Posts Tagged ‘management skills’

How to become an accountable leader

March 1, 2011

Great leaders accept responsibility for delivering the results that matter to them and their organisation. They do not hide behind excuses, scapegoats or indecision. Rather, they harness the multitude of resources they have at their disposal to turn desires into realities.

Bruna Martinuzzi has offered the following tips on how you can become a successful accountable leader.

1. Taking time to reflect on how your actions are viewed by all stakeholders: your direct reports, your peers, your clients. Go through a formal 360 Leadership Assessment process or simply get hold of a leadership assessment form and use it to reflect on how others in your team would rate you on each dimension.

2. At the end of each day, take the time to go over your day.
Think about the significant activities in your day. Are you proud of the way you conducted yourself? Could you improve?  This will inspire you to plan your next day around your highest purpose. Getting into this habit of introspection will pay dividends in the long run.

3. Decide to hold yourself accountable for developing other leaders. By mentoring a protégé to enhance their personal and professional growth, you strengthen your own leadership skills and reinforce your determination to be self-accountable as you become the model.

4. When something goes wrong, look inwardly for solutions. It is especially in difficult times that our self-accountability is challenged. Ensure you are well equipped to deal with challenges and controversy.

5. When a mistake is made, do you ask: “Whose fault is it?” or do you say: “What can we learn from this?” It is important to move away from the blame game and take ownership of issues.

6. Think about promises you make to new hires during the interviewing courtship period. In our zeal to want to attract the brightest and most talented, we can easily over promise. Keep a record of your interview notes and what you promised to candidates. If subsequent events make it impossible to keep the promises, at least you can address them with the individual. This is better than forgetting about them altogether.

7. What about promises you made to yourself? Write out your personal and professional goals with clear targets. Read them once a week. Use these to spur you into action.

8. Think about what you are avoiding doing. Is there anything that you are avoiding doing that needs to be done? For example, are you putting off a difficult conversation? Are you delaying any important decisions? Are you delegating away responsibilities that should stay in your court?

Self-accountability, then, is staying true to ourselves despite difficult circumstances. It’s doing the right thing even when we are tempted to bend a few rules for expediency’s sake.

 

Overcoming the 5 fears of change

February 8, 2011

To move forward you need to make some changes along the way, so fearing change won’t get you anywhere. Instead, choose to embrace change and positive progress will come your way.

CEO Online has included an article on their website that says “Change champions don’t QUIT and don’t SETTLE.” They have provided 5 tips to help you become a successful change champion.

1. Overcome the fear of the unknown

Tip: “Choose growth”

2. Eliminate the fear of failure

Tip: “Get a healthier understanding of how change works”

3. Fight the fear of commitment

Tip: “Focus on what needs to be changed and keep the rest”

4. Dismiss the fear of disapproval

Tip: “Take in the disapproval with a grain of salt and an ounce of discernment”

5.  Discard the fear of success

Tip: “Relish your success instead of settling for mediocrity”

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The key management issues

February 2, 2011

The business landscape is constantly evolving and changing and it is important to keep on top of these changes. Management Today has analysed the top 10 issues facing managers in 2011, and provided a quick tip to overcome each of these. Here are the first five:

1. Two-speed economy

Australia weathered the financial storm better than most, but there are still areas of risk and reward, known as the two-speed economy.

Tip: Concentrate on staff retention and diversification to reduce risk in an uncertain climate.

2. Global economic health

The biggest issue for Australian companies in terms of global economic health is business confidence.

Tip: For a full economic recovery a change in thought processes is required: from ‘glass is half empty’ to ‘glass is half full’.

3. Development and training

As managers look to increase levels of innovation and agility within their organisations, the need for staff development and training becomes greater.

Tip: Formalise the implementation of mentoring, coaching and training procedures in order to increase agility and improve staff retention.

4. Export opportunities

There are amazing opportunities on offer to Australian exporters in the near term.

Tip: Whether you’re currently exporting or looking to begin, look to the markets in our own region of the world for great growth opportunities.

5. Sustainability issues

Despite the shelving of the Emissions Trading Scheme organisations have plenty to be concerned about in terms of sustainability.

Tip: Make sustainability a serious issue in your business – as important as the bottom line – because it is to many stakeholders.

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How to keep your employees happy in 2011

January 25, 2011

A recent survey of more than 3,000 leaders conducted by Leadership Management Australia and reported on by the HR Daily found that the number-one characteristic today’s employees value in a manager is trustworthiness.

Trustworthiness has moved from seventh position in 2009 to number one replacing clear communication of direction. This shows that employee expectations have changed significantly in the past year calling for all managers to review their leadership style.

The survey found the top ten characteristics of a good manager to be:

  1. Being trustworthy and open in approach
  2. Clearly communicating where the company is going
  3. Giving employees the “space” to do their work, but supporting them
  4. Listening to and respecting employees’ input into decisions
  5. Giving employees regular and honest feedback on how they are going
  6. Being fair and even-handed/making reasonable demands
  7. Providing the resources employees need to do their job
  8. Recognising employees for extra efforts/results;
  9. Coaching and developing employees
  10. Trusting employees with challenging work.

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BluePrint tip: Make feedback regular

December 16, 2010

Feedback is an important part of every workplace and if not done effectively is one of the main causes of employee dissatisfaction.

Feedback needs to be given on a daily basis, if this becomes more of a yearly occurrence people tend to be surprised rather than aligned with the feedback they are given.

If you have suggestions that will help an employer do their job better, it is more productive to communicate that sooner rather than later.

Five easy tips to influence and persuade others in the workplace

December 14, 2010

Persuasion and influence are important factors that have a direct impact on your personal success, whether at the workplace in your personal lives. No matter who you are or what you do, you will never learn a more valuable or important set of skills than that of how to influence others.

Once you tap into the power of influence, you can reach out and help others work smarter, grow faster, live, look and feel better. Here are some tips to help you improve your influencing skills:

1. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve and the outcomes that you want.

2. Get in the shoes of those you want to persuade and think about it from their perspective.

3. Plan as much as you can before the situation to minimise the amount of thinking on your feet you will have to do.

4. Be flexible and be willing to change your style to accommodate different situations and personalities.

5. Make time to reflect and learn from both successful and unsuccessful influencing situations.

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BluePrint tip: Negotiating is all about credibility

December 9, 2010

The most important ingredient for negotiating within an organisation is credibility. Leaders who are believable to their people and to upper management have more success at negotiating needs in both directions effectively.

To do this you need to be consistent in your values and show respect for opinions contrary to your own. Other opinions are as valid as yours and by taking these into consideration you will be able to find a common middle ground resulting in a win-win situation.

Are crucial conversations keeping you stuck?

December 8, 2010

Whenever you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, it’s likely that a crucial conversation is keeping you stuck.

Whether it’s a problem with poor quality, slow time-to-market, declining customer satisfaction, or a strained relationship, if you can’t talk honestly with nearly anybody about almost anything, you can expect poor results. Make crucial conversations skills your best practices and everything gets better.

Here are some tips to help you get started with your crucial conversation:

1. Choose the most appropriate objectives that you want from the conversation and set your expectations towards them.

2. Pay attention to your style of communication and avoid any negative words or body language. True communication doesn’t involve demeaning or laying blame.

3. Don’t intimidate, use harsh words or raise your voice. Use constructive, positive words.

4. Do not over dominate the conversation and claim superiority. If someone is made to feel inferior at the beginning of a conversation they are more likely to take offense.

5.  Ask the other person’s opinion, actively listen and take the time to understand.

6. Take action. Decide what the outcome of the conversation will be, who will be responsible for each component of the solution and start working towards the result.

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BluePrint tip: Designing presentations backwards

December 2, 2010

In our careers we are often asked to make presentations, however many of us struggle knowing how to start preparing. Rather than designing your presentation from the beginning to the end – reverse it.

Start with the destination and work back to the opening. Write your closing line that summarises your message clearly and then write the points that support your ending.

Your speech will be clearer and take you less time if your start with the end in mind.

7 tips for leaders as the year wraps up

November 23, 2010

Christmas is fast approaching and with that comes invitations to work Christmas parties and celebratory events. As a manager and leader, these events cannot be seen as a chance to go crazy, rather an opportunity to reinforce a culture of engagement says the HR Daily.

It is important to see end of year events as a springboard into the year ahead and realise that any out of the ordinary behaviour can damage future relationships. The HR Daily recommends that managers lower their risk by taking a leadership mentality into the party to show that you are an effective, open, responsible and caring manager.

The following seven tips were offered to help managers through the festive season:

1. Understand the guidelines and have a clear mind.

2. Set expectations for staff and deliver on them.

3. Show your commitment by turning up and engaging with staff.

4. Be a role model for the behaviour that your expect.

5. Be aware of what is happening and remember you are ultimately responsible for the welfare of attendees.

6. Be prepared to act on bad behaviours.

7. Implement the boundaries of the function to attain the outcomes you want.

Read the full article