7 steps to bring out the best in people

LeadershipGood managers work to bring out the best in people. It makes all the difference.

When your people are at their best, the organization is also at peak performance — and that’s every leader’s first priority, or it should be.

What’s more, watching good people develop into great performers is personally and professionally rewarding.

So, here are seven simple and succinct steps managers can take to help make people better.

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7 steps to bring out the best in people

  1. Give reasonable and clear expectations. It’s a common misconception that even your best employees know what’s-what. But the fact is, people need to be reminded what is expecte. Make a point to sit down with them regularly, and especially with newer people, to explain in a straightforward manner what your standards and expectations are.
  2. Toss the bad apples. Experience shows that one bad employee – even among a group of strong ones – can ruin rest. Act quickly to turn around problem performers or be prepared to let them go. Cohesion, value, fun and productivity is all at stake.
  3. Delegate to build trust. Building trust is best done by sharing responsibility. So when you delegate a task, delegate the responsibility with it. Allowing people to assist sends in a meaningful way sends a clear message that you have faith in them, you value their skills, and you want them to succeed and grow in their careers, too.
  4. Grow your star performers. Who wouldn’t  jump at the chance to supervise a team of A players? They’re smart, hard workers and high achievers who know what it takes to get the job done. Embrace their abilities, show them the way up the ladder, then get out of their way. Remember, really good people will find their way elsewhere when they don’t get what they want
  5. Offer blueprints for improvement. Sooner or later you’ll encounter the employee who just isn’t cutting it. Their behavior alienates others. They miss deadlines. They do a sloppy job. They always have an excuse. Often, in such situations, an improvement plan is a last-chance measure. If it doesn’t work, the next move is out the door. Firing the poor performer can be a tempting first option. Cut your losses and move on. Still, it’s likely that you or someone else has invested time and energy into recruiting and training the person, so the losses are costly.
  6. Admit mistakes, then fix them. So, you blew it. You’ve made a mistake that cost someone. What you do next will make all the difference in winning the respect and support of the people around you, or not. When you can admit a mistake, then fix it, employees know they can invest themselves in you safely.
  7. Send good signals. Employees know when their manager is engaged and involved. And they know when someone is just going through the motions. You probably remember all the bosses you had, and the signals each one sent that let you know whether that person was up to and interested in the job. Good people take their signals from what you do, not what you say.

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