“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.

 

Why Worry About Social Media?

Ever wondered how to answer someone that asks what’s the value of all this social networking stuff? Or why would anyone ever use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube, etc. and how do they relate to each other?

You can play the role of an expert and develop your own answer by solving the case in this posting. A great way to learn by doing!

[tweetmeme source=”KAWConsulting” http://wp.me/pGCfB-3O%5D

Introduction: Ever wondered how to answer someone that asks what’s the value of all this social networking/media stuff?  Or why would anyone ever use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube, etc. and how do they relate to each other?

Well, here’s a way to learn by playing the role of an expert and advising someone else asking the same basic question.  The case below challenges you to test your creativity and advise someone on the impact of changes being caused as a result of social networking. In this case it’s your friends (a brother and sister) who as you’ll see in the scenario don’t understand social media, but are being impacted by it in a real way.

This scenario is based on one of the important types of change—the need to adapt to changes in the environment caused by events largely outside of your control. In this case, the change is because of social media.

To play:

  • Read the scenario below.
  • Then develop some advice.
  • If you want to share your ideas, post your response on Twitter #KAWConsulting so others can respond and share their ideas as well.

  • Better yet, share this challenge with others (friends, colleagues, etc.)  and get them to respond as well.  (It can be the start of a collaborative learning community).

  • Or, leave a comment.  (Comments will be public so be advised that others viewing this posting will be able to see them).

Scenario:

Your friends own and run a party store. The store has been in their family for 30 years. Their father started it back in the 80’s, and now they run it. The key to being successful for so long has been based on:

– Location (it’s in a suburban strip mall with easy access from several local single family house developments).

– Carrying the right inventory—supplies for birthday parties, holidays, graduations, weddings, etc.

– Affordable prices

– Marketing—they have display ads in the local phone directory, advertise in the community paper, support school events, etc.

Lately their business is going down, while they’ve noticed that one of their competitors seems awfully busy. This concerns them—along with the fact that their income is taking quite a nose dive.

Consequently, your friends hired a mystery shopper and find out that their competitor is using some strange new techniques, that frankly they had never really heard of. Apparently, the competitor has something called a Blog and writes articles on everything you need to know to plan your party or event. They seem to have fans on something called Facebook, and have created a community of enthusiastic followers, that always seem to know about their specials. They even are using something called Twitter to communicate with an even wider network. What’s more, they’ve even hired someone called an Event Specialist, who can help customers plan your party so it’s just right.

Getting somewhat frantic, your friends call you, because you always seem to be on the leading edge of everything, and ask for advice on what to do. Even though they don’t know much about the new technology, or how to use it, they know they need to do something fast and right.

Based on what you’ve heard, your gut tells you that the changes involved may be enormous and involve a lot more than just technology.

Challenge: Assume that you’re the friend. What advice would you give about:

– What your friends need to learn.

– What they need to do.

– What challenges will they face?

– What changes will they need to make?

– Who will be impacted by the changes?

– What do they need to do to implement them successfully?

– Other advice you think important.

Resources: A couple of Blogs with helpful information–look for ideas on how to use Social Media as Marketing Tool.

http://www.modernmediainstitute.com/

http://mashable.com/

Question for further reflection: What approach can you use to help your organization learn how best to use social media?

Contact Information

E-Mail KAWCONSULTING@COMCAST.NET

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