10 Top Tips for First-Time Managers

10 Top Tips for First-Time Managers

10 Top Tips for First-Time Managers
Congratulations on your promotion.  You've been doing your role so well that you've been rewarded with another - management!

To put it simply, your new role as a team manager requires you to deliver results through people. and to achieve this you'll need to master a collective new set of people skills.

You'll also have a lot to contend with, so I've created these 10 Top Tips for First-Time Managers to help you advance quicker and smarter!

1. Find a mentor - someone who's been in a similar position to support you and 'bounce ideas off'. Someone who is willing to guide you through this key part of your career.

2. You're only human- be brave and understand that you may make mistakes, so apply what you've learnt and move on. 'Thinking on your feet can feel lonely'.

3. Get clarity - meet your line manager get clear goals defined with timelines and behaviours required from yourself and your team. Also, discuss any challenges, budget constraints or potential performance management issues.

4. Your people - meet 'one on one' to learn what 'drives' them and what they need to work at their best. 'For us to work well together it'll be useful to know what makes you tick'.

5. Your team - Your most important asset! You won't have time to build a high performing team in your first week, but you'll need to get them working well together from the start. Help them get to know each other, give them a sense of direction and establish ways of working well together.

6. Lead by example - you've proven you know your stuff, now continue to be visible and credible and 'walk the talk' because your behaviour sets the tone for your team.

7. Meetings - i. have a clear objective, 'At the end of this meeting I want…'. ii. List priorities, 'We must cover…'. iii. Stay on topic. iv. Everyone gives feedback. v. Create action points stating who will do what, and by when.

8. Focus - to help you focus on the necessary and eliminate the unnecessary, keep asking the question 'Why are we doing this?'

9. Problems - encourage open conversations, even about problems. The sooner you know about problems the sooner you can deal with them. You may not have a solution to everything right now, but together, you can come up with far better answers.

10. Social skills - there is no 'best way' to manage everyone because we're all unique. However, we human beings are sociable creatures so think about your social skills; how you communicate with your team, will influence their thoughts and feelings which impact the quantity and quality of their work.

To conclude, you'll be navigating challenges on a daily basis. So, remove any negativity and always remain positive because your team are your best asset, they will be more creative and productive when you and they are happy!  What do you think?

You can read more interesting articles on Management and People Development right here >http://advancingbusinesspeople.co.uk/news/

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Most Managers Make These 5 Mistakes…

Most Managers Make These 5 Mistakes - Advancing Business People

Most Managers Make These 5 Mistakes...

If you're a manager or a leader you're responsible for getting stuff done, right? And ultimately all that work such as increasing morale, productivity and customer satisfaction goes towards your business achieving it's results, such as a lovely big profit.

So let's be honest here, if you're going to get stuff done you're going to make a mistake or two along the way. Now, you've probably heard it said that 'mistakes are good learning opportunities'. Which is great, but I think you'd agree it's a good idea we don't make too many!

The good news here is that we can learn from the mistakes that millions of managers have already made because most managers make exactly the same 5 problems.

These 5 mistakes are focussing on status, popularity, certainty, harmony and invulnerability.

I'll explain. They get the job they've always wanted, then become afraid of losing their status, they don't want to hold their people accountable because they're afraid of being unpopular, they're not clear about what to expect from their people and can't move forward when facing uncertainty for fear of making a mistake.

Right now you're probably thinking okay, they're problems, but I cant see a BIG problem here. Nothing here about sales targets, technology or new competitors, and you're right.

But you see businesses rarely fail because the Marketing or the Finance guy doesn't know his or her stuff, because most people in these positions have more than enough knowledge to do a good job.

So if a business does fail and the manager points a finger in their direction he's pointing to the symptoms, not the real problems.

And here's why he's done this. Managers, (not like you of course!) look in areas such as finance, marketing and planning to find answers to their problems and they do this because it's a whole lot easier and a lot less painful than a self examination of their own behaviours.

But that's exactly what you've got to do! Take a look at yourself, or you'll risk the success of your business and make one or more of these 5 mistakes.

The secret is that you need to focus on these 5 simple behaviours...

1. results more than status
2. accountability more than popularity
3. clarity more than certainty
4. conflict more than harmony
5. trust more than invulnerability

Now you know that your success comes down to just a few simple behaviours. But as simple as they may be, they are difficult for anyone to master.

It doesn't matter whether you're a team leader or a senior executive, you're susceptible to these 5 mistakes. I don't have room to explain all this right here but I know you're hungry to be a better manager.

And I know that a body in motion keeps in motion so tell yourself to take the first action and call me for up to one hour, free of charge and I'll explain how you can dodge these 5 mistakes!

Best regards, Jon.

I hope you've enjoyed reading Most Managers Make These 5 Mistakes... and will take a look at my other posts about workplace behaviours, right here.

What’s Happening In Your Workplace?

What's Happening In Your Workplace?

Workplace - Advancing Business People - 800

If 'not enough' is your reply, keep reading!

You've hired the right people, they have the right skills and tools for their jobs but something's just not quite right in your workplace. At times things seem to take an age to get done and get done properly. So you badger them to crack on so you don't miss your deadline which results in them feeling unloved and cheesed off!

So what's going on here?  Sometimes it's not easy to put your finger on what's going wrong, until it's too late.  You probably can't spot the misunderstandings and lack of trust that can lead to confusion, low morale or even intimidation and bullying.

But if it gets this far the chances are you'll soon spot the downbeat, gloomy workplace environment, unhappy staff banging on the HR manager's door, the turnover of your best staff and the negative impact on productivity.  Ooops!

Everyone's a loser in this scenario, so what are you going to do about it?

Take action, that's what!  The good news is it doesn't have to be this way. Step in and take control of the situation before it gets out of hand. How?  The single biggest thing you can do is to create a culture of trust.  To do this you need to improve the quality of relationships between everyone in the workplace.

Now, the bad news here is that creating a culture of trust through building strong positive relationships isn't easy, and it isn't a quick fix, but the good news is it can be done. What's more, it may be the most crucial action you take in your role as a manager or leader in getting your workplace back to work.

Because when you get rid of that stiff and unfriendly working environment the benefits will permeate through every part of your business.

  1. You'll find it much easier to gets things done.  
  2. You'll feel the “pulse” on what is happening in your department or business everyday.  
  3. You won't have to spend time and energy overcoming your peoples' problems.  
  4. You'll differentiate your company from others.
  5. You'll get ahead of your competitors and rightly feel a very proud manager or owner :-)

If this sounds good to you, take action now and give a call me.  Because when you take action you'll enjoy a happy and peaceful Christmas and can look forward to a happy and productive workplace in 2016! 

 Best regards, Jon

advancing business people

jon@advancingbusinesspeople.co.uk

www.advancingbusinesspeople.co.uk

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonbritain

01733 860367

Follow Up Tools

Follow Up Tools - let's make it stick!

We know about the learning curve, well the bad news is the forgetting curve is a lot steeper!  The good news is that there are lots of things we can do to make it stick.

Which is great because often trainers often focus on designing and delivering effective training and don’t really know how much of it  actually does stick. We can retain far more of the learning by transferring it into real-life situations so participants can practice and use it right away.

And luckily for us Wiley have already sussed this out.  They have produced some follow-up tools to make sure our training is both memorable and effective to give them and your business great results!

everything disc - FOLLOW UP TOOLS 

Workplace Profile Sales Profile Management Profile Work of Leaders Profile 363 For Leaders
Comparison Report Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Team View Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Group Culture Report Yes Yes Yes No No
Sales Interaction Map No Yes No No No

my top 5 tips to make it stick!

1. Action Plan.  Ask your staff (or yourself) what they've learnt and how they'll apply that learning.  It's best to get them to develop and commit to their own action plan.

2.  Tell them why it matters.  The overall aim of the training is to support the overall goal of the business.   They will adopt new behaviours and apply new skills if they know how they impact the organization because it will have more meaning. So tell them!

3. Peer-to-Peer Coaching.  I'm always on the end of the phone but peer to peer coaching is simple for you to do.  Just meet up with someone from your team  for 10 minutes or so every week to review what they learned in the last week from applying the training or want to next week.  If you've a team of ten simply put them in five pairs and get them to ask each other these questions …

1.  What did I apply from the training that really helped, and why?

2.  What did I apply from the training that backfired on me, and why?

3.  What from the training will I focus on next week?

4.  Celebrate the successes.  Even if it's a small success, tell everyone at a meeting or on an email, because it proves you've shown interest in them and it'll give them momentum to keep it going!

5. Support their practice.  Sometimes they'll need to practice lots.  For example, when delivering a presentation or learning a new sale pitch to ensure they become comfortable, confident and natural.

Please call me about any of these follow up tools simple call me and we'll make sure your learning sticks!

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5 Top Tips For Dealing With Mrs Careful

5 Top Tips For Dealing With Mrs Careful - Advancing Business People

5 Top Tips For Dealing With Mrs Careful - Advancing Business People

Even as a little girl Cathy followed all the rules. She arrived at lessons on time, sat quietly, listened carefully and completed her homework diligently - a perfect pupil!
However, she was never going to be the teacher's pet simply because it was all too easy for her teacher to forget she was even there.

She never misbehaved, rarely raised her hand to answer a question and hated having to stand at the front and read to the class. To others Cathy seemed detached, but she didn't need to be popular, she just needed to be right!

Unsurprisingly Cathy did well at school and made good progress through her career as a Data Analyst. She enjoys collecting and carefully analysing data before accurately presenting her results in charts and graphs. Her ability to meticulously and orderly focus on tasks and processes are why she is a well respected member of the team.

Which is great, except she doesn't see herself as part of the team and neither do her team.

You see, she's independent but also sceptical. She speaks quietly, slowly and with lots of detail. Her colleagues find her difficult to read and find it hard to get to know her as she rarely attends social events such as the works Christmas Party.

People like Cathy are low maintenance, committed and organised. But they get bogged down with details, making it difficult for them to see the big picture. And are the're obsessed with being right, are't they?

So here's 5 Top Tips to help you get along better with people like Cathy

1. Give them the chance to show her expertise
2. Support your opinions with facts
3. Give them personal autonomy
4. Expect scepticism
5. Help them to accept others' ideas

These 5 Top Tips will get you on the right road to getting along better with Cathy. However to get the best from her you'll need to dig a little deeper.

So jump on the phone and call me free of charge for up to one hour and I'll tell you how to do this because there's lots to gain from their high standards, careful analysis and diplomacy. Plus, she may even join your Christmas Party!

Best regards, Jon

jon@advancingbusinesspeople.co.uk
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonbritain, 01733 860367.

ps. I hope you've enjoyed reading these 5 Top Tips For Dealing With Mrs Careful will also take a look at the three others blogs that complete this series: Miss Chatty, Mr Steady and Mr Bossy.  Have fun!

5 Signs Your Organisation Is Healthy

It's easy to see when some things are healthy. Your dog eats breakfast like he's never been fed, your child does twenty laps of the kitchen table because he can and when you jump in your car the dashboard doesn't light up like a Christmas Tree.

But what about your business, is it healthy? This might not be something you think about everyday but whatever your business, it needs to be healthy to be successful.  This is because it’s the best opportunity to improve your business and gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

A business is healthy when it has the ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to provide sustainable high performance.  I'll put in plain words.

'Smart' and 'Healthy'
To start with, we need to know that any business aiming to maximise its success, must comprise of two essential parts.  It must be 'smart' and 'healthy'.

Smart organisations are good at the classic fundamentals of business including strategy, finance, marketing and technology. No surprises there then.

But although the smart side is critical for success it's only half of the equation but takes up almost all of the time and energy of it's leader.

Daft eh? Here's why. When well educated leaders attempt to make improvements they look in the smart side because this is what they know, they've been trained in strategy, finance, marketing or technology. They feel comfortable here working with spreadsheets and Gantt charts and measurable data.

The messy side
The flip of the healthy side of the equation involves people.  They try to avoid this side because it involves subjective conversations which can become difficult, emotional and messy.  Even though they know that politics and confusion are causing pain in their business.

They miss the opportunity of creating a healthy organisation and go back to shifting figures around which only gives small and brief gains.  This is because knowledge is everywhere and is spread so easily that the advantage gained is short-lived.

Why healthy wins
Most organisations have plenty of intelligence, knowledge and expertise to be successful but their culture can be way too unhealthy to sustain a competitive business.

Smart is important but leaders should prioritise healthy over smart for the reason that healthy organisations get smart over time. This is because leaders learn from each other, identify issues and recover quicker from mistakes.

They can get over problems and create solutions faster than their competitors because there's no politics and confusion to get in the way.  The best way to see if an organisation is healthy is to look for signs.

The 5 Signs of a Healthy Organisation

  1. Minimal politics
  2. Minimal confusion
  3. High morale
  4. High productivity
  5. Low turnover of best staff

Right now you're probably thinking 'that's it?' or 'I knew that' because everyone recognises this stuff.

You see, when you get rid of egos, dysfunctions and politics you'll tap into the intelligence of your people and teams to make better decisions a whole lot quicker than your competitors. In addition they create environments in which their employees do the same.

So where do I start to create a healthy organisation?

The best place to start is to create a cohesive leadership team and that's why I want you to jump on the phone and speak with me for up to one hour free of charge.

Because although organisational heath is straight forward enough, it's hard work and I want your business to succeed too!

5 Top Tips for Dealing with Miss Chatty!

Advancing Business People

5 Top Tips For Dealing With Miss Chatty!

Cassie drives a white Fiat 500, convertible of course. It’s actually more of a sliding roof than a convertible but she’s had sooooo many good times out with the girls that the Mini Cooper soft-top is ‘on ice’.  But that’s not bothering her, it’s still fab fun 🙂

The bubbly events co-ordinator drives through the car park at work roof down all year round, calling out a cheery ‘yoohoooos’ with a lovely warm smile.

She strides through the main doors wearing her stylish yellow dress making small talk with Security, sharing anecdotes with the cleaner and simply can’t get past the Receptionist without sharing what happened with who last night’. LOLs and OMGs fill the corridors with spontaneous laughter!

Cassie is lively, energetic, loves working in a team and is the go-to person when you need the works party arranging.

That’s great, but we’re here to get things done aren’t we?

And how are we supposed to get stuff done when Cassie insists on nattering to everyone AND all of the time. And what about her own work, with less chat couldn't she get more done?

Cassie chats too much, too fast and has an attention span that’s waaaaay too short. Or has she?

You see, Cassie is outspoken, but she's also accepting, enthusiastic and has no idea why some people are so damn miserable.  She loves her work because after all, it's just part of life, isn't it?

5 Top Tips for Dealing with Chatty People like Cassie

  1. Let them tell you how they feel
  2. Be careful, they quickly feel rejected
  3. Help with their focus and organising
  4. Be aware of them over-selling ideas
  5. They need popularity, visible rewards and freedom from details

These Top Tips are great to get you started, but the best way to help Cassie and her team learn about their workplace behaviours is to complete a personal assessment tool.

It will help them to discuss their different behaviours (which Cassie will love!) so they can get along better and get more done.

So jump on the phone and speak with me for up to one hour, free of charge, and I'll tell you how we can get Chatty Cassie and her team working better and working better together.

Plus I'll also send your a free Workplace or Team sample Profile!

Best regards, Jon

jon@advancingbusinesspeople.co.uk
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonbritain, 01733 860367.

ps. I hope you've enjoyed reading these 5 Top Tips For Dealing Miss Chatty and will also take a look at the three others blogs that complete this series: Mr Bossy, Mr Steady and Mrs Careful.  Have fun!