Developing people management skills

The term ‘manager’ covers a range of roles – from specialists to project, senior and line managers – but their basic function can be described as translating or putting an organisation’s aims into action. Managers at all levels will usually have a people management role, and this skill can be developed and improved. Career development for line managers can lead to a conflict between the day-to-day demands of managing their teams and long-term career management, and career discussions can be interrupted by the pressures of the working environment. Research indicates that where senior managers are committed to career management, there is usually a greater alignment with organisational need, which makes it easier for line managers to resolve the conflict they face. Regular individual performance reviews and feedback from a wide range of people (360-degree) can be useful in addressing the impact of managers’ behaviour on others, including those who report to them.