Want to create a better working environment? Managing people is all about building relationships with them. Join Jeff Shiver as he provides some quick tips on how to build those in your world.


Hello. I'm Jeff Shiver, Managing Principal of People and Processes. Today I want to share a leadership and supervision tip with you. It revolves around managing people.

Recognize that managing people involves building relationships with them. The only way you can build relationships with them is to get out where they work. You can't sit behind a desk.

I know many of you have administrative tasks that you have to deal with and stuff like that. I understand that, but set some time away, at least so many hours a day or so many hours a week, where you can get out and actually have discussions with the people. You go and you talk to people, and you say, "Hey, Tom, what's going on? How are things going? What can we do to make it better?"

If you've never done it, you may hear venting. Let them vent. Don't get defensive, but make it a point next week when you come out to go back and look for Tom. Go out the same door and look for Tom and say, "You know, Tom, last week you told me this, and you vented. I understand that, but I wanted to come back and explain to you why we made the decision we made." The whole goal, remember, is you've got to get out in the living place.

If you're familiar with lean terms, there's a term called "gemba," G-E-M-B-A. What that is, is the living place. This is where the work occurs, all the activity happens. You've got to get out there with those guys. You need to understand, how many kids do they have? What's important to them? What motivates them? That's what you're trying to understand, so you've got to build that relationship.

Get out from behind the desk. Go forth. Have a good time with your people, and they'll really appreciate it. I can guarantee you that. I hope you enjoyed the tip. I'm Jeff Shiver, managing principal of People and Processes. Have a great day.