I is for Individual

If you read many books on management, you might get the idea that all people are the same. The same “techniques” or “tips on management” will apply equally to all people and all teams.

In your life, how many people have you met that were just like you? People that liked the exact same clothes, food, videos, music, artwork, colors, etc. Not so many, yes?

The members of our teams are like that; different. One may have a great strength of building relationships, one strong in analysis and still another blessed with insightful, big vision. Some like specifics and verified, factual, information. Others like “the big picture” without a lot of details.

Not only that, our team members have different days; tired or rested, happy or sad, grumpy or enthused, etc. One of my managers would ask each day, “How’s it going?”; a pleasant, comfortable way to begin a meeting. It might also be a great way to get a little insight into how that team member is feeling; that day.

Each day, each person may have different needs from their manager or fellow team member(s). We’re not all the same and not all the same all the time. To be a really great team member or manager, we need to understand our team members and understand their unique, individual situations.

In order to communicate a message most thoroughly and effectively, our best advertisers and marketers try to “know their audience”. Great managers and team members will benefit from the same approach.

Know your team members; work at it actively.