5 Simple Steps to Working with People (and Vendors) – Part 1

Part 1 - Bringing out the best in people

My career has allowed me to manage a variety team sizes, personalities, and vendors. Whether I am inspiring and building an internal team or eternal vendor, I have learned there are five simple steps you can follow when working with people and vendors. This will be a two-part post covering the first three steps.

1.) Tell them what their job is. To be a successful leader and manager, you must outline expectations, tasks, and requirements for all of your team members and vendors. I’ve always found typing out job descriptions and providing them with a detailed task list (mapped to the overall team and corporate strategy) is incredibly helpful. I walk team members and vendors through the list and make sure I save ample time for questions and suggestions. I also allow them to ask how I can best support them at their job.

2.) Tell them what their job is NOT. Equally as important to explaining their job role, you need to tell your team and vendors what they aren’t responsible for working on. Setting expectations and clarifying job roles is incredibly important to overall success of your project, department, and overall company. Don’t leave any room for confusion or uncertainly. Be clear, concise, and concrete when describing what they should and shouldn’t focus on.

3.) Give them the tools to do their job. If you want your team and vendors to succeed, you need to equip them with the right equipment, technology, and processes to do their job. Both employees and vendors need the basic equipment to complete their job. If you are unsure about what they need, simply ask them! Make sure everyone has access to technologies that you leverage - email marketing, social marketing, content marketing, task management, and data management, to name a few.

Finally (and most importantly, if I say so myself) – you need to have well-documented processes and strategy documents for all important projects that your team or vendor is working on. I can’t stress this enough – process documents and guides can make or break a team’ success. Store these process documents in a centralized location so policies and procedures are just a few clicks away at all times.

What tips do you have for managing team members and vendors? Do you have a story about a manager or coach that helped you grow into the person you are today? I’d love to hear your feedback and stories. Comment on this blog post or share your story with us on Twitter @MelissaBeuc