Management Tips: #001-#010 (July 2019)

Management Tip #001: Lead by example

As a manger you should be aware that your subordinates not only listen to your words, but also, if not even more pay attention to your actions and behaviors. In fact the latter have much bigger influence in setting example, leading and engaging employees than the words you say. Eventually, what you are saying should support what you are doing. This will set a positive example of how they should behave, and establish you as a trustworthy person. For them it will be easier to connect with you, trust you and follow you. Therefore, the personal example you set is your most powerful management and leadership tool.

Management Tip #002: Build and maintain open and honest interpersonal relationships

How effective you will be as a manager depends a great deal on the relationships you have with your colleagues, subordinates and other managers within the organization. By approaching with honesty and openness you will be able to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect, collaboration and attentiveness. Having this kind of relationships with your stakeholders will help you move faster, smoother and accomplish tasks more effectively and successfully.

This kind of relationships will also help you create a positive working environment which will contribute to increased employee engagement and better organizational culture.

Management Tip #003: Provide constant and on-time feedback

Feedback is a great tool for keeping track on the progress, developing and engaging people. While there are a bit more rules to how feedback should be given, some basics are that feedback should be in person, timely, honest, constructive, address behaviors and results rather than the person. It should contain information on what is good and should continue, as well as, what is not according to expectations and should be improved.

The feedback received from the manager tells employees if they are on the right track and what changes they should make. Also it gives them information what are the areas where they need to improve (skills and other competences) so that they can achieve better results in future. This gives them a sense that they are not left on their own, i.e. that their manager cares about their performance and development, which ultimately leads to happier and more engaged employees.

More on giving and receiving feedback in Mastering Feedback from the 10 Minutes Guidebook Series.

Management Tip #004: Don’t do all things yourself. Focus on the managerial tasks and responsibilities

One of the traps which new managers fall into is continuing to do things themselves. As a manger your responsibility is not to personally complete all the tasks that belong to your department, but to organize, coordinate, guide and delegate in order to ensure effective execution of those tasks. By freeing up your time from the activities that can be done by someone else you will create time to organize the work of your department, coordinate with other departments and stakeholders, and even more important, to focus on your people’s engagement and development.

Management Tip #005: Before your meetings, prepare, align and have a clear picture on the desired outcomes

Managers spend a lot of time at meetings. It can be productive or wasted time. A big part of it depends on your preparation before the meeting and if you have a clear picture of what the outcomes of the meeting should be. So instead of just jumping into a meeting with your notebook, take time in advance to plan and align so that you can end the meeting with the desired outcomes.

Management Tip #006: Manage your daily energy and focus by making breaks between tasks

We have a certain amount of energy that we need to manage wisely and effectively in order to have enough of it for the whole day. One of the ways to manage your energy is to make short breaks after finishing with an energy depleting activity and schedule short breaks every 90 minutes so that your brain and body can regenerate and be able to focus on your next tasks.

Constantly jumping from one to another activity can be one of the factors leading to stress and burnout.

Management Tip #007: Get enough sleep

Human body and brain need sleep to refill with energy for the next day and reset from all the things we have been doing throughout the day. Different researches have concluded that the human brain needs at least eight hour of sleep during the night. By cutting from your sleep you are not doing good to anyone since the next day you will be less productive, distracted, less positive etc. which will affect your personal and professional life.

While not managing to get eight hours of sleep every single night should not be a problem, but making it a habit then can cause problems such as constant tiredness, stress and even burnout.

Management Tip #008: Use delegation as а toll to accomplish tasks, but also to engage and develop people

Manager’s responsibility is not to personally complete all the tasks that belong to your department, but to organize, coordinate, guide and delegate in order to ensure effective execution of those tasks. Delegation will help you organize and ensure that tasks will be completed on time and with quality. However, taking it further, delegation is an important tool for engaging and developing people. By delegating them task that have higher importance and meaning than the regular tasks that they complete will have positive influence on their motivation and engagement. And, by delegating task that will ask from them to go outside of the comfort zone, learn new skills and gain new experience, will help them develop and grow.

Though the benefits of delegation are clear, still many hesitate to delegate. The reasons for this can be different, from being afraid to delegate to not knowing how to. The good news is that everyone can learn how to delegate.

Management Tip #009: Make time to develop your people and learn on your own

One of the most important tasks of every manager is developing their people. You can influence their development through various methods from sending them to trainings, assigning them to projects or other assignments out of their scope of work, mentoring and coaching them, or simply by allocating enough time for them to learn on their own. Growing your people will help you grow your team which will lead to increased productiveness and better results.

Being the one to develop others, you need to constantly learn and develop yourself. In fact, as a leader you need to be open to learning. This will help you improve your skills and knowledge, manage tasks and the team better, and eventually, prepare yourself for the next (higher) role.

Management Tip #010: Don’t let details steal your time

Details are important, but don’t become their slave. It will consume a lot of time that you should spend on more important and strategic tasks. Assign an employee that will do that part of the job for you so that you can focus on more important things.

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