Effective People Management
Welcome to Effective People Management; The Science of Management. Please take
the time to read this package thoroughly and come prepared to the class.
“We had discovered that the manager – not pay, benefits,
perks, or a charismatic corporate leader – was the critical
player in building a strong workplace. The manager was
the key….An employee may join Disney or GE or Time
Warner because she is lured by their generous benefits
package and their reputation for valuing employees. But it
is her relationship with her immediate manager that will
determine how long she stays and how productive she is
while she is there.”
Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
At the end of our work together you’ll be able to,
1. Build and maintain the all important relationships with your direct reports and,
2. Perform your people management responsibilities more confidently and
To support you, we will
• Support you in identifying your strengths and skills
• Give you feedback on your interpersonal and management styles
• Provide foundation skills in managing people
• Provide space for practice
• Supply a framework so you can better manage
– Problem solving/conflict resolution
We will answer questions like:
1. How can I ensure the job is done right without either interfering or micro-
2. How can I involve people in key decisions without losing control?
3. How do I constructively address under or non- performance?
4. How do I develop the potential of others?
5. How do I provide effective feedback?
To get the most out of our work together you’re invited to;
• Share and listen to each others’ skills and experience
• Build a plan to implement what is important to you.
Introductions/Agenda and Objectives
After the introductions and agenda setting at the start of Day 1, we work as a group to
identify the objectives for the group, based on your personal objectives. By listing these
objectives, we can then stay focused on learnings that are most important for you.
The Role of the Manager
The next phase explores the Role of the Manager and it is here that we will first
specifically look at the work of Buckingham and Coffman, (and others like Beck and
Yeager, and Whitworth et al). The key to employee productivity and retention is in the
strength of the relationship between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor. We
also link the Service Profit Chain (Heskett, Sasser & Schlessinger) to the course,
concluding that the role of the manager is to
inspire/lead/challenge/provoke/teach/coach/mentor the employee focused on the
employee's learning and growth, and to do that within a healthy and growing relationship.
The rest of the two days then helps managers with some of the technical skills and
knowledge involved in building and enhancing strong relationships and the
coaching/mentoring/provoking/inspiring skills required to enhance employee learning
Foundational to any relationship, especially a relationship based on learning and growth
are communications skills. In this module, we explore some of these skills, (written,
verbal and non verbal skills, active listening, open/closed questions, giving and receiving
feedback, and preliminary conflict management), using exercises, lecture, case study and
Again our focus is on practice using these skills to build and enhance relationships with
the team and to support the learning and growth of the individual employee.
Related to communication skills, is the important element from the work of Carl Jung
that each of us will have a dominant communication style. Using a basic psychometric
tool, each participant will get a report identifying his/her dominant, back up, tertiary and
least favored communications style. Using exercises and dialogue, we'll then explore how
these styles work together, or not, within a team, recognizing that indeed some of the
conflict I may have with another person is related to different communications styles.
We'll then explore how we might use our less favorite styles to enhance our relationships
with the team.
These styles, from the work of Hersey and Blanchard, are fundamental skills for a
manager as they explore the importance of diagnosis, and apply a more rigorous approach
to helping and supporting the growth and development of employees. The model says
that if an employee is not performing to standard, it will be because s/he either does not
have the competency, or s/he does not have the commitment level necessary to do the
task. (Buckingham and Coffman ask 2 similar questions, “is the poor performance
trainable? [and] is the poor performance caused by the manager tripping the wrong
[motivation] trigger?”) The manager's response to competency questions will be quite
different than their response to commitment questions. By applying a more rigorous
approach to diagnosis the manager can then be more confident that his or her intervention
will be more effective. And in the end, the more effective the intervention, the more
likely the relationship between the employee and manager will remain strong, and the
more likely that the employee will develop appropriate skills and behaviours.
As at the end of each of these modules, participants are given time to build an action plan
and to consider what they have learned that will help with the particular employee
situation they have brought with them.
The next module explores how humans are motivated and how important the role of the
manager is in creating an environment where an employee is more likely to be motivated.
Our focus is on how the relationships we have and how a commitment to the learning and
growth of an employee contributes to their intrinsic motivation.
In our final skill set exploration, we look at the steps required for effective delegation, so
that you can be that much more confident that what you have asked to be done is in fact
done. And again, it is likely that a strong working relationship will mean a more
effective transfer of information and expertise in the delegation process.
Effective People Management; Hands on Application
Each participant will then spend 15-20 minutes with 2 others, acting as coaches to
explore the particular situation they brought with them, to seek possible solutions and
direction. The work, done in trios is recognized by most participants as the most
important part of the 2 days, as they make some final adjustments to their action plans for
back at the office.
The course then wraps with any final questions, comments and commitment to some next
1. After reviewing the course content, list those desired outcomes that would make you
feel that your time had been worthwhile:
2. Thinking about best performers in your work group, what are the factors/behaviours
(be specific) that make them the best.
3. Identify a task, as a manager, you would like to delegate to an employee. Be prepared
to discuss and use this example during the program.
4. List and describe a current employee situation (performance, behaviour, quality of
work, absenteeism etc.) about which you are concerned and would like to work through
in the classroom:
5.List and describe a current employee situation (performance, behaviour, quality of
work, etc.) where the employee is surpassing nearly all or all of your expectations, and
you’d like to work through their success in the classroom.
Effective People Management Bibliography
Beck, John D. W. and Neil M. Yeager, The Leader’s Window 2nd ed. Palo Alto: Davies
Buckingham, Marcus and Curt Coffman, First, Break All the Rules New York: Simon &
Daloz, Laurent A. Parks, Keen, Cheryl H. Keen, James P. Parks, Sharon Daoz, Common
Fire; Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World, Boston, Beacon Press (1996)
Heskett, James L., W. Earl Sasser Jr. and Leonard A. Schlesinger, The Service Profit
Chain, New York: The Free Press, (1997)
Heifetz, Ronald, A., Linsky, Marty, Leadership on the Line, Boston: Harvard Business
Hessebein, Frances, Goldsmith, Marshall, eds. The Leader of the Future 2, San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass, (2006)
Parks, Sharon Daloz, Leadership Can Be Taught, Boston, Harvard Business School,
Whitworth, Laura, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, and Philip Sandahl Co-
Active Coaching, 2nd ed. Boston: Davies-Black, 2007