“The Manager’s Toolkit”: Examples of How to Use on a Day-to-Day Basis

Examples of how Managers and Supervisors can benefit on a day-to-day basis by using the handbooks in KAW Consulting’s ” Manager’s Toolkit”.

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To meet the demands of both our U.S. and Global Users, titles in the “Manager’s Toolkit“ are now on Kindle.

Titles include: “Meetings That Work ,”Delegating for Results“, “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors“,  “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors“, “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors“, and “The Leadership Framework”.

Both U.S. and International users can purchase them from Amazon.

DESIGNED FOR MOBILITY

Because they’re on Kindle, you can use the Kindle App to store these handbooks either on your Kindle or Kindle App on your iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or other appropriate tablet, PC or laptop and have them readily accessible whenever you need one. You can use them when you’re in the office, at home, on the road, or in meetings.

This allows you to have them accessible each time you need to design a meeting, delegate a task, coach an employee, determine what you need to do to provide effective leadership in a given situation, or decide how best to manage your time.

For information on these Kindle versions either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work”, “Delegating For Results”, “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors”,  “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”, “Project management for Managers and Supervisors”, or “The Leadership Framework” in the search criteria.

For “Meetings That Work” click here

For “Delegating For Results” click here

For “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” click here

For “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors” click here.

For “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors” click here.

For “The Leadership Framework” click here.

 

ABOUT THE “MANAGER’S TOOLKIT”

KAW Consulting’s  ” Manager’s Toolkit” is a collection of electronic handbooks that guide Supervisors and Managers step by step on how to develop and use the skills needed to deal effectively with 6 common challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. The titles in the toolkit correspond to these 6 challenges and include:

  • “Meetings That Work”
  • “Delegating For Results”
  • “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “The Leadership Framework” How to Provide Effective Day-to-Day Leadership.

Written in a clear, easy to understand format, these handbooks provide guidance on how to apply the basic skills needed to be successful in each of the critical areas.  They can serve as a basic guide when learning new skills, and as an important reference.

EXAMPLES OF HOW TO USE DAY-TO-DAY

To demonstrate why these handbooks can be such a useful tool, following are some examples of how a Manager or Supervisor can use them on a day-to-day basis.

Case 1: Improving Meeting Effectiveness

Tom Edwards, one of your Managers, wants to improve the meetings he holds.  As a Manager, he holds a lot of meetings—whether they’re with other group Managers, special project teams, or his staff.  Because time is precious, he wants these meetings to be as effective as possible.  To make sure he’s planned each meeting effectively, he pulls up “Meetings That Work” and follows the 8 steps for designing an effective meeting.  This helps ensure that he’s identified the meeting’s desired results, formulated an appropriate meeting purpose and agenda, invited the right participants, identified what people need to bring to the meeting or have done in advance, identified the right discussion process to use during the meeting (problem solving, brainstorming, decision making, etc.), and identified what might go wrong and he needs to avoid.

Tom uses this process for all the meetings he runs.  He can run through it quickly for smaller meetings, and use it as a detailed planning guide for longer ones.  By referring to “Meetings That Work” he’s found that his meetings are much more productive.

Case 2: Delegating Work

Sue Smith is one of your Supervisors.  Like many Supervisors, Sue has a very heavy workload.  Consequently, she needs to be able to delegate appropriate tasks to members of her staff.  As with many challenges faced by Supervisors, saying that you need to delegate more is far easier than actually doing it.  Fortunately for Sue, she has “Delegating for Results” .   This allows her to quickly refer to guidance on how to identify:

  • Tasks that are good candidates to delegate.
  • Who she can delegate the task to.
  • The appropriate level of delegation that she’s comfortable with.
  • What the person needs to be able to do the task successfully.
  • Plan and hold an effective delegation meeting with the person she’s delegating to.
  • Plan the right level of follow-up to make sure the task is being done the way she expects.

Because she’s found the process so effective, Sue refers to it every time she delegates a task to make sure she’s included the steps needed to delegate effectively.  Having “Delegating for Results” readily accessible makes it easy to do so.

Case 3: Coaching an Employee

Ed Jones, one of your Managers, needs to coach one of his employees.  He knows the importance of coaching, and the challenges.  To make sure he does it effectively, he pulls up “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors”.  There he gets easy to understand guidance on how to:

  • Establish the groundwork so he can have an effective coaching relationship with the employee he’s coaching.
  • Analyze the employee’s current level of performance against expected levels, and identify areas needing improvement.
  • Identify and develop concrete examples of what he expects in terms of performance.
  • Identify any training the employee needs.
  • Plan and hold an effective coaching discussion to provide the employee with feedback on how they’re doing, and develop plans for making needed improvements.

Because it’s so handy, Ed can refer to “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” each time he needs to coach an employee, and get the guidance he needs to be effective.

Case 4: Managing a Project

Ellen Thompson, one of your Supervisors, is being asked to take the lead on several special projects.  She needs to be able to effectively use basic project management skills, but doesn’t need to become an expert in detailed project management or project software.  The key is to make sure that the team she’s leading follows the basics.  Fortunately, Ellen has “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors” easily accessible.  She pulls it up and refers to its guidance on how to:

  • Define the project’s scope, objectives, deliverables, critical success factors, resource needs, and collaboration requirements.
  • Break the work down into its major work blocks and tasks.
  • Develop an easy to use project schedule.
  • Monitor the project’s status, and what to do if she finds she’s off course.

Ellen finds that she refers to the handbook often, both to help her plan her next steps, as well as to make sure her plans include all the basic ingredients for a successful project.

Case 5: Managing Their Own Time

John Watkins, one of you Managers, wants to better manage his time.  Like most Managers, John finds that he is constantly stretched thin, often feeling like his time manages him more than he manages it.  Because time is scarce, he wants to learn the basics of time management and start putting them to practice as soon as he can.  To help him start managing his time better, John pulls up “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors.”  There he finds easy to understand guidance on the basics of time management from a Supervisor’s and Manager’s perspective, including advice on how to:

  • Analyze his job and identify what he should focus his time on to achieve what’s expected and his own personal goals.
  • Develop an ideal picture of how to allocate his time between his various activities.
  • Analyze how he’s currently spending his time and identify the gaps from his ideal picture.
  • Develop weekly and daily schedules so he can focus his time on the activities needed to achieve his goals.
  • Deal with time management challenges such as unexpected interruptions, non critical phone calls, high volumes of e-mail, and unproductive meetings.

After going through the steps, John found that he could gain at least 3 to 4 hours per week to devote to activities that he really wanted to spend time on.

Case 6: Providing Effective Leadership

Each of the people above have one thing in common.  They need to lead effectively. And this is no easy task.  While they have all read Leadership books or been to Leadership classes, they find it very difficult to translate the theory they’ve been exposed to, to what actions they need to take to lead effectively.  What they really need is a tool that helps them determine what to do given the situation they face.  And that’s where the “Leadership Framework” helps.

To lead effectively, it’s important that each understands what make leadership efforts succeed and why they fail.  That way they can focus their attention on doing the things necessary to make them succeed, and keep from overlooking some of the common reasons for failure.

Leadership efforts that succeed usually contain 8 key elements.  These are:

  • Being proactive and willing to act.
  • Setting and communicating a clear vision and direction.
  • Establishing and maintaining credibility with the people you’re trying to lead.
  • Getting commitment.
  • Setting the example.
  • Empowering others to do what needs to be done.
  • Confronting and overcoming barriers and obstacles.
  • Managing accomplishment of day-to-day efforts.

The “Leadership Framework” is a tool designed to provide guidance on what to do to be effective in each of these 8 key areas.  It provides sample actions, key questions, and measurement benchmarks (such as “can explain how we are going to meet our goal, etc.) for each area.  Consequently, whenever faced with a situation that requires them to lead effectively, (from helping their Groups deal with major changes, to leading special projects, or just making sure they provide effective day-to day leadership of ongoing operations) each of the Managers and Supervisors above pulls up “The Leadership Framework” and uses it as a guide on what they need to do.

Why These Handbooks Work

As you can see from these examples, the handbooks in the “Manager’s Toolkit” are designed so Supervisors and Managers can refer to them over and over again, and get the amount of guidance they need to be effective.  They provide the amount of guidance that most of us need to make sure we’ve covered all the bases when we confront these challenges, but don’t overwhelm us with excessive detail.

While each handbook is designed to stand alone, they can also work together.  Ellen, who’s running a project, wants to learn the basics of project management, but also needs to be able to design effective meetings.  John who is working on time management, finds he can gain more time if he can delegate more to his staff.  Sue, who is actively delegating, needs to be able to coach her employees on the tasks she’s delegated. All need to lead effectively.

To put these books to work for you, simply click on the links provided at the top of this post, or visit Amazon and input the desired title in the provided search box.

 

What Every Manager Needs to Know About Project Management and How to Learn It

The key skills Supervisors and Managers need to develop to manage projects successfully and how to learn them.

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As part of their work, Supervisors and Managers are often asked to manage or participate on a project in addition to their regular duties.  The ability to successfully manage these projects is often a key component of being a successful supervisor or manager, and often a criterion for further advancement.  Yet, because they are non routine events, successfully managing projects require different skills than supervisors and managers use in their day-to-day work.  Consequently, if you’re a Supervisor or Manager, or hoping to become one, being able to understand and use basic project management skills is one of the most important skill sets you need to develop. These basic skills include the ability to:

  • Define the project’s scope, objectives, deliverables, critical success factors, resource needs, and collaboration requirements. 
  • Break the work down into its major work blocks and tasks.
  • Develop an easy to use project schedule.
  • Monitor the project’s status and what to do if it’s off course.

Because being able to manage projects successfully is such an important skill, KAW Consulting developed “PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS”, an electronic handbook that will help you learn these vital skills. 

Unlike most books on project management that are complicated and hard to understand,  “PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS ” is exactly the opposite. It’s written in easy to understand language that walks you through the process of managing a project step by step, helping you think of the key ingredients to make your project successful, and avoid the common problems that crop up in unsuccessful ones.  We’ve even included sample forms you can easily adapt to fit your own project when defining the project’s key ingredients and developing the schedule and budget.

Like any great handbook, “PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” is something you’ll want to use over and over again.  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, it’s an electronic book in PDF format, that you can store on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to use it.  Just call it up and it’s ready to use. If you want hard copy, you can print what you need.  To save you time, we’ve even included hyperlinks in the Table of Contents so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

 You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Note:  Available to U.S. customers only.

Make All Your Managers More Productive With the “Manager’s Toolkit” on Their Workstations, Laptops or Tablets.

Learn how to get a substantial boost in your Managers’ and Supervisors’ productivity by using a very low cost method to put the “Manager’s Toolkit” on their workstations, laptops and tablets.

In today’s challenging economy, organizations need to find ways to substantially boost their Managers’ and Supervisors’ productivity.  Fortunately, there is an amazingly simple way of doing so by combining the power of technology available at your fingertips with “The Manager’s Toolkit” electronic handbooks that help Managers and Supervisors deal with their most challenging tasks.  This post shows you how.

The concept is simple.  Use your e-mail system to provide your Managers and Supervisors with the set of tools they need to deal with the common set of daily challenges they face. They can store these tools on their workstations, laptops, and work tablets (like iPad)  and access them whenever they need to.  They can use them when they’re in their office/workstation, at home, on the road, or in meetings.

All you have to do is buy one copy of the appropriate electronic handbook in PDF format, buy the number of  additional licenses you need, and send it out by e-mail with instructions on how to store and use it.

The 6 common challenges facing Managers and Supervisors  

Regardless of their function (accounting, operations, sales, production, etc.) Managers and Supervisors face 6 common day-to-day challenges that greatly impact their productivity. These are:

  • Designing and running meetings
  • Holding team discussions
  • Delegating work
  • Leading or participating on project teams
  • Coaching employees
  • Managing their own time

Talk with  any Manager or Supervisor and you’re probably going to hear either how they’ve either mastered the skills to deal successfully with these challenges, or the headaches they’re experiencing because of them.

The problem to date, is that each Manager or Supervisor usually has to develop their own solution.  If they’ve been to training, they may have the handouts to refer to (if they can find them).  Or, they may have developed their own reference library of  books dealing with these issues.

So, each time they face a challenge, they have to dig through what they’ve got stashed, which is both time-consuming and cumbersome.  And what do they do if they’re in one place and the books/materials in another?

Worse yet, everyone’s got their own solution and it’s not easily sharable.

What’s needed is an effective set of tools that all of your Managers and Supervisors can easily reference  each time they need help dealing with one of the 6 challenges.  Sometimes they need step-by-step guidance on how to deal with it.  Other times they just need a quick refresher to make sure they don’t leave anything out.

What’s the Solution?

To help Managers and Supervisors have the needed tools and guidance in one convenient place,  KAW Consulting developed the “Manager’s Toolkit“,  a set of electronic handbooks  that guide Managers and Supervisors step-by-step on how to develop the skills needed to deal with the 6 key challenge areas.  These are:

  • “Meetings That Work””
  • Team Tools” (Frameworks for  Making Better Group Decisions, Solving Problems, Generating Ideas, Setting Goals and Planning Tasks

  • “Delegating For Results”
  • “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”

Unlike most books on the 6 key skill areas, that are too complicated and hard to understand, the “Manager’s Toolkit”  electronic handbooks are exactly the opposite. They’re written in easy to understand language that walk the Manager or Supervisor step by step through the processes needed to apply each of the 6 key skills.   Many even include sample forms and checklists.

Like any great handbook, the electronic handbooks in the “Manager’s Toolkit” are something meant to be used over and over again.  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, they’re  in PDF format, so Managers and Supervisors can store them on their computer, laptop or work tablet so they have them accessible each time they need to design a meeting, hold a team discussion, delegate a task, manage a project or coach an employee.  Just call up a handbook and it’s ready to use.  If they want a hard copy, they can print what only they need.  To save time, and allow the book to function as an e-tool, we’ve even included hyperlinks in each handbook’s Table of Contents, as appropriate, so they can jump right to the page or section they need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

How Do I Get These Tools Out to the Organization?

Making the electronic handbooks available to your Managers and Supervisors is extremely easy.  You can purchase a single copy of any of the books online and download it.  Then all you need to do is purchase licenses for the number of people you want to send it to (also available online) and then simply send out the file by e-mail.  They then store the books in a folder or library on their workstation computer, laptop or tablet, and it’s available whenever they need it.  It’s that simple, really.

Better yet, prices are extremely affordable.  Single copies of each title range from $15.95 to $21.95.  Additional licenses to distribute to each of your Managers and Supervisors (or others in your organization that can use them) range from $14.95 per user per title to $19.95 per user per title.

How to View Samples and Purchase

To view more information on the “Manager’s Toolkit” and each of the titles in it, click here, or visit our main website at www.kawconsulting.com.

Note: Available to only U.S. customers at this time.

7 Timeless Vital Skills Every Manager Needs to Master

Note: “The 7 Timeless Vital Skills Every Manager or Supervisor Needs to Master” is now available as an e-book on Kindle.  Use it to self-evaluate which skills you need to develop or enhance, and available resources to help you do so.  Click here to see a free preview.  Amazon.com users can purchase directly.  International users should visit your applicable Amazon website.

Due to their organizations needing to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, today’s Managers and Supervisors face what at times can seem to be a host of overwhelming challenges, such as managing larger staffs and facing increased demands on their time from both above and below. To survive and thrive in this type of climate, it’s vital that Managers and Supervisors master 7 vital day-to-day skills that have proven timeless in their importance. These are:

  • Designing and Running Better Meetings
  • Holding Effective Team Discussions
  • Delegating Work Successfully
  • Managing Projects
  • Time Management
  • Coaching Employees
  • Leading Effectively

Following is a list of the major skills needed to be successful in each area.

Designing and Running Better Meetings

Meetings are a vital part of a Managers or Supervisors day.  Yet, many seem to fail.  In fact, a major survey revealed that 70% of employees feel the meetings they attend are a waste of time.  Consequently it’s important that as a Manager or Supervisor understand:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • How to use 8 basic steps to design an Effective Meetings
  • How to use some basic tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with common problems that can derail a meeting such as:

–    Stares and Silence

–    Negative Remarks

–    Separate Agendas

–    One person trying to dominate the discussion

Holding Effective Team Discussions

Look at the types of discussions that Managers and Supervisors hold with their teams and you’ll find they often fall into 5 areas.  Consequently, Managers and Supervisors need to be able to effectively hold discussions with their teams to:

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Solve Problems
  • Make Decisions
  • Plan Tasks
  • Set Goals

Delegating Work Successfully

Not only do Managers and Supervisors have to manage larger staffs, they’re also expected to make sure that their staffs are more and more productive.  This means of course that the Managers and Supervisors are skilled at the art of delegating work.  Skills in this area include:

  • Identifying what tasks to delegate
  • Identifying the right people to delegate to
    • Identifying the level of delegation that the Manager is comfortable with

 

  • Determining what the person doing the task needs, so they can deliver the results the Manager/Supervisor expects.
  • Conducting the needed follow-up to stay on top of the person’s progress.

Managing Projects

More and more Managers and Supervisors are asked to take a lead role in managing special projects.  This can mean having to develop and use a whole new skill set which includes:

  • Defining the project’s scope, objectives, deliverables, critical success factors, resource needs, and collaboration requirements.

  • Breaking the work down into its major work blocks and tasks.

  • Developing an easy to use project schedule

  • Monitoring the project’s status and what to do if it’s off course.

Coaching Employees

One of the implications of managing larger staffs is that individual staff members are going to need to be increasingly self managed.  Consequently, it’s vital that Managers and Supervisors know how to provide each staff member with effective coaching to help them be as productive as possible.  To coach effectively, a Manager/Supervisor needs to be able to:

  • Establish the groundwork to have an effective coaching relationship with their employees.
  • Determine expected performance levels for their employees’ major tasks and responsibilities.
  • Analyze their employees’ current level of performance against expected levels, and identity areas needed improvement.
  • Hold an effective coaching discussion to provide employees with feedback on how they are doing, and develop plans for making needed improvements.

Time Management

Of course to be able to apply any of these skills and meet the heavy demands being placed on them, Managers and Supervisors need to become good managers of their time.  To do so, they need to become adept at:

  • Analyzing their job and identifying what to focus on to achieve both what’s expected and their own personal goals.

  • Developing an ideal picture of how to allocate their time between their various activities.

  • Analyzing how they’re currently spending their time and identifying the gaps from their ideal picture.

  • Developing weekly and daily schedules so they focus their time on the activities needed to achieve their goals.

  • Dealing with time management challenges such as unexpected interruptions, non critical phone calls, high volumes of e-mail, and unproductive meetings.

Effective Leadership

Ultimately, in the eyes of your followers and those who evaluate you as a Manager or Supervisor, it comes down to their perception of you as a Leader.  Consequently it’s vital that you understand what what make leadership efforts succeed and why they fail.  That way you can focus your attention on doing the things necessary to make them succeed, and keep from overlooking some of the common reasons for failure.

Leadership efforts that succeed usually contain 8 key elements.  These are:

  • Being proactive and willing to act.
  • Setting and communicating a clear vision and direction.
  • Establishing and maintaining credibility with the people you’re trying to lead.
  • Getting commitment.
  • Setting the example.
  • Empowering others to do what needs to be done.
  • Confronting and overcoming barriers and obstacles.
  • Managing accomplishment of day-to-day efforts.

On the other hand, leadership efforts that fail, usually don’t meet all of these criteria.  They are often lacking, and seriously so in one of the key areas.

How to Learn These Vital Skills

While desperately needed, too often attempts to provide Managers and Supervisors with training and/or resources in these important areas fail.  Some of the common reasons are:

  • Available training is too expensive, so none is offered.

  • Available books and resources on the subjects provide too much information, and no real “how to” application tools.

  • Materials are too hard to get to when you need them.

To correct this, KAW Consulting developed the “Manager’s Toolkit“,  a set of electronic handbooks  that guide Managers and Supervisors step by step through each of the processes used in the 7 basic skill areas.

Unlike most books on the 7 key skill areas, that are too complicated and hard to understand, the “Manager’s Toolkit” handbooks are exactly the opposite. They’re written in easy to understand language that walks the Manager or Supervisor step by step through the processes needed to apply each of the 7 key skills.   Many even include sample forms and checklists.

Like any great handbook, the handbooks in the “Manager’s Toolkit” are something meant to be used over and over again. And because they’re electronic,  Managers and Supervisors can always have them readily accessible.  Just call up a handbook and it’s ready to use.

Now Available in Both Kindle and PDF formats.

To meet the demands of our both our U.S. and global users, the following titles in the “Manager’s Toolkit“ are on now Kindle:

  • Meetings That Work 
  • Team Discussion Frameworks
  •  Delegating for Results
  • Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors
  • “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors”
  • Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”, and
  • “The Leadership Framework”.

Both U.S. and International users can purchase them from Amazon.

Because they are on Kindle, you can use Amazon’s Kindle App to store each either on your iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or other appropriate mobile device and have it readily accessible whenever you them.

For information on these Kindle versions either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input the appropriate title  in the search criteria.

For “Meetings That Work” click here

For “Team Discussion Frameworks” click here

For “Delegating For Results” click here

For “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” click here

For “Project Management for Managers and Supervisors”click here.

For “Time Management for Managers and Supervisors”click here.

For “The Leadership Framework” click here

PDF Versions

U.S. users, can enjoy the added benefits of the the PDF versions.   You can store these handbooks on your computer so you have them accessible each time you need one. They include hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages. If you want hard copy you can print what you need.

You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses. This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

 We’ve also made these handbooks very easy to afford and purchase. The most expensive single copy is $21.95.   You can purchase directly online and start using right away.

Sharing with additional users across your organization is also easy–just purchase additional licenses (also available online) and send the handbooks out by e-mail.

To view samples of each handbook, and to learn how to purchase copies, click here.

Note: PDF versions available to U.S. purchasers only at this time.  International users can purchase available Kindle Versions.

 

Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors – Part 1: Successful vs. Failed Coaching Efforts

One of the most important tasks for Managers and Supervisors is coaching their employees. Learn the skills you need to be an effective coach.

Note: Click Here to see a Sample  Kindle Version.  U.S. users can order directly.  Global users should  either click here, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” in the search criteria.

One of the most important tasks for Managers and Supervisors is coaching their employees.

Good Coaching:

  • Helps employees understand what they should be doing and how.

  • Provides employees with important information on whether they are performing up to expectation and if not, how far off the mark they are.

  • Helps employees develop and enhance new skills needed for future positions.

Yet as important as it is, for many Managers and Supervisors, it’s also one of the most dreaded.  Managers and Supervisors often worry that their employees will react negatively to a coaching discussion.  Without the proper ground work employees may feel caught off guard, and indeed react negatively to what they consider as unwarranted criticism.

Despite these reservations, the ability to effectively coach employees and help them attain the desired level of performance and/or development is often the difference between a successful or unsuccessful Manager or Supervisor.  Consequently, as a Supervisor or Manager, the ability to successfully coach your employees is one of the most important skill sets you need to develop.

Successful Coaching Efforts

Successful coaching involves a number of key ingredients.  Some of the most important are:

  • The Manager/Supervisor has credibility in the employee’s eyes that the Manager/Supervisor knows what they’re talking about.

  • The employee trusts the coach’s opinion.

  • The Manager/Supervisor sets an environment conducive to effective communication.

  • The Manager/Supervisor makes sure that the employee receives the needed training on how to perform as expected.

  • Performance expectations and measurement criteria are clear.

  • Feedback on the employee’s performance is accurate.

  • The Manager/Supervisor provides feedback on things done well as well as areas needing improvement.

  • The Manager/Supervisor actively involves the employee’s ideas on how to make needed improvements.

Coaching Efforts That Fail

When coaching fails, it’s also often for some key reasons.  Some of the common ones are:

  • The employee doesn’t trust the Manager/Supervisor.

  • The Manager/Supervisor hasn’t established credibility in the employee’s eyes that they know what they are talking about.

  • The Manager/Supervisor sets a threatening atmosphere for the discussion.

  • The Manager/Supervisor hasn’t trained the employee how to perform as expected.

  • The employee doesn’t feel they’ve been told the applicable performance expectations and how they’re going to be measured.

  • The employee doesn’t feel the Manager/Supervisor’s feedback is accurate and objective.

  • The Supervisor/Manager can’t provide specific examples of what the employee needs to improve.

  • The Manager/Supervisor only concentrates on what the employee needs to improve and doesn’t praise things done well.

So How Do I Learn These Skills?

To help you learn how to coach effectively, KAW Consulting developed  “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” an electronic handbook that walks you step by step through the process of how to coach your employees effectively.

Written in clear, easy to understand language, you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish the groundwork to have an effective coaching relationship with your employees.

  • Determine expected performance levels for your employees’ major tasks and responsibilities.

  • Provide your employees with the needed training.

  • Analyze your employees’ current level of performance against expected levels, and identify areas needing improvement.

  • Hold an effective coaching discussion to provide employees with feedback on how they are doing, and develop plans for making needed improvements.

We’ve even included sample forms you can use to identify how you want to define expected levels of performance, develop training plans, analyze how well your employees are performing, and plan an effective coaching discussion.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” is now available in both Kindle and PDF versions.  U.S. purchasers can purchase both. International users eligible to purchase from Amazon can purchase the Kindle Version.  Both versions allow you to have it accessible each time you need to coach an employee.

KINDLE Version

Click Here to see a Sample  Kindle Version.  U.S. users can order directly.  Global users should  either click here, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” in the search criteria.

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors” on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to coach an employee. It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages. If you want hard copy you can print what you need.

You can purchase single copies or share with additional users by purchasing additional licenses. This makes it easy for organizations to increase the productivity of their staffs.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase the PDF version online click here.

Note: PDF Version available to only U.S. customers at this time.

How to Delegate Work so It Gets Done

Successful delegation is one of the most critical skill sets a Supervisor or Manager needs to develop. Yet, many Managers and Supervisors resist delegating. Learn some of the principal reasons for this resistance, and how to provide your Supervisors and Managers with the tools they need to delegate effectively.

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Successful delegation is one of the most critical skill sets a Supervisor or Manager needs to develop. Being able to delegate successfully helps you tap into the potential of your staff.  It helps you accomplish much more than you could working alone, and allows you to devote your time and efforts to your most critical tasks, or things you do best.  Put simply, being able to delegate successfully is one of the keys to a successful career in Supervision or Management.

Yet, many Managers and Supervisors resist delegating.  Common reasons include:

  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Don’t feel that their staff has the ability to do the work.
  • Tried to delegate before but it didn’t work
  • Staff resists the idea of taking on more work

The good news, however, is that there are solutions to these factors.  For example you can:

  • Delegate at a level you’re comfortable with.
  • Delegate a small portion of a task initially, and use that as a way of building your delegating skills.
  • Use specific strategies for overcoming staff reluctance.
  • Follow an effective 3 stage process to plan what to delegate, make the delegation and conduct the needed follow-up so you know where things stand.

Because be able to delegate successfully is such an important skill, KAW Consulting developed “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS”, an electronic handbook that will help you learn these vital skills. You’ll learn how to effectively:

  • Identify what tasks to delegate.
  • Identify the right people to delegate to.
  • Identify the level of delegation that you’re comfortable with.
  • Determine what the person doing the task needs, so they can deliver the results you expect.
  • Hold effective delegation meetings.
  • Conduct the needed follow-up to stay on top of the person’s progress.

Unlike most books that describe the delegation process in general terms, “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS” walks you through the process step by step, helping you think of the key ingredients to make your delegation successful, and avoid the common problems that crop up in unsuccessful ones.  We’ve even included forms to help you analyze your major tasks and identify which ones are excellent candidates to delegate, furnish the person you’re delegating to with the important information they need to understand about the task, and a checklist to make sure you’ve considered the vitals steps when planning your delegation.

Like any great handbook, “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS” is something you’ll want to use over and over again..  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, it’s an electronic book in PDF format, that you can store on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to use it.  Just call it up and it’s ready to use. If you want hard copy, you can print what you need.  To save you time, we’ve even included hyperlinks in the Table of Contents so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $15.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $14.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Note: Available to only U.S. customers at this time.

Training on a Shoestring

Learn how to provide your employees with the training and tools they need without spending a lot of money by creatively using what most of you already have at your fingertips to develop high value training materials and application guides that you can put on your employees’ computer desktop by simply sending them out as e-mail.

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KAW Consulting · Wilmington, DE ·  302-479-7855 · kawconsulting@comcast.net

Training on a Shoestring

Note: For examples of materials developed in the format discussed below, see www.kawconsulting.com and click on any of our Manager’s Toolkit offerings.

During periods of economic stress, your organization’s success is extremely dependent on your employees’ use of key business skills.  Yet, even though critical, during an economic crunch, many organizations cut their training efforts dramatically due to the belief that spending money on training is far too expensive and an unjustifiable use of limited resources when the organization is looking to cut costs as much as possible. 

 As typical as this reaction is, it ignores the reality that during such times employees at all levels often face new challenges requiring new skills—from employees who need to work more collaboratively with other group members or colleagues from other sections, to Supervisors and Managers who suddenly face a whole new host of problems due to dealing with larger staffs and increasingly heavier demands on their time from both above and below. 

 As a Training Manager/Learning Director this presents you with quite a dilemma.  How do you provide your employees with the support they need to learn and apply these new skills in their day to day jobs without spending a lot of money?   The answer lies in creatively using what most of you already have at your fingertips to develop high value materials that you can put on your employees’ computer desktop by simply sending them out as e-mail.  Here’s how:

 Step 1: Think Like an Employee—What Would You Want if You Were in Their Shoes?

As a first step, start by pretending that you’re the employee facing new job expectations, and are looking for something that would not only teach you what you need to know about the key new skills you need to use, but also provide you with tools you can use to apply these skills each time you use them. To find the right solution, you’d probably ask yourself the following types of questions:

  • What am I expected to do that’s different and challenging?
  • What new skills does that take?
  • What do I need to show me how to use these skills in my job?  

 The answers usually cause you to look for something that “shows me what I need to do, the steps I need to take, and has some application tools handy to refer to each time I need them.” 

 That’s why employees have always loved checklists, “cheat sheets” and simple handbooks outlining the critical steps to apply a new procedure.  That’s why so often these items are the most popular take aways from a formal classroom training program.  As a Training Manager, you can take advantage of this natural tendency and develop materials in this format.

 Step 2: Ask People What They Are Dealing With and What Do They Need  To Know?

The best way to find out what challenges people need help dealing with is to ask.  Get some people in similar positions together and ask them questions like:

  • “What’s changed about your job during the last few months?”
  • “What things are the most challenging for you?”
  • “What’s the most frustrating?”

 Their answers will quickly point you to some common skills that people in that type of position need help with. 

 For example, ask a group of Supervisors or Managers the above questions and you may hear answers like:

  • “I have to spend most of my time in meetings, and many aren’t productive.”
  • “I’m not supposed to do the work myself, but I’m responsible for making sure it’s done right.”
  • “I’m on all these special project teams, and we’re struggling getting things done.”
  • “I’m split in 50 different directions.”

 Answers like indicate that you should concentrate your efforts on providing support with things like:

  • Designing and running better meetings
  • Basic delegation skills
  • Basic team project skills
  • Time management

 If you do this for each of the major types of positions in your organization, you will soon have a good handle on the most important type of support you can provide each group.

 Step 3: What to Put in Your Materials

As mentioned previously, employees put a high value on easy to use checklists, and simple handbooks that show them how to do their challenging tasks.   Consequently, you want to develop your materials in this type of format.  Possible topics to include are:

  • Basic information on the skill such as a definition, when to use it, etc.
  • Basic success ingredients and pitfalls to avoid
  • Frameworks or checklists that cover the basic steps to use each time they apply the skill. 

 Step 4: Format Your Materials So They Are Very Easy To Use. 

Write in simple easy to understand language.  Make liberal use of lists and bullet points, so the information can also serve as an application guide. Include a separate section just for forms and checklists. Be sure to include a Table of Contents.  Include hyperlinks to take employees directly to the material they need.

 Most materials can probably be developed using your company’s word processing program. You can protect their integrity by putting them into a PDF file.

 Step 5: Distribute via e-mail.

Many trainers overlook how easy it is to get materials in the hands of employees.  Simply send them out via e-mail with the appropriate cover letter containing instructions on how to use and store them in a dedicated folder on their computer’s desktop for easy access.  Once they have a folder set up, you can add additional materials as needed.  You could, of course, also have the materials accessible on your organization’s intranet if you have one.

 Step 6: Use Materials as the Basis for Further Training

Once distributed, you can also use the materials as the backbone for further training.  One easy way to do so is to conduct any needed sessions by conference call or web conferencing software.  Participants can access the materials on their computer during the session.  For example, you might conduct a session with a group of employees on how to use the materials in some real life situations they face and bring to the call. You can also conduct sessions for Managers on how to coach their reports on how to use the materials on a day to day basis.

 In sum, these methods and some creativity on your part can help you avoid the “we don’t have any money” trap that derails so many training efforts, and start providing much welcome support to your organization’s employees during very difficult times. 

Copyright © 2009 by KAW Consulting.  All Rights Reserved.