The goal of people management is to achieve results through others. To accomplish this we must lead and develop people. While it may sound simple, it requires a broad skill set that includes effective communication, leadership, and influence.
Throughout my career I’ve seen in practice or studied various approaches and styles for managing people and teams. Some I believe are helpful for managers, while others I don’t. On this page I share what I’ve learned along the way that has worked for me in my context as a software engineering manager.
The resources available on this page are informally classified as I gather and organize information. I strive to cover the most important topics in detail on specific pages and share my experiences about people management in the blog.
As managers, our influence on each team member significantly affects the overall team performance. So it is always important to consider the individuals.
The main activities when managing individuals include:
- Establishing a relationship with new reports;
- Conducting regular one-on-one meetings;
- Providing consistent feedback on career growth, progress towards goals, and areas of improvement;
- Recognizing and praising achievements;
- Identifying and facilitating learning opportunities for their development.
We hear a lot about soft skills in businesses. These are interpersonal or people skills needed to connect to other people, to interact effectively and harmoniously with them. By developing such skills, you can influence others and expand your circle of influence, impacting more people to achieve greater results.
Skills I believe are important for a manager to develop include:
- Leadership: The ability to inspire, influence and guide other people towards the accomplishment of common goals and objectives;
- Communication: The ability to convey information clearly, listen actively, and adapt one’s communication style to suit different situations and audiences;
- Delegation: The ability to assign tasks or responsibility to an individual or a group of people, empower them to make decisions, and trust them to complete work effectively;
- Persuasion: The process of convincing someone to believe in or do something through reasoning or the use of emotional appeal. It involves influencing one’s thoughts, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviors in a specific direction.
- Emotional Intelligence;
- Conflict resolution;
Inside a business there are a variety of processes a manager needs to get involved when managing people, such as:
- Recruiting: The process of attracting, selecting, and hiring the best-suited candidates for open positions within the organization.
- Onboarding: A comprehensive integration program for new employees, aimed at making them feel welcome, informed, and prepared for their new roles.
- Developing: Fostering employee growth and skill enhancement through training, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
- Conducting regular one-on-one meetings is a widely recognized management practice that nurtures meaningful connections with employees and facilitates their ongoing growth and development.
- Evaluating: Also known as Performance Management, it is the process of continuously monitoring, assessing, and providing feedback on an employee’s performance, goals, and skills to ensure alignment with organizational objectives.
- Engaging: Creating a positive work environment that fosters employee commitment, motivation, and connection to the organization.
Many more topics may be addressed in the discipline of people management, such as driving outcomes, motivation, performance, stakeholder management, upward management…
In this section I’ll try to share resources about other people management topics, and create new pages when I need to delve into any of them.
- progression.fyi: As defined in the /about page, progression.fyi is currently a collection of open source and public ‘progression frameworks’, examples of the tools that thousands of managers in tech are building for their teams to ensure that they feel valued at work.
Oct 14, 2022 - Taking Notes of One-on-ones. Taking notes of one-on-one meetings is an important step to support the growth of your direct reports and help you keep track of it.
Jul 12, 2022 - Different Types of Schedules. There is this great article, “Maker’s schedule, manager’s schedule”, written by Paul Graham, that covers the differences between the schedules of makers (which I refer to as individual contributors from here on) and managers.
Jul 6, 2022 - Stewardship Delegation. A delegation approach focused on results that establishes up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations in five areas: desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, and consequences.