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10 Must-Have Skills for Managing People

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 2/28/2011

You can find many lists of must-have skills for managing people on the Internet, at seminars and in self-improvement books. What you won’t find are the top 10 management skills listed here. Business owner Jean Scheid offers up some new insight.

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    Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

    Lead Like Iacocca Years ago when Lee Iacocca saved Chrysler with the K-Car, his motto was to lead, follow or get out of the way. Sound advice when you look at how Chrysler prospered under his leadership. As a company owner or supervisor, you too can be much like Lee, if you follow these top 10 skills for managing people.

    Image Credit: Flickr/by Nevada Tumbleweed

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    1. So, Lead Already

    This is perhaps my favorite tip. Too many of us hired on as managers don’t act like leaders. Some fear employee dissension where others fear upper management reprisals. You landed the job based on your experience, so lead already! It’s OK to make a difference—or perhaps a unique decision. How long will you stay a manager if Joe down the hall thinks of new ideas and you don't?

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    2. Be a Mentor

    Be a Mentor Like Rodgers Early in my career, I had a manager who was a mentor to all. At that time, I wondered how she accomplished such a feat. A strong mentor will listen to all, be open to suggestions, reward, and also be a team member so mentor up. This is an essential skill for managing people.

    Image Credit - Wikimedia Commons/silwenae

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    3. Be a Mediator

    If you manage even two people, you need to develop some mediation skills. Not everyone will agree but a good mediator will be able to turn the tables so everyone gets along—at least most of the time. When it hits the fan again—mediate some more. Don't forget, as the mediator, you don't take sides.

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    4. Be Organized

    Stay Organized This may not sound like a leadership skill, but everyone knows or has worked for the manager who couldn’t find a pen on his desk. Keep your schedule organized and that includes team and co-worker supervision time. You’re not a manager to Tweet all day long.

    Image Credit - MorgueFile/mconnors

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    5. Social Networking Etiquette

    Sure you might want to post the latest off-color joke on your Facebook page, but good managers don’t do such things. If you must, create two profiles and offer great insights on your professional page. Keep the other stuff for close friends and family members. Remember, your employees don’t want to see you intoxicated with a lamp shade on your head.

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    6. Stay Involved

    Stay Involved No one likes the manager that stops at the coffee pot each morning, offers a quick nod and hides in her office all day. If you want your people to do what they’re supposed to do, stay involved and know what’s going on. Being part of the team is a prudent skill for managing people.

    Image Credit - MorgueFile/grietgriet

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    7. Acknowledge People

    I don’t mean saying hey or hi, or great job and a quick pat on the back. Your employees or team members work hard for you so acknowledge them with rewards or employee incentive programs.

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    8. Dress the Part

    Dress the Part Not every company is Microsoft where workers run around in torn jeans and tank tops. Be a role model and dress the part and expect the same from your staff or team.

    Image Credit - MorgueFile/crazyconfedarate.

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    9. Give Them a Listen

    Putting up the infamous suggestion box is not always your best bet. Instead, have group meetings and really listen to their needs and wants. If you can afford to offer something, do so.

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    10. No Slacking Allowed

    No Sleeping on the Job Ever work for a boss who offered the Moon and the stars and never followed through? If that’s you, rethink what you’re offering or follow through and deliver. Offer realistic things you can track and offer on a consistent basis.

    Image Credit - MorgueFile/jcmunt

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    Every office, business, and workplace is different; however, these 10 tips for being a great leader will help you be successful as a leader. If you still can’t lead your people, take a look in the mirror, decide upon your leadership style and start working on improving your leadership skills for managing people effectively with the respect both you and they deserve.

    Jean Scheid has been a business owner for over 16 years and holds a Bachelor's Degree in HR Management.