Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Productive Managers Keep the Team Focussed on Outcomes

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It is very important to focus on outcomes as far as your team are concerned. Whatever tasks your manager is putting on you, don’t allow yourself to do the same to your team.

Sometimes your team members will be only too happy to do other little jobs and tasks that you ask them to do. I’ve had salespeople say – “Oh, I’ll deliver that to the customer, it’s on my way.” Customer service people will say – “I’ll go and talk to distribution or finance department about that.”

You have to keep asking yourself the question – “Is what they’re doing helping me to achieve my outcomes”? If the answer is “no” then don’t let them do it.

Make it clear to your team what the outcomes are, and don’t concern yourself too much about how they get there. Now that doesn’t mean that you encourage a salesman to get a sale at any cost, or a chef to use inferior ingredients. And you obviously don’t want a maintenance engineer cutting corners that could jeopardise safety. However it does mean using the thinking part of your brain and listening to your inbuilt programs.

Your people may not do a job the way you would do it but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.

I’ve often listened to a salesperson speaking to a customer and found myself thinking “That’s not the way I’d do it.” The temptation then, is to jump into the conversation or speak to the salesperson afterwards. However I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut, because many times the salesperson closed the business, the customer was happy and it probably was better than I would do it.

The successful manager defines the outcomes to the team members and then lets each person find their way of getting there. That doesn’t mean you walk away nor have no idea what’s going on. If you are a Motivational Manager, then you’re constantly out there with your team, watching and listening and supporting what they’re doing.

Two characteristics of Motivational Managers are:
1.    They get the job done
2.    They do it in the easiest and least stressful way possible
I’m just reminding you of this because to try and control your team’s activities and get them to do things the way you want them done, is extremely stressful. It can also mean that you de-motivate the team and then it’ll be much harder to achieve your outcomes.

Let me know what you think!

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Posted in: Customer service, Leadership, Management, Motivation, Sales

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