Learn People Management Skills

If only more people bothered to learn people management skills, I think the world would be a much easier place to live in.

My personal experience has been mixed in the area of people management, and I sure know that I would probably still have an office full of staff had I been better at the art of managing people properly. I am a business coach myself (internet marketing and online business) and really understand the value of always being a student; to not hide my head in the sand thinking I know it all and that nobody can teach me – because I am the teacher…

That’s why I have a People Management Skills Coach.

Poor People Management Skills?

One classic line I heard recently was this: “Don’t tell me what to do. I tell people what to do!”. Classic! That is a surefire recipe to failure and typical of a teacher that has reached the end of the learning curve; not because there isn’t more to learn, but because the teacher is ignorant to the fact that he will never know it all!

..and communication skills are a massive part of managing people. If you don’t learn to speak their language and listen to their needs, it all starts falling down.

I lost a whole office of Gen-Y staff, largely due to my lacking People Management Skills. Sure, it’s a 2-way street, and some of the things I have had to put up with are things bosses would get dragged to a commission over, had a boss done that to an employee, however

..the boss must possess certain skills to successfully run a business. Skills such as:

  • Diplomacy
  • Understanding
  • Patience
  • Last minute contingency plans
  • and a host of other assets that must be up the sleeve at any time.

One wrong word, one reply back to an irate staff member or collegue that may insult you, could result in detrimental effect on a business’s bottom line and months (and even years) of invested time and money in training is out the window.

If you don’t learn to speak their language and listen to their needs, it all starts falling down. This is a key aspect to learn especially for those enrolled in hospitality management schools.

Needs For Better People Management Skills

A CEO of a former company I did business with (years ago) called his business an Adult Daycare Center.  He also had a massive turnover of staff and was in serious need of a People Management Coach himself. As funny that is to employers, that is not funny to an employee, who will take a statement about an Adult Daycare Center as an offense. Other issues, like hiring based on “bra-size” and “looks” rather than “skills” and “intelligence” is another issue all together… but we won’t go there today!

Anyway, back to my Gen-Y office. Guess how well my “well placed” statements about changing staff’s nappies went down after a few ‘incidents’. Not well at all 😉

So, in light of that, I get coaching myself in many areas. One example was paying one coach $12,000 for 3 days of coaching (I got a $3,000 discount as the rate was $5,000 per day. Incidently, that is the same rate I charge for one day 😉

Mentor My Mentor

Another example is the People Management Coaching I currently receive from a client of mine: Jonathan Biss. I am his Internet Marketing Coach and he is my People Management Skills Coach. One moment, I’m the mentor. The next time, he’s the mentor.

Learn People Management Skills

I decided it was time for me to learn better people management skills when Jonathan shared his vision with me. With Jonathan’s permission, I’d like to share part of his vision with you:

“My vision is to create a self-sustaining and evolving community of people managers who share a passion for managing people well – meaning, managing people in an effective & respectful way that achieves both results and builds good relationships. These managers understand and practice principles of management that create true collaboration rather than relying on authority and control. These managers have the knowledge and ability to be both ‘hard’ (firm) on delivering business results and also ‘soft’ (supportive) on people & relationships – at the same time.”
~ Jonathan Biss

I think most people need to learn better people management skills. Jonathan’s vision sums up what most people in business need if they deal with other people (that is mostly everyone).

People Management Survey

As a coach, Jonathan looks to improve many people’s results in the workplace. He is also constantly looking to improve his methods, even when they are already good. If you fall in one of the categories below, and you think you will benefit from a better relationship with the people in your workplace (or even with your clients and suppliers), then please help Jonathan, and yourself, by taking the survey below. It will take 10 minutes and he will appreciate your time spent.

You benefit from People Management Skills when you..

  1. Are a boss
  2. Employ or supervise people
  3. Are a leading hand or in charge of a department
  4. Seek promotion within any workplace or organisation
  5. Deal with other people

It will even help your personal relationships with other people, including life partners.

(Survey is now closed)

Now, I’m off to the barber shop for a haircut. The guy that cuts my hair runs a profitable business and is loved by his staff because he has great people management skills 😉

All the best!

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2011

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Interesting post Sean.

    I have always been very fortunate in business to have a great team. I also have had the experience of working for some absolute tyrants over the years I know exactly how I don’t like to be treated. Something my father once said holds true today “Be nice to people when you are on the way up the ladder, then they will be nice to you if ever have to make your way down”.

    I’m taking the back seat again now, I’m only managing a small retail outlet part time (for difficult owners – it’s got a use by date – almost expired) and only have one employee to manage, but in the past I have had up 70 staff members to manage. It can be extremely difficult managing people today – political correctness issues and humor can be easily taken the wrong way – I don’t think I would want to manage large numbers of people again.

    Thanks for your thought provoking post.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a nice topic on Management Skills, really helpful for me.

  3. Fortunately I have always had good employers who were as much a part of the team as anyone else, so as a result I treat anyone working for me the same way. All the “bullying” and “political correctness issues” haven’t yet made it into our industries, which is great. Everyone I interact with still lives and works by the “have a cup of concrete princess” phylosiphy and we all just pitch in and get the job done, then we all knock off and quench our thirst’s together and have a laugh 🙂

  4. Great information about People Management Skills and the fine art of learning what to say/not to say and how to go about saying it! I too am a blogging coach!!
    I have a lot to learn about how to say what I mean, without hurting anyones feelings. I am always taking on too much (I am too soft!!) and then not sure what to say to get across what needs to be done 🙂

    Like how you have a people managments skills coach – even when you are a blogging coach 🙂


  5. Angela Rees-Tyler says:

    I did have a lot of fun in “the good old days ” before political correctness, and people management skills, mostly because everything wasn’t so regimented !
    I do feel however that we are moving forward in the right direction when you can ask for respect for yourself, and in turn must have respect for others.
    I think it just makes us more mindful of what we say, how we are all so very different, and makes us aware of the feelings of others.
    I’m not a particularly religious person, but “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes to mind.
    Well done Jonathon Biss for his work, and well done you Sean for putting it out here.
    Warm wishes,
    Angela Rees-Tyler

  6. Thanks for touching on a topic that affects every business person – whether they run an office full of staff or a SOHO operation.
    That old adage in life that says”it’s not WHAT we do, but HOW we do it” applies to every one of us in all facets of our lives, both business and, even more importantly, personal.
    As someone who spends much of his time coaching photography skills, I know that you are right on the button with this one and can help all of us learn one of the great keys to success in life.

  7. Thank you for a great post Sean. I absolutely agree more business people need to learn the skill of People Management in a positive and encouraging way. Really believe that people in “general” need to be more aware on how they deal with people in all situations. Yes, the world would be a much better place. 🙂

  8. It is for everyone, no matter what business you are in YOU ARE IN THE PEOPLE INDUSTRY. A number one skill is people management skills, its almost like the directions on your latest toy, its the last thing you read about and only because all else failed. I have learnt by my mistakes. Yet every one is different so never think you know it all.

  9. Great post on people management skills. Life is all about people and the way we interact, in every aspect of life.

    I once worked for a company that employed approx 12 people. At the end of the financial year they posted out 26 group certificates!!! Staff didn’t stay long, so they hired a people manager with a proven track record, after 12 months they fired him too!

    I think the people running the company need to read your post and maybe they might learn how to keep staff.

  10. Isn’t it funny how things turn up in your life when you need them the most and are open to them? Great article Sean. You are so correct when you say we are always learning. It is those of us who understand and embrace this that are succesfull.

    I have had the pleasure during my working career of being employed in both well managed and poorly managed businesses and the difference was always the skills of the owner/boss to manage his/her team.

    My last place of full time work was a mediumsized manufacturing business and our “old GM” (owner) used to call his manufactung managers up in the afternoon and abuse them if they did not turn up on time for afternoon drinks. He didn’t care if there was a plant issue that needed tending to it was time for drinks and they had to be there…. This man was a tyrant with a heart of gold. He had over 250 staff on the payroll and knew every one of them by name. The factory was shut down and machines moved so he could put on the best Christmas party for the whole crew. He would help any of them out if they needed a hand. He was old school but had the loyalty and support of every last one of those people. He valued everyone in that company. Sometimes he was not always politically correct but we all knew we were appreciated and respected. It was a pleasure to work with and for him.

    Are we all too precious now? Do we expect too much from our Managers as well? After all we are merely human beings and we all make mistakes. These skills will help anyone who wants to work and have a good relationship with their work colleagues.

  11. People management skills are a very important facet of every day life, regardless of whether you are an employer of employee. Everybody everyday, interact with other people, at work, at home, in a shop, on a bus. If one goes through life with an air of superiority about them, well they obviously will not have their desires fulfilled, this will lead to anger, stress so on and so on.

    ”One wrong word, one reply back to an irate staff member or collegue that may insult you, could result in detrimental effect on a business’s bottom line and months (and even years) of invested time and money in training is out the window.”

    The quote above reminds me of that old Viking saying, well maybe not Viking
    ”A slip of a lip
    can sink a ship

  12. I wished I had this kind of exposure to how critical People Management Skills are before I retired and when I was in charge of a whole admin department. It would have definitely helped me better handle work place tensions and relationships.

  13. Management skills are always needed in business and even in everyday life.
    People who teach and learn these skills are wiser, more patient, more temperate, more cautious.
    All these qualities only bring advantages in time and they can do: dream, goal, success.

  14. You got it. It’s definitely a skill that all business owners should have. Even if you aren’t a business owner.’
    When trying to become hired, this is a skill that many companies look for. You either have it or you don’t. This isn’t something they usually teach.
    Entering an interview and being fully prepared with this in your background is a plus. A big plus.

  15. Hmm. Looking in the mirror can be a bit confronting sometimes alright! 🙂

    My first thought when I read this yesterday morning was ‘is it time for another 3″ x 5″?’. 🙂 🙂 And then I headed off to my wonderful pro bono work for the day. I have been musing ever since through my thoughts. Firstly, thanks for your ever-present honesty – I know that to write about this you have taken this all on board and are already well on your way.

    People Management Skills is a coin I’ve seen both sides of, and it’s an interesting venture into human relationships and intentions. For me it all boils down to the ‘why am I here and doing this?’ being the coin, and then just looking at it from both sides. When the why serves me well in what I’m doing , it works better for me no matter which side I look from – it just flows more easily when those two sides recognize the other and that they too are participating in the venture and playing their part. Your quote: ‘…if they deal with other people (that is mostly everyone).’ gave me cause to chuckle perhaps a bit ruefully (when I look back to some interactions I’ve had)… just ‘mostly’?

    I’m reminded of those introductory videos that led me to you, your vision for everyone and your family and yourself. I saw a bloke who’s path was worth taking a closer look at BECAUSE he was willing to look at himself at times and to choose different/better/other/new ways when he found them and so refine his approach to his path.

    I googled Jonathon Biss and am impressed with you choice of mentor. For what it’s worth, I reckon you’ll be good for each other.

    By the way, thanks for your raw honesty and your willingness to share your experience. I appreciate you and your message.

  16. I love that you are not too big to admit you need to learn people management skills and you are doing something about it. Now thats a real man. Being in the farming industry, we have had up to 14 staff to manage during the season and my motto is, if you treat them the way you like to be treated, they will work hard for you, and it works. We have made some great friends who worked for us because we treated them with kindness and gratitude. (we employed 99% backpackers)

  17. I’ve now decided it’s important to determine in an objective way if you are being managed well. You can be treated nicely and still managed badly and this is just as bad a being managed badly and treated badly as well. In fact it’s worse, because it is an illusion.

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