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29 February 2024

The People-Centric Management Framework

To be an effective manager, you need to know how to lead a team. But up to 82% of managers never receive any formal people management training (CMI, 2023) To address the gap, our team of business psychologists have created “The People-Centric Management Framework”. It provides a clear roadmap for organisations looking to develop their managers.

The People-Centric Management Framework

The People-Centric Management Framework is rooted in two core components: Awareness and Mastery. When combined, this is the strong foundation that managers need to effectively lead their teams.


Manager Awareness

First, let’s explore Awareness. Manager Awareness is at the core of effective people management. In our framework, we focus on two types of awareness: self-awareness and other awareness. The intentional fostering of both enables managers to gain a deeper understanding of not just themselves but also their team.



When managers are self-aware, they have a good understanding of both their strengths and development areas. When they know their strengths, they can start to leverage them in a deliberate way. For example, a manager who communicates effectively, can call on this strength to resolve conflicts.

At the same time, when managers become aware of development areas, they can take steps to address them. A manager may seek feedback from their team, for example, and hear that they micromanage. They use this information to adjust their behaviour to become more effective.

Other awareness

Other Awareness is about managers developing empathic engagement with their teams. They search out the perspectives, feelings and motivations of team members. A manager may notice a dip in a team member’s performance. Rather than jumping to conclusions and launching a performance review, they take time to understand the root cause of the issue. They can then target any intervention to where it can have the biggest impact.

So, we can see how important awareness is. But awareness on its own isn’t enough. To be truly effective, managers must know how to turn their awareness into action. This leads us to the second component of the framework: Mastery.


Manager Mastery

Manager Mastery is the second component of our People-Centric Management Framework. It is about developing the skills managers need to promote an enabling team environment. There are two types of Mastery: Personal and Interpersonal.


Personal mastery

Every day, managers deal with pressure and challenge. They must address expectations from the top whilst also managing their team. Personal Mastery is the ability to deal with these pressures in a healthy and sustainable way. This requires them to actively build their physical, psychological, and social resilience.

  • Physical resilience: The ability to maintain optimal energy levels through sleep, physical activity, and nutrition.
  • Psychological resilience: The capacity to adapt, learn from adversity and maintain a sense of open-minded optimism.
  • Social resilience: The ability to maintain and nurture trust-based relationships and seek support from others.

When managers build their resilience, they are better able to handle the pressures and challenges they face. At the same time, they become effective role models for healthy performance in their team.

Interpersonal mastery

A people-centric manager supports the performance of their team in a healthy and sustainable way. They do this by mastering the following five skills.

  • Psychological Safety: Creating an environment where team members feel safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and express their concerns without fear of embarrassment or retribution.
  • Conversation Mastery: Facilitating meaningful conversations that inspire trust, clarity, and engagement.
  • Coaching:  Empowering team members in their personal and professional growth.
  • Feedback: Mastering the art of giving and receiving feedback in a manner that promotes learning and development.
  • Leading Through Change: Navigating and guiding the team through change with confidence and resilience.

These core people-centric management skills create an enabling team environment that people want to be a part of.


The Complete People-Centric Management Framework

Good management is so much more than delegating and technical knowledge. It is about becoming a role model for healthy, sustainable performance and actively creating that environment for the team. That is The People-Centric Management Framework at its core.

The question is, how can organisations successfully integrate this framework into their talent development pipeline? We explore this in The 3 Pillars of Sustainable Manager Development. Check it out.


Explore more

Want to dive deeper into The People-Centric Management Framework? Check out Senior Business Psychologist, Sandra Ordel as she explains the framework in full.

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Discover how we can develop people-centric managers in your organisation.

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