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
How to Evaluate How Well You Use Them
One of the best ways to evaluate how well you use each of these 7 skill areas is to test them against your own experience.
To start, look at your typical day. How often do you need to use these skills? Do you encounter situations that call on them over and over, probably each day? Next, look at either today or the last few days. What went right, what went wrong? Which of the items you noted related to one or more of the 7 skills? Many of you will probably be able to easily identify how use of these skills, of non-use of them, probably made a big difference.
If any of the 7 skills did make a big difference, look at the descriptions of the areas you need to master in each skill area described below. Which of these areas are you doing well, and which do you need to develop or enhance? This gives you a basis for developing your own development plan. For those areas that you need to improve locate the “Manager’s Toolkit” e-handbook from KAW Consulting (see below) that walks you step-by-step on how to learn and apply the skills in the area you want to enhance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
To help you learn and use these vital skills, 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
U.S. users, can enjoy the added benefits of 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.