Managing people? Your role has three parts!

I want to share something with you today about the 3 hats you wear as a new manager, seasoned veteran manager or small business owner - if you are responsible for people in an organization, any organization, your role has three parts:

  1. Managing people for performance

  2. Leading people and inspiring them to follow

  3. Coaching people and helping them grow and develop

So, whether you are a first-time manager, a seasoned veteran or a small business owner you need to be aware of and use these three roles when appropriate.  First, managing is a process you use to drive performance. Second, leading people is more about having people follow you or more correctly that they give you permission to lead them, to be out front.  We tend to be out front, leading, when something is approaching, a change most likely - a new approach, a new goal, a new strategy. Thirdly, coaching is about allowing the people you are responsible for to find their own way, to build their strength, confidence, capabilities and trust in themselves. Each mode is important and has its’ own time to be engaged.

Managing is used to drive performance.  It includes, communication, assignment of work, measurement, feedback, acknowledgement, improvement, innovation in methods.

Leading is used to light the path forward. It includes a vision, a “why”, understanding, support, trust and celebration!

Coaching is used to develop people and have them go deeper in their understanding of how they are approaching their role, how they are using their strengths.  Coaching is about a time when you are working collaboratively and only in the best interest of the person in front of you, to increase their self-reliance and trust in their abilities to execute within their role.

People at work today are looking for more than just a paycheck and are being more open about wanting and doing more meaningful work and finding some level of fulfillment in the work they do.  If you think of managing as the “paycheck” part of your work, the part you have to do, you can get the job done. It’s a means to an end and not the whole story. Leading by providing your vision of the work and the “why this is important" helps in adding meaning. Coaching and allowing your people to become more self-reliant adds fulfillment.

As a first-time manager and as a small business owner, you need to know that at the very least, aspiring to and working towards being a great manager will fulfill all the technical aspects of your job.  Not learning to create the environment where people will allow you to lead fosters low trust. Low trust may have people focused more on themselves and survival that on the team and the business. Not helping people explore how they do their job and become more self-reliant, more powerful, has the potential to create a situation where your team is more dependent on you than you might like, need or want.

This is why being a great manager of people is so tough.  It is also why working towards being a great manager is so fulfilling.  Getting better at all three parts of your role ensures that you deliver results. People see you as someone they want to work with - they may even like you! And, they see you as genuinely on their side, someone willing to help them with themselves.