The Top 10 Secrets of Effective People Management

Sandy Seeber-Quayle
4 min readOct 18, 2020

Everyone including you can become an effective people manager. Start by checking out these top 10 secrets!

We manage people all the time and pretty much everywhere. While we usually think of our professional lives in the context of people management, we also manage people in our relationships at home, with friends, and with strangers we meet while shopping, travelling, or dining out. Equally we too are managed by others.

You may have heard this a thousand times but effective people management starts with one self. People who are self-aware and truly confident are most likely great people managers as they appear to be understanding, appreciative and to be good listeners. Good people manager trust and believe in people around them. That way people feel valued and empowered. A nourishment for effectiveness!

“People are what make companies agile, not approaches, methodologies or tools.” Pedro Gaspar Fernandes

Everyone can become an effective people manager. Here are my top 10 secrets:

Photo by Sandy Seeber-Quayle
  1. Observe someone, who is great with people! Find out what this person does to make you and others feel good? Make a list of your observation and assess what you are already doing and what you are missing when dealing with people.
  2. Listen, listen, listen! While you are caught up in your own world you are hardly able to catch what others are concerned about. Everyone has different knowledge, experiences and perspectives that can be of great value. Take some time for others and listen to them with your full attention. This will help you to understand the other person much better and you do may learn something new!
  3. Ask to clarify! Make sure that your are on the same page. What are they really talking about? What is their problem? What do they want you to do? Clarify and summarise to let others know that you are not only hearing them but also understanding what they are saying.
  4. It’s ok to know best, but keep it to yourself! Many people have huge resistance to being told what to do. And even if you know better, unless you have been asked for advise it is better to keep that to yourself. Instead use your wisdom in guiding others towards the right direction so they can find answers themselves.
  5. Treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself! Everyone is equal and our work or social relationships often reflect our own behaviour. If you get for instance frustrated when your ideas are dismissed check in with yourself to see when you are dismissive of other people’s ideas. The basic ideas is when you are respectful of others, others will be respectful of you. When you value others, others will value you! Observe what you like about the approach of others, assess your own approach, and make adjustments appropriately.
  6. Notice and work with people’s values! Everyone has different values. If humans don’t act in congruence with their values their intrinsic motivation drops significantly. To understand and recognise the values of the people around you gives you that extra edge to be an effective people manager. For instance for people who value a structure you can lay out a step by step plan while people, who value creativity might be happy to find their own way.
  7. Trust and believe in others! Notice the potential everyone has and help them to be the best they can be! Check in with them to see what their aspirations are and if you can help them progressing towards these aspirations. Some people are more confident than others. But when they have someone who believes and trusts in their abilities their self-confidence is accelerated.
  8. Create a harmonious and safe environment! People are capable of much more once they feel valued, understood, and safe to be true to themselves. Sometimes however life gets the better of us. It is important for you to notice if others are not their usual self and allow them to be in the state they are in. To create a harmonious and safe environment seek understanding of someones behaviours and actions, try to step into their perspective and most importantly have a non-judgemental attitude towards them.
  9. Understand their motivation! Everyone is motivated by different things and even with different tasks this might change. Some people just want to get things done, others want to learn something new, have fun or just want to ensure the much needed salary comes in to ensure their family is provided for. Understanding what makes the other drive enables you to find a common ground to work together more collaboratively.
  10. Be true to yourself! What works with others works with you as well. Be honest to yourself and make sure you serve your values too! Understand what is in it for you, what drives you and what you need from others in order to feel empowered. Remember, who is able to self manage is able to manage others!

These secrets are a collection of things that work for me. I am certain you have also had experiences of effective people management. I would love to hear your perspective. I am sure I can learn something new.

This article has been updated by the author after the article has been first published on her blog in 2011.



Sandy Seeber-Quayle

Writes articles, flash fiction, poetry about life, thinking, management, human behaviour and all that is beyond my grasp.