management training

April 11, 2010

Management Development Tips – Maintaining Your Momentum

As you develop and grow your management skills, it’s easy to slacken and ease off when you have a busier week.

The key here is to keep the momentum going – and only you alone can do this.

Making progress with management development is easy at first. The most obvious changes to your skills and behaviors will be the most apparent and potentially (though not necessarily!) the easiest to change.

Once you are aware, through your own very focused and objective assessment of your performance, where you can make a start and have quick successes, you will find that in itself is quite enough motivation for you – if you really are up to the challenge.

As you find activities that will help you, through an easy to use and simple guided program maybe, or a book that you’ve carefully selected and read, you will carry on along the career-long path of continuous improvement.

This journey is one to be relished, as you see opportunities come that will make you more fulfilled, much more capable and ultimately successful in your role as a manager.

There is always plenty to go at too!

These activities might take a few minutes to set up and then even just a few minutes to do, especially when they are simply part of the day-job.

There is much evidence to show that the most successful managers are able to learn on-the-job at least 70% of the time, whilst a measly 10% get full value from a workshop or training session (the other 20% comes from coaching or mentoring from your boss, one-on-one).

Even if the activities take up to a maximum of an hour, this need not be separated from what you do as part of your job anyway. The best opportunities will always be where you learn in real-life experiences and try new things on to see how they fit.

The only test to see how it’s going is how it works in the real world.

Truth is the biggest mistake any manager can make is to get today’s job confused with what’s needed to make tomorrow better. By working on development as you do the normal work, you will feel that both are being satisfied!

You see, it’s false economy to say that you are ‘too busy’. In that mode, you’ll be way too busy every day of your career.

Investing a little time in simple daily tactics and actions to develop your management skills really will make the difference going forward.

Remember this, in moments of weakness.

Fire-fighting just puts out the fire, it’s the prevention that stops them happening again and again.

So spending just a little time invested each week in making things different for the future, truly will pay off for both your business results and yourself.

In the long-term, whilst not forgetting the importance of the short, management development right there where the workplace action is, will provide ongoing opportunities to grow.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Management Development Tips, Managing Me by Martin

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March 12, 2010

Management Development Tips – Look Inside Yourself First

Progressive managers learn to develop themselves by ensuring they continue to grow through their careers.

When they get stuck, the first place they look is within.

All good managers have the innate capability to look inwardly from time to time to understand better how they are doing.

They can be very focused and objective about how they go about their self-assessment, or – which is much more value-creating on a different level – they can ask their team about how they are doing as well.

When you are able to do this, you’ll have a far greater knowledge of how you work yourself, which is extraordinarily useful, generating interesting insights as well as offering lots of possibilities too.

One of the reasons people (not just managers), struggle with a better understanding of themselves, is that they are frightened of what they might come up with.

It’s a scary place, being your real self – especially when, for a long time – many years even – you have become used to playing an inauthentic role. Truth is, we are all acting a part in our lives, because of the way we have become fashioned through our experiences.

And it can make us both uncomfortable as well as less capable when we are working outside our natural skin.

Once you have taken steps to recognize any areas where you need to fine tune them, you can take steps, often with the support and help from your team, to develop your skills in a much more productive way.

For junior managers, you can start this right from the beginning of your management role. By engaging others in your team with your development through a bit of self-analysis, you will help them see that this is the most valuable way to progress their performance.

For more experienced managers, such openness, whilst relatively rare, has enormous possibilities for you as well as the team itself.

Being open about who you are and how you go about your work, is most revealing – not least in the response you get from your people, which whilst initially may be a little puzzled, is likely, over time, to become fascinated by the internal changes you make and they can learn from too.

Often there will be programs that will be able to help you. Your organization may have one-off training courses you can do. You may have team members or colleagues who have the specific experiences you need if you take the time to look around.

There is nothing like being focused, taking your development into your own hands and creating the opportunities for your own development yourself.

If you sit around waiting for the magic workshop to transform your management development to clear all your shortcomings, you may well have to wait a long time indeed.

Far better to seek out support from an experienced hand that will be able to guide you through ‘learning by doing exercises’ that will neatly feather into your day-job.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Management Development Tips, Managing Me by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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December 12, 2008

Management Is OK – Then The Leader Comes Along!

Because a manager is interacting so intimately with all parties, he or she will instinctively have knowledge of what clicks, who should be made to work together with whom and how to deal with problems.

But while a manager by virtue of the nature of his work has to be an insider, working closely at the sharp-end of the business every day, the leader does not.

He can work from the sidelines and inspire change without even having a personal stake in what’s happening today.

Leadership is needed for future growth and development in any business. It is a strategic activity, requiring vision, creativity and market-wisdom.

Management is what gets work done; what brings today’s cash-flow and ensures the health of the business right now and in the foreseeable future.

It is the true force and inspiration behind any successful organization, without which, there would be no future.

Filed under Building the Future, Focus on Results, Management Basics by Martin

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December 10, 2008

Listening Skills Revisited – 8 – Don’t Forget ‘Virtual’

When we are talking about communication, it does not necessarily refer to face-to-face communication.

Memos, emails, phone calls, video calls, letters etc are all important in your behaviors.

Whenever you have contact from someone on your team, make sure you acknowledge it as soon as you can at least – even if you are going to take time to reply to it.

It’s just as important as the times you can have conversations – maybe even more so.

If you looking to develop a functional, productive team, it is important to make your employees feel that they are an indispensable part of it.

Putting your listening skills to optimum use when you are communicating with the people working under you can truly make the difference.

Filed under Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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December 5, 2008

Get Management Right – Then Focus On Leadership

So, since utilizing and distributing resources is what is demanded from the manager, he cannot afford to be overly authoritarian.

If he is, then he may push his workers into being less productive.

Instead he should be the friendly but firm guide who inspires dedication to a common end.

Any manager’s goal is to maximize resources and reap the highest results, while dealing efficiently with clients and their quirks (as well as employees).

So while leadership focuses on taking companies onto new directions and give them new visions and aims, good managers help inspire employees deliver results in the shorter term in a focused way.

This helps the company to consistently reap profits right now, maintaining stability and equilibrium, so providing a healthy environment for the longer term potential the leader seeks to unleash.

So a good manager will know how to handle stakeholders, clients and workers with equal ease, keeping things moving along nicely.

Filed under Building the Future, Management Basics by Martin

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December 3, 2008

Listening Skills Revisited – 7 – See the Value

Informal communication within the office is an excellent way to collect feedback about the way things are going – policies, ideas, plans, relationships even.

Not only can what you hear around the place have a great value in terms of ‘intelligence’, but if you start to get creative, you will seek out feedback from teams away from your own.

For example, you might be able to find out how the sales department feel about the impact your admin team have on their side of the business, and use that knowledge to make focused improvements yourself.

Filed under Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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November 28, 2008

Managers Focus On Today’s Performance

To manage well is to focus on ongoing activities.

Since the aim of management is to maximize profits using available resources, any good manager should be able to motivate and encourage his or her people.

They should have the ability to initiate the workers, any company’s main assets, into an inspired state of working, to get them pulling together in order to achieve a common goal.

It is only when managers are accomplishing results, through the co-operation of their workers that a company will be able to flourish. This is why a manager has to have the keen ability to gauge his workforce’s needs and act accordingly.

If his workers are capable and have adequate skill then the manager merely has to motivate and encourage them towards progress.

If, on the other hand, the workforce is not that accomplished, the manager’s task is to personally guide and instruct them in order for them to benefit.

Filed under Building the Future, Management Basics by Martin

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November 27, 2008

Listening Skills Revisited – 6 – All Ideas are Valued

If one of your employees gives you a suggestion in a meeting or otherwise, encourage them.

If you don’t like their idea don’t dismiss it off-handedly. Explore with them where there may be flaws.

Your personal experience should feed into the success of the team as a whole.

Always listen encouragingly to their ideas and make sure that you compliment them on their enthusiasm and positive participation.

Filed under Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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November 21, 2008

Leaders or Managers – What’s The Most Valuable?

Leadership is a quality, which is undeniably useful for the eventual benefit of the company.

Management is the crucial, integral activity that will ensure it survives today, by ensuring the company delivers it’s operational requirements, thereby ensuring the possibility of seeing a tomorrow at all.

Leadership can be described as ‘that quality which involves innovation, risk taking and exploring of new avenues’ for the company to secure a stable, unchallenged superior position in a competitive world.

From this it could be considered that in a constant and steady state, all an organization consistently needs is solid management skills to survive, without any need for leadership skills.

Leaders in any organization are the seeds sown for health and success in the future.

Filed under Building the Future, Management Basics by Martin

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