Management Tips: #021-#030 (September 2019)

Management Tip #021: To be more effective, plan your week ahead

How efficient and effective you are going to be throughout the week depends a lot on your planning efforts. If you take time to plan ahead for your week than you will increase your chances to finish more of the most important task.

For this purpose, on Friday make a list of all the things you didn’t manage to finish that week. To this list, add the takes and activities that are due for the week that is coming. You don’t need to schedule and sequence them now. If you haven’t already, after you make the list, make your plan for the weekend so that use the most of it.

Then on Sunday evening or Monday morning when your head is more clear and you can be more focused, take a look at the list and make the plan. When doing that be mindful of the level of energy throughout the week. On Mondays our energy is not on the highest level. While, Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when we have the highest energy, on Thursday it starts to go down. Eventually, Fridays are not the best days to schedule your most important tasks. Instead use them for cleaning up what’s left and preparing for the next week.

Management Tip #022: Schedule time to relax and recharge

Your brain and body need time to refresh, relax and recharge. Scheduling time to relax will help your brain detach from the work activities. This will help you collect the needed energy and freshness for the forthcoming challenges.

Speaking of the body, you can choose anything from taking a rest to light physical activities, depending on the level of energy you have at the moment. The first, in combination with the second will give the best results, i.e. the body will rest, and then energize.

Higher levels of energy will help you stay positive and be less stressed; you will be willing to do more.

Management Tip #023: Learn how to listen to understand

Having previously discussed about the importance of communication skills for managers, we need to put an emphasis on the listening skills as a crucial communication element. Though most of us will immediately say that they know how to listen, actually it is not easy to be good at listening. There is a long way from “I know how to listen” to listening actively to understand beyond words. Active listening, or listening to understand means listening both to what is said, but also to what is not said, or what is said with the tone of voice, body language, posture, emotions etc.

A good manager can be only the one who knows how to listen well. So learning how to listen to understand is one of the crucial skills each manager should master as soon as possible.

Management Tip #024: Resolve team issues in a timely manner

One of the metaphors I use in my lectures and trainings on conflict management start with the question “When is the best time to kill a dinosaur?”. So, when? Do you know?

The correct answer to this question is “when it is still in the egg”! Because once it hatches it will be bigger and stronger than you.

It is the same situation with the team issues and conflicts. If they are not resolved on time they may become so big that will destroy the team by destroying the interpersonal relationships and eating the trust in the team. So, once a conflict or an issue that can trigger one show up, resolve them in a timely manner without hesitation.

Management Tip #025: Relationships change once you become the manager of the team you belonged to

One of the things to be wary of once you become the manager of the team you belonged to until then is that the relationships with the other team members have changed. While previously they were your colleagues and peers, now you are their manager and have people responsibilities over them. Any manager should be aware of this and make the team members aware of it, as well. Otherwise, you will encounter the issues starting from your first attempts to delegate, coordinate, cross-check or give feedback.

Management Tip #026: Learn how to become more persuasive

The better you are at persuasion, the easier it will be for you to “sell your ideas”. This will help you in your conversations, negotiations, presentations etc.

There are many persuasion techniques, and as you will be able to notice once you get familiar with them, is that there are some very simple but effective techniques and tricks that can help you a lot. So, study them and decide which one will serve better in which situation.

Management Tip #027: Be clear about accountability

Accountability is one of the key elements of a healthy working environment and culture. Being accountable for your actions and results, but also holding your people accountable for theirs is the game to play for every manager. However, before jumping into talking about accountability make sure that everyone is clear about the expectations, that they have the right tools and means to achieve the results, and that there are no blockers that they cannot handle on their own.

Management Tip #028: Failure is not the end of the world

Yes, when we start doing something we want it to be a success. No one starts doing something, so that he or she can fail. However, like it or not, failures are part of the everyday life. Taking them as something inevitable, what is crucial, is our attitude towards them.

If we accept them as opportunities to learn, than it is not so bad. In certain situations, not bad at all. We have learned something and hopefully will not fail gain once in the same situation. But, if we accept them as setbacks, fail to learn and to get up and try again, then we have lost the battle.

That is why it is very important how we react when we fail at something. So pick up your self, see what you have learned, gear up and try again. This time it will be better.

Being a people manager it is very important to make sure this is the situation with your team, as well. Make them feel comfortable and secure even when they fail. Discuss with them about what they have learned from it and what differently will they do in order not to fail again in the same situation.

Management Tip #029: Organize better by making a daily plan

Having discussed about weekly plans In Management Tip 21, it is also important to make a daily plan so that you have a better overview of what needs to be done and nothing is forgotten. In that direction, at the beginning of each day review what you have finished the previous day and make the daily to-do list for that day that will help you complete the weekly plan.

Completing the daily plans will give you a sense of achievement and motivation for the next day.

When scheduling and sequencing the tasks also be mindful of the levels of your daily energy, which is at 80% in the morning, raising to 100% between 10:00 and 12:00, and then slowly declining towards the end of the working day.

Management Tip #030: Learn to say “No”

One of the greatest time stealers and distractors can be saying “Yes” to all new and ad-hoc requests that are coming from different directions. While sometimes it is difficult to say “No”, other times it is necessary to do so, otherwise your plate will become so full that you will not be able to see what’s on it. In that direction, learning to say “No” is important so that you can manage your and your team’s time and energy.

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