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/


You can also read more about business improvement through people on Facebook.  See you there!

10 ideas to create your workplace culture

10 ideas to create your workplace culture

Your workplace culture is powerful.  It can transform your organisation and the lives of your people, and ultimately it determines your success.  This success is realised through the achievements of your people so you need to ensure they are a 'cultural fit', meaning their beliefs and behaviours align with your workplace culture.  In addition, you must create the conditions for them to succeed.

10 ideas to help you create your workplace culture

1.    Create a values statement because your values will be at the heart of everything you do. Your values could include teamwork, being accountable or positive or respecting yourself and others for example.
2.    Lead by example using those values because your behaviour sets the tone for your organisation. Be visible and credible, know your stuff and walk the talk.
3.    Develop coaching skills to enable your managers to link your organisation's values and reinforce the behaviour you want to see at all levels. You'll get more from your teams, boost employee engagement and develop a high performing workplace.
4.    Incorporate your values into your hiring, however, get the balance right between hiring for cultural fit and hiring a team of identical people. If everyone thinks and behaves the same, you will lack creativity and be less competitive.
5.    Empower your team by helping them grow into their roles by supporting and encouraging them to take on more challenging responsibilities. You'll shift them from being closely directed to being self-directed and motivated in their tasks.
6.    Develop personal accountability by creating clear expectations and a culture of peer to peer accountability. Encourage your team to hold each other accountable to those decisions and standards. Focussing on accountability more than popularity is tough love.
7.    Provide continued learning because learning raises an individual as a person and as an employee which increases job satisfaction. It also increases their abilities to adapt to change which will help your organisation remain competitive.
8.    Make them feel valued by recognising their achievements and milestones, even small ones. You'll raise their self-esteem and create a positive workplace.
9.    Demonstrate respect because respectful treatment is a major contributor of job satisfaction, so listen, show you care, help and encourage. Conversely, a culture of disrespect will drain morale, reduce productivity and may even lead to bullying.
10.    Build a cohesive team to get more done, bring success and improve your bottom line. In addition, your ability to build a good team and to help them feel part of it could be one of the most altruistic things you ever do!

Culture is all about people, so build a people first culture.  Use leadership skills to establish your vision and values, then use your people management skills to give them the opportunity to grow and succeed.

Creating your organisation's ideal workplace culture won't be easy. However, it will be worthwhile because it influences everything and everyone. Increased trust, commitment, teamwork and sense of well-being will boost your productivity and profits.

And when you've created a people first culture where people are engaged in their work and enjoy working together to get things done, how proud will you feel?

Contact me

If you'd like to speak with me about creating your ideal workplace culture, give me a call on 01733 860367.  Or alternatively contact me using the Contact Usform and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Best regards,

Jon Britain
People & Team Development Specialist
01733 860367

Get an insight into how people really think about you!

Get an insight into how people really think about you - Advancing-Business-People

Success is achieved through people'. You've probably heard this 100 times, right?
The most successful people are those with the best people skills, especially when things get tricky!

So you involve them in your decision-making, motivate them, communicate with clarity, invite feedback and do everything a good leader should.

You're not Richard Branson but you're doing a cracking job, aren't you?
But what do they think? Maybe they want you to…

  • talk about things more directly and honestly.
  • help them see how they fit into the bigger picture.
  • tell you to think before telling them, because they just don't 'get you'.

No-one's perfect, but wouldn't it be great if this was no longer a problem?
So what's the secret?  It all boils down to a few things...

Using a 360 degree developmental tool you'll get a simple 3 step process to help you...

  1. Understand how others see you as a leader
  2. Identify your strengths and areas for development
  3. Learn three strategies to become a more effective

By discovering people's frustrations and fears in their own words you gain an insight into how people really think about you.

Whether you're a team leader or a senior executive, your personalised report is one of the best ways to discover your strengths and weaknesses.

And the best bit is that you get your next steps with 3 things you can focus on right now.

I can't turn you into Richard Branson because like him you have your own style and ways of doing things. But when you discover what others really think, with a few tweaks both you and others will get a lot more done!
If you'd like a free sample 360 degree profile simply get in touch right here.

Best regards, Jon.

01733 860367

Everything Disc - Sales

Why your business must be healthy

Why your business must be healthy!

Just so we're clear, this doesn't require you to carry out monthly check's on your staff for signs of love handles, cold feet and going grey before they're 40 😉

It's about how organisational health can be a driving force for your business to beat your competition, so let's crack on!

So what is organisational health?

Organisational health is when your management, operations, strategy and workplace culture all fit nicely together and make sense. I know that sounds a bit airy fairy so I'll tell you what it looks like in a minute.

Why do I need a healthy organisation?

The simple answer is that organisational health is your organisation's greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage. Your business really needs a competitive advantage because without one it's going to be a mighty struggle!

(click here for last week's blog)

There are two requirements for a healthy organisation

Your business must be both smart and healthy.


Smart means being good in the traditional areas of business such as strategy, finance, technology and marketing. And this is where the majority of leaders spend most of their time, which means they neglect the other part of the equation, the healthy part.


You can tell when an organisation is healthy because you'll see

  • low politics and confusion
  • high productivity and morale
  • low turnover of good staff

If you can see these five signs in your business, fantastic!

However, despite most leaders knowing they need to see these signs in their businesses and knowing they need to spend more time on the healthy side, they go right back to what they know, the smart side of the equation!

So why do leaders neglect the healthy side?

They go right back to their strategy or marketing plans since that's what they know, because that's what they were trained to do. They tweak their spreadsheets and Gantt charts because that's what they're comfortable with, but gains to be found here are minimal. They also want to avoid the healthy side because it means getting into conversations with their people that can be awkward, subjective and emotional. Things can get messy!

Don't miss the benefits of a healthy organisation

Most leaders who miss out on employee satisfaction, communication, co-operation and true team work.  Don't be like them. Simply ask using the Contact Us form or call me today to talk about the benefits that will dramatically improve your business, without things getting messy!


Staff Training and Development

Success or your failure?


Whatever your business, at the end of the day your success or failure rests with your people, but I'm sure you knew that! Whether they're creating great customer experiences, working together to create new solutions, or simply getting on with their daily tasks.
The process of staff training and development helps you grow a more effective, efficient, productive, and motivated workforce. When carried out properly this process ensures that you achieve your objectives and contributes to your competitive advantage. That's got to be good, hasn't it!

New skills for new tasks and new roles

Your staff need ongoing training and development to help them become more effective in their roles now and also to prepare them for changes and bigger roles in the future.  As the world seemingly turns at an ever increasing speed, learning new skills for new tasks and roles and learning to deal with change are essential.

Don't make this training mistake!

Sometimes organisations restrict training and development opportunities to new employees and those who are moving into new roles.  This is a mistake as training is critical to maintaining the culture of your business and it's destination as an attractive employer.  Plus you'll have a talent pool to draw upon without them having to develop their skills as they go along or having to hire from outside.

In addition, ensuring that employees are given the training they need and involving them in decisions that impact their work creates competence and commitment.

Training and development are the same thing, aren't they?

We tend to use the words training and development together and therefore think of them as being the same thing.  I don't mean to be pedantic but there is a difference. Training is about ensuring staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their current role.

Development is about ensuring staff are equipped for a future role.  This could mean a different job, a promotion or a move to another department maybe. Maybe that we can summarise by saying that the aim of training and development is to enable staff to do different things and to do things differently!

Behavioural changes needed for learning

Enabling staff to do different things and to do things differently when they've left the training room requires behavioural changes to take place.

Sometimes when things go wrong in the workplace we apply a 'quick fix' approach to get round the problem.  With a considered staff development plan we can do more than muddle through situations by turning quick fixes into habits that eventually become behaviours.

Behavioural change doesn't happen in a one day training course, but over a period of time.  It can be hard work and will therefore require an internal desire to adopt the new skills by understanding the benefits to be gained. It also requires support in the form of motivation and feedback.  In addition, the more the learner takes control of their own learning journey, the more committed they are to a successful outcome.

Behaviours for learning

Most social, emotional and behavioural skills are learned. There is a set of three relationships experienced by the learner:

  • their relationship with themselves: how they feel about themselves and their self-confidence as a learner
  • their relationship with others: how they interact socially and learn with others
  • their relationship with their learning experience: how they feel about grasping the lesson and how they think they learn the best

First, we need to build positive relationships in the training room and workplace to gain the positive behaviour and attendance required.  Then it's essential we deliver effective training for high quality learning. This in turn promotes and supports behaviour for learning in the workplace. Good training fosters good learning.

Behavioural profiling using personal assessment tools such as Everything DiSC Workplace profiles, Clarity4D profiles and the Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team are great tools for developing trust and building positive relationships.

Make staff training and development a priority

Training is often the first thing that gets cut from budgets because it is usually seen as a cost, not an investment. It's also the first activity to get dropped when other activities occur that have a higher priority. Don't let this put you off making plans, you just might need to be flexible.  If you can plan to meet and develop your team regularly they're productivity will increase, they'll feel happier doing their work with the results permeating all parts of your organisation.

So make training a priority.  Show you're committed to your staff's long term success and you'll also make your job easier too.  Then it's about reviewing your progress, maintaining momentum by acting as a role model for others and other departments by showing the results that staff training and development brings.

Where to start with staff development and training?

That's a good question and it all depends upon what you want to achieve!  Before you purchase the latest staff or workplace assessment or performance evaluation tools you need to identify the best ways to develop your people and your organisation.

You could hold one-to-one meetings with staff to discuss and understand their developmental needs. Discuss their current performance and identify areas for improvement.  From there you can create a personal development plan to fill the skill gaps to help them meet their challenges.

You could also develop a competency framework that defines the skills and behaviours they need to perform their roles effectively.  There's more!  You could create a training needs assessment (TNA) to answer these questions:

  • Who needs training?
  • What training do they need?
  • Why is it important?
  • How will you deliver the training?


Organisational Health

Or if you want to create the ultimate competitive advantage you might want to consider how all this fits into creating a healthy organisation.  Please click here to find out how to get started.


Jump on the phone!

For more advice on staff development and training, disc certification, and personality testing, please give me a call –
Jon 07557 514 880


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




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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Your Body Is Talking, But What’s It Saying?

Your body is talking but what's it saying - Advancing Business People

Your Body is talking, but what's it saying?

I speak two languages, Body and English, said Mae West, who sure knew the value of body language.  She used it to her advantage as an actress, singer and sex symbol over seven decades.

Making a Presentation

I’ll bet at some stage you've taken part in an important meeting or delivered a key presentation, right?  Unfortunately you probably left the room thinking that it didn’t go as well as you'd hoped, but just couldn't put your finger on exactly why.

You'd done your prep, practiced and memorised the main points to project yourself as a confident and credible person.  So what happened?

Well, the chances are it wasn't your words... it was your moves!
In fact you'd probably sabotaged your presentation before you'd even said a word!

Within a very short time frame your audience had already subliminally evaluated your likeability, trustworthiness and credibility - all in the first seven seconds!

Even before you speak, your gestures, posture, facial expressions and eye contact have already spoken. It's the same in your workplace too. It's a long time before your performance in the workplace proves them right or wrong. They've already made an emotional decision whether to follow, trust you or even listen to you.

The two channels of communication

Any time you're negotiating, inspiring or delegating you're communicating over two channels, verbal and nonverbal. This results in two distinct conversations going on at the same time.

There's been much debate about the research of Professor Albert Mehrabian which tells us that if emotions are involved, words only account for 7 % of the meaning, with 55% for how you look and 38% for how you sound.

Most people use these stats incorrectly because these figures ONLY apply when talking about emotional issues.  However, I think what we can agree here, is that we need to look and sound good!

Workplace Leaders

Body language is a useful skill for everyone but within the workplace it's especially important for leaders.  It affects their ability to communicate their vision, negotiate, manage change, promote collaboration, inspire and the list goes on.

Unfortunately most leaders are out of touch with the effects body language has on others and unaware that non-verbal signals are sent to clients and colleagues. So use it to get an advantage!

Top Tip for Non Verbal Communication: Smile

Smile, you're on somebody's camera, 'click!'
With YouTube postings to mobile phones with video capability to image driven social media there's no escaping the visual technology revolution.
And we're only just beginning to see the impact on businesses around the world.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic and according to Cisco, and will begin to dominate many marketing strategies soon. Video is the future and now you can add it to your Facebook Business Profile too.

A smile is a simple way to show you're you're happy and confident. It asks people to accept you on a personal level and the remarkable thing is it's contagious!

What about you, do you smile enough?

When we get nagging staff off your back and stop drama from knocking on your door, I'm sure you'll smile a lot more  🙂

So jump on the phone and ask me the best way to develop you people before you reach your wits end!

Best regards, Jon

ps. Hopefully I've gained your interest in this article, so why not share your top tip and leave a comment? As the late Bob Hoskins said... 'It's good to talk!'

01733 860367

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

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!