As a manager, you will never have a team of identical backgrounds and personalities. Each individual will be different and thus handle situations differently. One team member responds well to constructive criticism while another may require you to tread lightly when you critique them. The bottom line is you have to lead the team, while still catering to each individual to get the most out of them. This is a tough balancing act, but here are some tips on how you can achieve it.

Make It a Point to Get to Know Your Employees

To fully understand your team you have understand each individual on a deeper level. Each has their own unique set of skills and weaknesses. The better you can understand them, the more you’ll be able to get the most out of them.

This in the end will enable you to get the most out of your team. Figuring each individual out can be difficult, especially if time is not on your side.

To speed this process have employees take a strengths and weakness test when they are hired. This is not a perfect science, but it’ll at least give you an idea of what makes each person tick to start.

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is essential in order to lead effectively. Simply put, it is your ability to recognize your own and other people’s emotion.

You may have some team members who are forthright with their concerns and suggestions, but others may reserved and hold these things back. It’s important for you to have the ability to read these situations and reach out to these individuals to get whats on their minds out of them.

Have Purposeful Meetings

It’s easy to have your meetings with individuals be work-centric, meaning all you talk about are the tasks and goals of the individual and the team. To better understand your employees, bring more meaning to these sit-downs.

Ask your employee how everything is going away from work, or if there is anything they need to make you aware of. It’s important as a manager to know these things for context  when it comes to the person’s performance at work.

Having meetings like this can also lead to increased performance from individuals and therefore the team. When your team sees you taking a deeper interest in them as people it shows that you aren’t just worried about the numbers, but you have a vested interest in them as people.

Managing a diverse group can certainly be challenging. By implementing these strategies you can take this diversity and use it as a tremendous positive for your team.