Are you a great manager?

In our latest blog post, performance coach and programme facilitator Peter Thorp explains why it's so important that managers truly care about the people in their team. Using one high profile example, Peter outlines just how vital it is that managers are enthusiastic and dedicated to understanding the people they manage.

Good manager who cares about their people


If your team said this about you as their manager, how would you feel?

"He's the best manager I've ever had on a personal level, by far. He cared so much about your wellbeing. He went the extra mile to help me with things he didn't have to"

"He had a lot of trust in me. He gave me that opportunity and gave me the confidence to just keep going”

"He was very big on helping on the mental health side. It wasn't talked about as much then as it is today. He helped me and a lot of the others”

“He's such a good person that people will always play for him. They're great ingredients for a manager"

"He wanted to help us as much as we'd help him. He wanted to help you improve as much as a person as he did as a player. I'd never really had that from any manager before”

“He's someone who changed my life. I became a more mature and respectful human being. He cared more about you as a person than your football skills."

"We believed in him that much. I honestly think he could go as high and as far as he wants. I don't think there's much that could stop him"

“He’s so humble, willing to be self-critical and with no airs and graces”

If someone said this about you, how would you feel?

If it was me, I’d feel pretty special, that I had impacted someone’s life in such a positive way.

All the quotes in this article are about a Premier League football manager - if you’re not a football lover don’t stop reading because this is about PEOPLE, not football.

Football at the top level is notoriously about winning at all costs, the stakes are huge and the financial implications massive.

It's only an example of the rest of society when, most of the time, the result is considered far more important by those at the top, than the people who deliver it.

Question: why is it so difficult to find top quality managers in the workplace?

Answer: because most managers just aren’t interested in people.

If that sounds harsh, how many times have you been out socially with people who only want to talk about themselves and their families and aren’t the slightest bit interested in you or anything about you? I just turn off, stop listening and nod occasionally.

The biggest insult is when someone takes 20 minutes telling me, in the minutest detail, everything about their life and as an afterthought at the end of the conversation asks, “and how about you?” I’m frustrated and demotivated by then and nothing will make me share anything important about my life to that person, it’s just a massive insult.

Have you noticed how poor the questions are that people ask? Or they just don’t ask any at all, let alone listen properly to the answers?

This isn’t unique to social situations, it’s the same at work. Most managers have zero interest in others and never make the effort to find out what makes their people tick. Sad, really sad.

One of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs is because of their manager, which means companies lose great employees and then spend fortunes trying to replace them. And then they do it again…

Why don’t companies generally understand the true value of developing and retaining great managers?

So, back to the quotes. The Premier League football manager they are attributed to is Graham Potter, from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Unless you’re a football fan you’ve probably never heard of Mr Potter and that’s fine, the reason you’re hearing his name now is because he is an exceptional manager of people and results. They are, of course, inextricably linked. If you get an extra 10% out of your team in any environment, it will make a massive difference to the result. If your team wants to do it for each other as well as themselves it’s huge. If you have fun on the way amidst the incredible hard work it takes, it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling workplace you’ll ever experience.

It has happened to me once in thirty years, it was just fantastic. It certainly wasn’t football; it was working for an insurance company. I’ve never worked so hard, enjoyed my work more, been happier at home with my family and laughed so much. Oh, yes, and we were the top performing team in the country out of a huge number of teams.

Why did it happen? Because the manager tapped into the personalities of the team, both individually and collectively, and created a connection between individual, team and task (see the work of John Adair). It became an unstoppable force.

Let’s leave the final quote to Graham Potter;

“I value people and I value relationships and I am as authentic as I can be. My job is to understand the person first and foremost and help them improve. For me this role is not about winning matches or winning leagues. It’s simply about whether you can affect someone’s life in a positive way.”

He’s emotionally intelligent, he’s passionate, he’s driven and the big one, he genuinely cares about people.

So, when you’re recruiting managers, whether experienced or aspiring managers, do yourself a favour and make the number one, non-negotiable, question in your recruitment process “Does this person genuinely care about people?”

If the answer is a resounding “yes”, you’ve found a real gem.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your company and workforce grow, why not request a FREE consultancy call? Submit your interest via our form here

Written by Peter Thorp, a performance coach and programme facilitator at alterniq inspired growth. 

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