Often, managers who are good at Relating (asking, listening, coaching, including, and encouraging) shy away from Requiring activities (insisting on excellence, confronting poor or marginal performers, or just telling an employee what is expected or needed). Your job as a manager is to help employees achieve business goals and do outstanding work. To direct their efforts and help them deliver their best work, you need to be equally adept at Relating and Requiring skills. Are you?
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As a manager, you are responsible for a wide range of activities. Recruiting. Establishing a positive work environment in your group. Setting expectations. Managing performance. Making decisions. Coaching. Dealing with poor or marginal performers. Each of these responsibilities requires a unique blend of Relating and Requiring skills. Are you using the right combination, in each situation, to get great business results and foster strong relationships?
Looking for a fast way to improve how you manage people? Evaluate yourself on two sets of skills: the ability to Require of your employees (this includes setting expectations, focusing on goals, insisting on excellence, establishing appropriate controls, confronting performance issues, asserting your views) and the ability to Relate to your employees (which involves asking, listening, including, coaching and encouraging). It’s likely that one of these skill sets feels more natural to you. Are you, by chance, avoiding the skills that feel less natural?
One of your employees has a career-limiting habit. As a manager, your job is to hold up a mirror to create awareness of the behavior and its consequences—and to help your employee through the change process. Here’s a conversation framework to improve your chances of securing the desired new behavior.
This post shares the story of Robert, a manager who let a performance problem slide for too long. What are the best onboarding and performance management practices you have seen that give managers the incentive and support they need to confront damaging behavior in a timely manner?
Theory: all good managers have ready access to two fundamental skill sets—the ability to Relate and the ability to Require. “Relating” encompasses relationship-building behaviors: asking, listening, including, coaching and encouraging. “Requiring” refers to results-oriented activities: creating expectations, focusing on goals, insisting on excellence, setting appropriate controls, asserting your views and confronting problems. Over- or under-utilizing these skills can damage business results and/or relationships.