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Managing people is a pain in the butt. Or is it?

I’ve often joked business would be so much easier if it wasn’t for the humans. Though the reality is, business is the humans, and so if you’re in business, you’ve got to deal. And, I have news for you. You’re a human too and not always a cake walk. Managing people isn’t as hard as you think if you follow a couple of simple rules.

The first rule – think formal structures. Formal structures are set times in your calendar when you – get this – sit down and meet with your employee face to face (if at all possible) and go through the weekly, monthly and annual objectives in the context of their role. This sounds elementary, though I will assure you, most of the problems I see, and the ones I’ve had could have been avoided with consistent meetings. This helps you get ahead of things and be proactive, rather than constantly reactive. I recommend once a week or once every other week sit-downs with your key people for about 30 minutes. Keep it tight. You’ll want to do a deeper dive quarterly to spend 60-90 minutes with them, maybe over a meal, and get to know more about what is happening with them personally.

The second rule – think informal structures. Whereas formal structures should be meetings that are consistent and can be counted on, informal structures should be a surprise. I’m talking about random check-ins via text. Or, congratulation gestures for a job well done. Or, unexpected bonuses (doesn’t always have to be cash).

In summary, if you care, and actually demonstrate that care – and you’re clear, clear on your expectations and on the key objectives – and wrap that into formal and informal check-ins, you’ll be better than 90% of the people out there who are managing by chaos and crisis. And that will become a competitive advantage!

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