What people skills do managers need when working with people who may be working in different places and/or at different times?

To understand this, it’s helpful to take a close look at the underlying skills involved in being an effective manager. A lot of it is to do with communication and relationship-building.

The following exercise unpacks some of these key management people skills, and is designed to get you thinking about how as a manager you interact with people in your team and other stakeholders. This can be done individually, but it also works well as a group workshop exercise.

On the grid below, assess your people skills as a manager on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is excellent and 1 is not good at all. “DK” is for “don’t know” – it’s good to be honest about this and you may seek the views of others.

Then think about the techniques you use now. Do you have quick conversations across a desk, send bluntly worded emails, gather people into a morning huddle, etc?

Then think about when your team members are working in different times and places, and with new communications technologies at their disposal, how this would change – if at all. For example, think “What more would I need to do inspire and get the best out of my team – and actually how good am I at this at the moment?”

 Rethinking face-to-face meetings table

People Skill

How good am I?

Technique(s) now

Future technique(s)

Being understood

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Listening skills

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Influencing/motivating

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Inspiring/getting the best out of people

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Trusting others

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Involving others

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Building team spirit

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Delegating

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Assertiveness

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Coaching/mentoring

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Developing team’s skills and capabilities

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Setting appropriate objectives

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Giving feedback/appraisal

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Detecting performance problems

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Detecting personal problems

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Problem solving

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Resolving disputes

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Decision-making

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Persuading

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Negotiating

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Disciplining/having awkward conversations

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

Add in any others below:

 

 

 

 

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

 

1   2   3   4   5  DK

 

 

1 = Not good at all, 5 = Excellent. DK = Don’t know / not at all sure