you are managing people.
    4. Be honest, trustworthy, fair and respectful. In managing people, if your employees don’t trust you, don’t perceive you to have integrity, they’re less likely to want to follow you.
    5. Lead by example. Be a good role model. If you are honest, trustworthy, respectful, and hardworking, you’re training them to be the same.

“Effective leadership in managing people =
getting along with others.”

  1. Communicate clearly with your staff on a regular basis. This sounds like such common-sense, it shouldn’t need to be mentioned! But over and over, I hear about managers who don’t communicate effectively.
  2. Take care of important issues. Don’t procrastinate working on projects you don’t want to do. And promptly address performance issues with a difficult employee. Otherwise, these problems only get worse.
  3. Have goals and objectives clearly defined in writing for accountability. Include dates, deadlines, and numbers so it’s very clear what’s expected. For example, if someone is in customer service they are to, “Respond to all customer inquiries and complaints within 12 hours of receiving them.” This way it’s also less likely the employee can say to you, “Well, that’s just your perception. You’re just picking on me.”
  4. In managing people, be available. Be approachable.
  5. Empower and motivate the team not just in terms of completing tasks, but also in terms of good communication and managing conflict.

Effective leadership and managing people is all about communication and being able to successfully manage conflict. Learn to get along with others. It’s not just what you know, or who you know, but how well you get along with others.

August 6, 2008

You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen’s contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article. Colleen Kettenhofen is a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of “The Masters of Success ,” featured on NBC’s Today Show, along with Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. For free articles, video clips, and e-newsletter, visit Colleen’s area of expertise are leadership, managing people, life balance, difficult people, presentation skills. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions and seminars.


She can be reached at contact information listed below:

Colleen Kettenhofen

(971) 212-0479


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