How to Use “Meetings That Work” to Avoid This Meeting Disaster

Learn how KAW Consulting’s “Meetings That Work” can help John and his colleagues avoid a common meeting disaster-too many completely unproductive meetings that waste everyone’s time.

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Sitting in the conference room, feeling extremely frustrated, John tried not to visually roll his eyes in front of his co-workers.  What kept going through his mind was, “I have so much work I need to get done, and here I am in yet another wasted meeting.  In fact, I’m not really sure why we’re even having a meeting or what we’re supposed to accomplish.  All we got was a meeting notice with just some vague indication that we need to discuss the assignment that we’re all supposed to work on.  There’s no agenda or purpose statement.  In fact from the way people are talking, I’m not sure that anyone really knows what we’re supposed to accomplish in the next hour or so.  I sure don’t.  And this is the fourth meeting I’ve had like this, this week! How in the world am I supposed to get my work done if all I do is sit in useless meetings?”

John is not alone in his frustration.  People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.  Time that is vitally needed to be spent on getting the job done.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  With recognition amongst themselves that the meetings that he (John) and his colleagues are attending aren’t very productive, and some analysis and skill building on how to design and run effective meetings, the results could be vastly different.

WHAT THEY SHOULD DO

To start, they could take a look at why their meetings are so unproductive.  Often, it’s due to one or more of these common causes:

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons they’ve experienced.

Then they could take a look at what makes meetings work well. These include factors such as:

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  • Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.


Next Steps

Once they’ve had the chance to analyze why they’re meetings aren’t working and deciding that they need to learn how to hold more effective ones (and stop wasting everyone’s time!) they can start learning the basic skills needed to design and hold effective meetings.  This is where KAW Consulting’s  electronic handbook, “Meetings That Work” can really help.  Written in a clear, easy to use format it covers:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

It’s designed to be used both by individuals and also groups, so John and his colleagues can all learn the skills they need to stop holding those ineffective meetings and actually get something done.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work 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 design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here.

Amazon.co.uk click here.

Amazon.de click here

Amazon.fr click here

Amazon.es click here

Amazon.it click here

Amazon.co.jp click here

Amazon.com.br click here

Amazon.ca click here

Amazon.in click here

Amazon.au click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  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 online click here.

The 8 Steps of Effective Meeting Design

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time. Learn how to design and run meeting that don’t waste everyone’s time.

People spend a lot of time at work in meetings. And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.

If you’re one of the majority that feels this way, this comes as no surprise. You know the feelings of frustration all too well. As well as the financial cost. If 4 people each earning $40,000 a year attend a 2 hour meeting that goes nowhere, that’s a cost of $152 of wasted time just for that meeting. Not to mention the incidental costs such as travel. Take those costs and multiply by the number of meetings you feel are a waste of time over a year and you are getting some real money. In this day and age when organizations are facing enormous budget constraints, and are looking hard at all their cost elements, improving meeting quality jumps out as a “no brainer”.

Yet there is often little analysis of why meetings fail, or what needs to happen so they succeed. Here are some of the common reasons things go wrong that you can measure against your own experience.

  • Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”
  • There’s no formal agenda
  • Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject
  • The expected desired results are not defined
  • People critical to meeting’s success:
    • Don’t Show Up
    • Weren’t Invited
    • Come late or leave early
  • Participants don’t understand their roles
  • Unfocussed discussion
  • Results are not accurately recorded.
  • Other reasons that you’ve experienced

On the other hand, meetings that work usually contain the following elements.

  • Meeting is well designed:
    • Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results
    • Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.
    • Provides participants with needed background information.
    • Determines needed pre-work by participants.
    • Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc
    • Determines needed meeting logistics
  • Meeting starts and ends on time
  •  Meeting Leader is prepared
  • The critical people are in attendance
  • Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately
  • The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand
  • Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

8 Critical Steps to Designing an Effective Meeting

To help make sure that your meeting has the ingredients to succeed, follow these 8 key steps when designing it.

  • Agree on the Meeting’s Subject
  • Visualize the Desired Results
  • Choose the Right Discussion Process 
  • Invite the Right Participants
  • Develop a Meeting Purpose, Agenda and Ground Rules
  • Determine Pre-Work and Background Knowledge Needs
  • Determine Needed Meeting Logistics
  • Think of What Could Go Wrong
Where to Go From Here
 Because holding better meetings is so important, KAW Consulting developed “Meetings That Work”, an electronic handbook that shows you step by step how to design and run effective meetings. Written in a clear, easy to use format you’ll learn:
  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:
    • Stares and Silence
    • Negative Remarks
    • Separate Agendas
    • One person trying to dominate the discussion
  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:
    • Generate Ideas by Brainstorming
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Better Decisions
    • Plan Tasks
    • Set Goals

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Meetings That Work 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 design a meeting.

For information on the Kindle version either click the applicable link below, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Meetings That Work” in the search criteria.

Amazon U.S. click here.

Amazon.co.uk click here.

Amazon.de click here

Amazon.fr click here

Amazon.es click here

Amazon.it click here

 Amazon.co.jp click here

 Amazon.com.br click here

Amazon.ca click here

Amazon.in click here

Amazon.com.au click here

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Meetings That Work” on your computer.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  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 online click here.

Keys to Effective Time Management for Managers and Supervisors – Part 2

One of the biggest challenges Supervisors and Managers face is managing their time. Part 2 of a series on how to manage your time effectively as a Manager, Supervisor, Project Manager or other key Professional.

Note: To view a sample Kindle Version Click Here. U.S. purchasers can buy directly.  To view instructions on how to purchase international versions click here.

U.S. Purchasers who want to buy a PDF version should click here.  (See below for information of PDF versions.)

As mentioned in Keys to Effective Time Management for Managers and Supervisors –  Part 1  effective Time Management is the process of deciding what to do and when.  Doing so usually consists of 3 main phases which are:

  • Phase 1:

– Identifying what you want/need to accomplish based on the roles and expectations of your position, and your own personal goals.

– Identifying and prioritizing the major tasks and needed time commitments to accomplish these goals.

  • Phase 2:

– Analyzing how you’re currently spending your time versus the needs you identified above.

  • Phase 3:

–  Developing a schedule that better allows you to focus your daily efforts on accomplishing your goals.

In this entry, we’ll look at some of the things you need to do in Phase 1.

IDENTIFYING WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH

Step 1: Responsibilities and expectations

The first step in managing your time effectively is to get a good handle on the major responsibilities of your position, and the expectations of each. This will help you understand what you should be focusing on and the proper priority to place on each of your major roles. To do so, ask the following questions.

  • What are my major responsibilities?
  • What are the expected results of each?

Examples of some of responsibilities for typical Managers and Supervisors include items such as:

  • Designing work schedules and assigning work to staff.
  • Checking on the status of the work.
  • Answering questions and providing guidance on how to get the work done.
  • Keeping your Management informed on work status and key issues.
  • Training staff
  • Developing procedures
  • Handling new projects
  • Etc.

Each of these responsibilities has expectations from your Management on what constitutes a successful result.  Looking at the first several responsibilities, for example, some of the expected results might include items like:

  • The work schedule makes sure the work can be accomplished in time to meet deadlines.
  • Work is assigned to staff members with the capability to do it.
  • Work is spread out amongst the staff so no one is unnecessarily overburdened.
  • You’re providing the  proper amount of oversight and guidance to your staff.
  • You know the status of the work and whether it’s on track or not, and can answer Management’s questions about it.

Step 2: Personal goals

Besides what’s currently expected, you may have your own goals you’d like to achieve in your position.  Examples include:

  • Making improvements to current processes
  • Providing additional services
  • Taking on additional responsibilities
  • Developing or enhancing skills you’ll need for your next position.
  • Etc.

As with your major work responsibilities, you have expectations/objectives for each of these goals.   Examples might include objectives such as:

  • I want to make a least one very visible improvement in my group’s operations.
  • I want to learn how to delegate much more effectively so my staff can do a lot more of the work that I’m doing now.

  • I want to demonstrate that I can lead a special project.

Step 3: Identify How You  Should Be Spending Your Time

After identifying what you’re expected to achieve, and what you want to achieve as a result of your own personal goals, you need to:

  • Identify the major steps and amount of your time needed to achieve each result
  • Prioritize the steps in terms of their importance (like working on improvements to the group’s operational processes)  and immediacy (projects with strict deadlines, or important requests from your boss).  

  • Develop a picture of how you should ideally be spending your time on a weekly and/or monthly basis. A good way to do this is to  develop a  3 column table that lists the activities required to accomplish your responsibilities and personal goals (column 1), the actions required (column 2), and the desired time you want to spend on each (column 3).

How Do I Get Started Learning How to To Manage My Time Effectively?

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

You’ll learn how to:

  • Analyze your job and identify what you should focus your time on to achieve what’s expected and your own personal goals.

  • Develop an ideal picture of how to allocate your time between your various activities.
  • Analyze how you are currently spending your time and identify the gaps from your ideal picture.

  • Develop weekly and daily schedules so you focus your time on the activities needed to achieve your goals.

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

Unlike most books on time management that are too complicated and hard to understand,  “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” is exactly the opposite. It’s written in easy to understand language that walks you step by step through the process of managing your time more effectively. We’ve even included sample forms you can use to identify how you want to spend your time, track how you’re currently spending it versus how you’d like to, and develop the weekly and daily plans to get what you want done.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, TIME MANAGEMENT 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 it.

KINDLE Version

For information on the Kindle version either click here, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” in the search criteria.

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS“ on your computer so you have it readily accessible. 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 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 see how organizations can benefit from this approach to get “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” out to multiple users, click here

To view a Sample PDF Version, and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

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

Keys to Effective Time Management for Managers and Supervisors – Part 1

One of the biggest challenges Supervisors and Managers face is managing their time. Because of the very nature of their job, Supervisors and Managers are often bombarded with competing demands on their time from staff, internal/external customers and management. Start learning how to manage your time effectively as a Manager, Supervisor, Project Manager or other key Professional.

Note: To view a sample Kindle Version Click Here. U.S. purchasers can buy directly.  To view instructions on how to purchase international versions click here.

U.S. Purchasers who want to buy a PDF version should click here.

One of the biggest challenges Supervisors and Managers face is managing their time.  Because of the very nature of their job, Supervisors and Managers are often bombarded with competing demands on their time from staff, internal/external customers and management.  Unmanaged, these demands can prove to be overwhelming. Yet, the ability to identify and focus their attention on the most important tasks is often the difference between a successful or unsuccessful Manager or Supervisor.  Consequently, as a Supervisor or Manager, the ability to successfully manage your time is one of the most important skill sets you need to develop.

So, What Is Effective Time Management?

Effective Time Management is the process of deciding what to do and when.

It consists of 3 main phases, each of which are critical to effectively managing your time.

These are:

  • Phase 1:

– Identifying what you want/need to accomplish based on the roles and expectations of your position, and your own personal goals.

– Identifying and prioritizing the major tasks and needed time commitments to accomplish these goals.

  • Phase 2:

– Analyzing how you’re currently spending your time versus the needs you identified above.

  • Phase 3:

–  Developing a schedule that better allows you to focus your daily efforts on accomplishing your goals.

Signs of Good Time Management

Supervisors and Managers that effectively manage their time usually share some common traits. They have:

  • A clear handle on what they want to accomplish and when.

  • A clear understanding of the needed steps and time requirements to accomplish the tasks needed to meet these goals.

  • A daily routine that permits them to spend the needed time on each area.

  • A time management plan that also reflects the needs of other key people that they interact with such as their boss, clients, staff and colleagues they need to collaborate with on projects and issues.

  • The ability to deal with common time wasters and barriers to getting things done.

Symptoms of Poor Time Management

On the other hand, find a Supervisor or Manager struggling to manage their time and you will often find common symptoms.  Among these are:

  • A Lack of a clear understanding of what they should be focusing their time on.

     

  • Underestimating how long things take, so schedules are unrealistic.

  • Failure to prioritize between activities.

  • Belief that time management tools and methods are too complex and cumbersome.

     

  • If using a time management strategy, using one that ignores the needs of key people they deal with.

  • Inability to successfully deal with time wasters and barriers to getting things done.

How Do I Get Started Learning How to To Manage My Time Effectively?

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

You’ll learn how to:

        • Analyze your job and identify what you should focus your time on to achieve what’s expected and your own personal goals.

        • Develop an ideal picture of how to allocate your time between your various activities.

        • Analyze how you are currently spending your time and identify the gaps from your ideal picture.

        • Develop weekly and daily schedules so you focus your time on the activities needed to achieve your goals.

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

Unlike most books on time management that are too complicated and hard to understand,  “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” is exactly the opposite. It’s written in easy to understand language that walks you step by step through the process of managing your time more effectively. We’ve even included sample forms you can use to identify how you want to spend your time, track how you’re currently spending it versus how you’d like to, and develop the weekly and daily plans to get what you want done.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, TIME MANAGEMENT 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 it.

KINDLE Version

For information on the Kindle version either click here, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS” in the search criteria.

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS“ on your computer so you have it readily accessible. 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 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 U.S. customers only at this time.

Keys to Delegating Work So It Gets Done – Part 2: How to Identify What to Delegate

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. Learn how to identify types of tasks that make excellent candidates to delegate.

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As mentioned in Keys to Delegating Work So It Gets Done – Part 1, one of the first skills you need to master to delegate work successfully is to learn how to identify tasks that make good candidates to delegate.

While many people who resist the idea of delegating  respond immediately that they have nothing that can be delegated, it often turns out not to be the case.  The problem is that often they haven’t done the analysis needed to identify tasks that might make good candidates.

Some of the common types of tasks that make excellent candidates to delegate include:

  • Routine and minor decisions
  • Information Gathering
  • Technical tasks
  • Operating tasks
  • Report generation
  • Tasks you dislike doing that somebody else could do as well as you
  • Tasks that can help your staff increase their capabilities and skills
  • Other categories that you can think of

To start analyzing your tasks in this manner, make a list of your major responsibilities and tasks you perform under each responsibility.  Then go through the list of candidate tasks above, and identify which ones you use to fulfill that responsibility and how. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself, “Do I have to do all of that myself, or is there something that someone else can help with?”  The things that someone else can help with become the candidates to delegate.

Example: The Monthly Budget Report

Assume for a minute that you have responsibility for generating the monthly budget report.  It’s a real headache and involves gathering information, putting it in a spreadsheet, analyzing variances and summarizing the information.  You do the whole thing yourself, including sending it out.

When you went through the type of analysis discussed above, you found that there were indeed things that someone else could do if you let them.  One of your staff members could gather some of the information if you taught him how.  Another person who knew spreadsheets and reports could enter the information and generate the report.  It turns out your Admin Assistant is very happy to handle the distribution for you.  You can concentrate your efforts on the real part of the process that takes your expertise–summarizing the information and explaining the variances.

So, by doing some analysis it turns out that you can delegate some of tasks for this responsibility that have taken up a good chunk of your time.  And once you succeed at delegating these tasks, you can start looking at your other responsibilities for tasks to delegate as well.

So How Do I Learn These Skills?

To start learning how to delegate effectively,  see KAWConsulting’s  “Delegating for Results”electronic handbook that takes you step by step through the delegation process.

Available in both Kindle and PDF

To meet the demands of our global users, “Delegating For Results 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 delegate a task.

KINDLE Version

For information on the Kindle version either click here, or visit your applicable Amazon website and input “Delegating For Results” in the search criteria.

PDF Version

For U.S. users, the PDF version allows you to store “Delegating For Results” on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to delegate a task.  It includes hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.  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 $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:  The PDF Version is available to U.S. purchasers only.

“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”.

 

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.

 

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.