Tag Archives: Management

Management: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

bossManagement: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

As a life and career coach I sometimes have clients who are unhappy at work. This can be for all kinds of reasons.  They may be in a job that doesn’t give them an opportunity to use their knowledge, skills and experience and they feel frustrated.  Or, perhaps,  they have been promoted to a new role that is a stretch too far and they are struggling.  Having too much to do and feeling stressed is a regular..  And of course we have all encountered difficult colleagues, to say nothing of unpleasant and demanding bosses.  But there is a point when an unpleasant and demanding boss can slip over the boundary into something much worse; the boss becomes just plain cruel.

Most of us have read about the vile over-seers in the factories of the industrial revolution. Certainly, in the UK, employment law has made their kind of cruelty a thing of the past.

No, what I’m referring to here is a new kind of callousness!.

The economic conditions of the last few years have put great pressure on organizations. For many, the ability to survive in the market place has become the overriding priority.  And the values of the organization become the values of their key employees.

Hard decisions have had to be made!  It can be difficult to hang on to your finer feelings when you have to grapple daily with who to keep and who to let go. For some, feelings for the staff they manage have coarsened.

Treating the team as something to be exploited to ensure your personal survival sounds pretty outrageous when put into words.  And there are lots of ways you can avoid facing up to what you are doing . But that is what I am hearing about from some of my clients.

People are being asked to cope with larger and larger workloads in often more unpleasant conditions.  For example, what started out as poor but passable accommodation for a call center now houses as well much of company administration including HR.  For some, natural light is becoming a luxury!

When you complain or ask for help, the manager or supervisor doesn’t want to know – they have their own problems keeping senior management happy.  You risk finding yourself on next week’s hit list of people about to leave.

But it is short sighted really! Bad times will come to an end. When the good times come, what do you, oh mighty manager, think those employees are going to do? Well, they are not going to hang around when they have other opportunities, are they?

At the very least give your employees a hearing and if you can’t do anything right now, have the grace to apologize. And next time you are about demand something from  an employee you know is outrageous, stop and think!  Is the short term gain really in your long term interest?

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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Career Development – the FT Guide to Business Training really delivers

Career Development – the FT Guide to Business Training really delivers

Do you deliver training for your organization?  Then I think you will love this!

The Financial Times Guide to Business Training shows you how to develop, design and deliver outstanding business training.

Written by two of the UK’s leading business trainers and based on extensive research into what the best trainers say and do, this book:

· Is a single reference for anyone involved in business training whether you are newly qualified or experienced, a freelance trainer or already embedded in learning and development departments

  • Provides a comprehensive resource of ideas, tools and approaches
  • Will help you improve the quality of all aspects of your training needs, including analysis, planning and delivery
  • Reveals the secrets of outstanding business training so that you can improve your reputation and results
  • Answers commonly asked questions
  • Offers support on your training journey via www.ftguidetobusinesstraining.com


“I see this book as being an invaluable resource for anyone involved in providing HR support, L&D, CPD and In Service Training, and would certainly help the next generation of business professionals to create and provide more interesting and effective training” 

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How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

the virtHow To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

Do you really need to be in the same building as your employees? Unless you serve customers face-to-face, there’s no compelling reason not to have virtual staff. But virtual arrangements can be fraught with pitfalls. This video from Denise OBerry provides some really useful tips.

If you enjoyed this video, you can sign up for Denise’s free weekly small business advice at http://www.deniseoberry.com/tips

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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The Secret Art of Being A Good Boss

The Secret Art of Being A Good Boss

the boss

In this video from Stanford University  Professor Robert Sutton draws on his new book, Good Boss, Bad Boss, to describe the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. He will weave psychological and management research together with instructive stories and cases to help you be a better boss (or deal with a difficult one).


If you are having problems with your boss, please get in touch.  Working with a career coach really can help.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Politics – A definition – “activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization” Oxford Dictionaries

This is a re-post, with some slight amendments, of something I wrote a while ago. But I think it is useful and I hope you will agree!

I don’t play chess.  I admire those who do – for me the game is too slow to enjoy.  But I do know the rules!

For me, Office Politics is just like that.  You may decide not to ‘play’ but you do need to know how the game works.

This is true in most work situations but particularly if  you lead or manage a vital project or programme.  If you don’t manage your stakeholders, your initiative may be shot down in ways you never expected.

Stakeholder management (managing those with an interest in what you are doing) doesn’t work if you don’t make sure you understand the politics of the organisation and your particular part of it.

Wherever you have a group of people, you will have a degree of politics operating.

People will usually jockey for position, form alliances, decide who they do like and who they don’t!  They will come to the group with different personalities, sets of values and opinions. Over time a group/team develops a set of norms or standards and ways of working. They develop a pecking order – a hierarchy of status and influence.  This may not necessarily reflect the organisation chart.  For example, the person who controls the stationery cupboard can have quite a lot of power to disrupt their colleague’s day, if they choose to do so, in lots of offices!

If you don’t understand the influence-hierarchy you can find it difficult to get things done, particularly if you are new to an organisation.  And the hierarchy will change over time, as people strive successfully and unsuccessfully to achieve greater influence.

You need to understand the office politics, even if you find the concept distasteful. And, you will be very lucky indeed if someone actually tells you the rules of the game! It is far better to understand what is going on and  adopt a strategy to keep the negative effects of office politics on you and your work to a minimum.

In reality, it is useful to be regarded as inside the influence group, rather than outside looking in. What you are probably best to aim for is to manage any effects of office politics that directly relate to you!  Then turn them in your favour, or at least minimise any possible harmful e effects on you and your work.

Office politics in its crudest form usually occurs when one, or more than one, person holds (or is seen as holding) a significant amount of power within the office.  This may be formal power – the CEO’s private office is usually a hotbed of office politics – or informal power. Formal power is pretty easy to read. And, for example, PAs to top managers, who may all wield considerable power,  are fairly easy to discover.  Informal power is generally much more difficult to identify and work with. 

Informal power can arise in a number of ways! Someone with depth of knowledge of the organisation, the key subject matter expert, can accrue significant amounts of informal power.    And sometimes this informal power can be abused; for example, the ‘office bully’ or those in a relationship with someone holding formal power who are unscrupulous players of the office politics’ game.  You need to listen and observe the group you work with and its surrounding organisation to find out more about these!

What can you do to make office politics work for you?

  1. Try to get to know the politically powerful within your organisation.  Don’t be afraid of them – they are often much, more receptive to people who aren’t intimidated by them!  
  2. Make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve.  Deal with their reservations and make sure they understand that you are taking on board their views.   
  3. If someone does try to undermine you, don’t get drawn in. Simply be bold and assertive, but not aggressive.  Make your points clearly and offer good will.  If their negative behaviour persists, then ring-fence them – make sure they have as little as possible to do with your work.
  4. People often play office politics because they are unsure about their own abilities and achievements.  They try to conceal what they believe are their shortcomings behind a façade and to make others feel they are less worthy. Don’t let them undermine your self-esteem – be proud of your own accomplishments and make sure that your efforts are recognised by those who matter. 
  5. Don’t get into direct competition if you can avoid it – it’s a waste of your time! If people know you are doing a good job consistently there is far less opportunity for you to be undermined. 
  6. Forming alliances with senior managers and using them as sponsors and champions for your work can increase your own informal power.  If you have a formal sponsor, make sure they are well informed and really up to date with your project or programme and can talk about it fluently to their colleagues.   As with all stakeholder management – targeted communication of  good quality of information is key to you and your project or programme’s success.

If you want to know more or do want to play the office politics game then here are some books that might be useful!

‘Office Politics: How work really works’ by Guy Browning   http://amzn.to/efTzjO

‘100+ Tactics for Office Politics (Barron’s Business Success)’ by Casey Hawley   http://amzn.to/hkBR6r

For the really evil!

’21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Win at Office Politics’ by Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey http://amzn.to/fFMHQ4

I have started a new Career Development Group on LinkedIn where you will find lots of tips and other resources in due course – you can join it by clicking here 

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

CV review and interview preparation and coaching to improve your confidence and self esteem are a speciality

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Multiple Project Management – Tips

shutterstock_32523 Today we have a guest post from Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. His main interests are Business with a recent focus on Education and Technology. He is constantly extending his fields of interest to incorporate news suggested to him by his readers. He is currently interning at Domo. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.

Multiple Project Management – Tips

Multi-tasking is almost always tricky business. It can be seriously difficult to do just one major project at a time, never mind trying to juggle multiple. But the fact of the matter is that sometimes you just have to deal with several projects at once since schedules won’t allow for it to be done any other way. Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use for staying sane during the process and getting everything done on time.

Use Project Management Software

There are many different programs you can use to keep track of projects. For example, Microsoft Project is a piece of software that helps you maintain and manage projects effectively. This sort of management is crucial for not getting left behind or getting confused on which project you’re doing. One of the major benefits of this software is that it integrates with other pieces of Microsoft software. For example, there’s a seamless option to transfer files to project from Word, Excel, and so on. So if you are working on projects within these other programs, you can use Project to keep track of them all or mix them together, as the case may be.

After all, sometimes multiple projects will combine together or overlap for the sake of other larger projects. It can be much easier to have a program to help with the organization rather than trying to do all of it yourself in the long run. It can help to experiment with different programs until you find one that you’re comfortable with before settling down to learn every aspect of it. After all, the process of learning a project management program can be fairly time consuming.

Keep Organized

It’s also important to keep notes for the individual projects and organize them all separately. For example, it can be useful to create separate folders for each project. That way you’ll make sure that you don’t accidentally get projects confused. It can be easy to misplace some of the files from projects so that they get stuck in with other projects if you aren’t careful. This is especially likely to happen if you have a lot of projects and a lot of files for each.

For example, if you give files for different projects a similar name, like something with “project.doc,” then you could easily open and work on the wrong one if you don’t have them all in different folders. It can help to name not just the folder, but also every one of the files something related to the project so that you have no chance of getting confused.

After all, it’s easy to get confused when you have multiple projects all happening at the same time.

Overall, finding out as many different methods for managing multiple projects at the same time as you can is important. You can easily find business intelligence, blog after blog on the Internet on this subject as well, to get additional ideas. There are no shortage of possibilities for organization including a wide assortment of management programs and apps. 

Writer Biography

This is a guest post by Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. His main interests are Business with a recent focus on Education and Technology. He is constantly extending his fields of interest to incorporate news suggested to him by his readers. He is currently interning at Domo. Make sure to follow him on his  business intelligence blog.

 

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Corporate Training

Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Corporate TrainingManaging People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Lots of organizations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging and managing good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people even question whether carrying out annual performance reviews does actually impact on the quality of performance.

Let us think a little about what the person being assessed usually thinks about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

But if you think about it – this isn’t why as a manager you carry out a performance review. What you are concerned about is?

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

You are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives and more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happy in the job!

Given the difference in perspectives, holding one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet either purpose really, does it? Surely what you need instead is a relationship and structures that support an ongoing dialogue?

No you don’t want spend every day discussing performance. Although there is much to be said about commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix has worked for me. And then, at the end of the yea,r it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship and an open discussion about the quality of performance is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works and a well developed relationship, it becomes much easier to discuss career development and the opportunities for progression.  And guess what in this climate potential threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues and so everyone benefits.
Wendy is the Happiness Coach and author of  The Wolf Project and a new novel, Blood Brothers, to be published in Summer 2013.  As a life and career coach and blogger, she helps people reach their goals and aspirations. As a novelist she hopes to entertain. Oh and she writes poetry too! To find out more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation gives you an opportunity to try phone coaching without risk. Remember there are great benefits to be achieved by being coached in the comfort  of your own home by phone or Skype .

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

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Management: 6 Simple Tips For New Managers: A Checklist

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Management: 6 Simple Tips For New Managers

All managers have a first day in the job.  And it is never easy!  So here are some tips to help you on your way;

  1. Understand your organization; its rules and culture.  Your team is part of a wider organization and you need to understand that wider context. How do people behave – what are the rules (written and unwritten)?  Spend some time finding out and talk to your HR department about what they expect of you as a manager
  2. Understand the work requirement.  What are you there to do and by when do you have to do it? Be clear about the objectives of your own manager and their expectations of you.  If you don’t have anything written down yet, try to agree a time to do that.  What do your team, and each member of it, think they are there to do?  Does it line up with what the organization needs and the team objectives?
  3. Be consistent – firm but fair.  Don’t have favorites and treat everyone in the same way.  Try to be consistent in how you behave – don’t let your bad mood or your “off day” be reflected in how you behave. If you do it will confuse and de-motivate your team.  Above all reward or penalize the same things over time. Do your team understand the standards set for their work? Does your behavior reflect them?
  4. Kindness goes a very long way – kindness engenders kindness – show and encourage appreciation.   Being kind doesn’t mean you become a “soft” manager that people can take advantage of.  Kindness is an extension of being fair.  Do you treat people as you,  yourself, would like to be treated?  You will be surprised what a difference to your life as a manager it will make when you have your team’s support. Kindness will help gain you that support.
  5. Work on you own confidence – confidence inspires others.  Learn how to look and sound confident even when you don’t feel it.  This will hep your team to feel more secure and able to give their best work.  Do you have a problem maintaining your feelings of confidence? If so work with a coach to learn some techniques to help – my contact details are below.
  6. Learn to make quick and effective decisions – dithering bosses lose the confidence of their teams.  Do you know how to identify relevant information quickly and then to weigh evidence to help you make a decision. Be willing to take risks – making decisions means being prepared sometimes to take a risk.  Giving someone the benefit of the doubt or even delegating effectively requires you to take risks.  Do you understand risk and how to take it? Learn about risk and how evaluate how much of it you are taking and how to manage the consequences.  At the end of the day,  as the manager, you “carry the can” and that is something that good managers learn to live with.

I am sure you will be a first class manager.  It isn’t easy but it can be immensely rewarding.  Good Luck.  If you would like my help, please get in touch

Wendy is the Happiness Coach and author of  The Wolf Project and a new novel, Blood Brothers, to be published in Summer 2013.  As a life and career coach and blogger, she helps people reach their goals and aspirations. As a novelist she hopes to entertain. Oh and she writes poetry too! To find out more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation gives you an opportunity to try phone coaching without risk. Remember there are great benefits to be achieved by being coached in the comfort  of your own home by phone or Skype .

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

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Management:Some Good Thoughts On Giving Feedback

Management;Some Good Thoughts On Giving Feedback

feedback1feedback 2feedback4 Basic CMYK

Sandwich-Method (1)

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  
A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

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Management – Gregory Smith Speaks On Employee Retention, Talent Management & Leadership

gregManagement – Gregory Smith Speaks On Employee Retention, Talent Management & Leadership

Greg Smith is a “perceptive teacher, an inspirational speaker and a motivating preacher.” From Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, to company president, and the author of six books, Greg’s 27 years of leadership and consulting experience have helped propel him as one of the US’s leading authorities on employee retention, talent management, and leadership. As a business management consultant, he shows executives and business owners how to build their organizations and retain and motivate their workforce.

The video is from the Eagles Talent Speakers Bureau -http://www.eaglestalent.com/Gregory-S…

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  

A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

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