Let me just preface that, The title in no way speaks to my skill level in the subject. I would rank myself among the less fortunate in abilities to do so, when it comes to this subject. It does however have a great deal to do with my body of work though. And something I have given little thought to other than the explicit joy of not having to do it someday.
Managing people is something of a puzzle. A puzzle that has no specific answer or direction, as all people are different. Now I know there are plenty of self help books and business management books that may say otherwise, but in foodservice, you throw all of that conventional wisdom out the window, and after all of the preamble, and formalities are finished, ask your "gut" what you think. I don't do this enough. In fact I find as I progress in this field that more and more, I am having to explain for the ones hired, quit, replaced more often than not.
People basically do not like being told what to do, but in this world of ever increasing litigation, and liability the most basic of positions now have responsibilities we would not dream of giving them 10 or even 20 short years ago. No amount of training, or support is going to make anyone a good employee. They have to come to the table with some certain traits that are intangibles. Things you cannot train. Top of the list, humble, then ability to listen, take critisism. Speak up, tell the truth, and always be open to change. And that last one may just be the hardest of all components.
I can't say I enjoy managing people. In fact I know I don't. It is totally unpredictable, and more oftentimes than not, nauseating. The art here, I think is knowing how to juggle the priorities of all of them in my little world, as is the case for everyone, i.e. which fire is burning the hottest and what is the 1-2 or 3 things I can do that day of the 50 that are on the table well to help it.