Tag Archives: management skills

Management Quick Tip: Watch your thoughts.

No no. Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
– Lao Tzu

As a busy manager, it’s easy to overlook the important role you play in creating your own workplace culture.  The mindset you bring to your job can impact the destiny of the whole organization.

I know…it sounds a bit airy-fairy.  But I believe it to be true, my friends.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

Management Quick Tip: Work yourself out of a job.

No no. Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell

Improve systems.  Streamline processes.  Eliminate unnecessary tasks.

No matter where you are in your career, don’t fall into the “if I’m busy, I must be important” trap.

Figure out how to do your job better, in less time, and people will notice.  And you’ll have the bandwidth to take on more challenging work (i.e. get promoted).

And here’s a bonus tip for those who are already managers:  Hire your replacement.

Look for smart people who want to move up and groom them for your role.

Don’t be afraid to teach them everything you know.  Their drive to succeed will increase your team’s overall productivity.  And having a successor queued up will give you the freedom to move on when new opportunities arrive.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

 

Management Quick Tip: Work on your writing skills.

No no. Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell

Email and social media have made us all writers, no matter what our job title.

And we can all stand to get better at conveying our messages clearly, succinctly and in a way that engages our readers.

Here are a few resources to help you hone your writing chops:

 

               

                

 

How about you?  Do you have a favorite book on writing?  Please share in the comments.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

(This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.)

 

Management Quick Tip: Focus on the basics.

No, no.  Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell (cropped)

As managers, we tend to focus a lot of our energy on things like team building, employee recognition, and professional development.  And while those things are definitely important, sometimes you need to step back and make sure you’re covering the basics.

  • Insure your team has the necessary resources to do their jobs.  Eliminate outdated technology, streamline convoluted processes and balance the workload.
  • Provide a safe, non-threatening work environment.  Curtail any inappropriate email or other unprofessional team behavior that might make someone uncomfortable.
  • Help your team understands what they can expect from you.  Keep your management policies clear, consistent and objective.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

Management Quick Tip: Treat people like adults.

No no. Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell

“Experienced self-starter.”          “Highly motivated.”          “Results-oriented.”

I find it utterly bewildering that these are the characteristics managers claim to value, yet so many still insist on monitoring their employees’ minute-by-minute productivity.

Limiting internet access.  Requiring that everyone arrive at the same time.  Tracking every second of paid time-off.  These things don’t increase productivity.

You know what does?

Engaged professionals who are not bogged down by arbitrary and insulting administrative policies.

Stop assuming that your team’s default position is to slack off and take advantage.

You’ve hired responsible, educated adults.  Treat them that way.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

Management Quick Tip: Teach, in order to learn.

No, no.  Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell (cropped)

If you’re trying to master something new, consider presenting a team workshop or training session around that topic.  Putting together a course outline will highlight gaps in your knowledge, and you’ll discover new resources as you search for examples and supporting documents.  Plus, working on a public timeline will ward off procrastination and keep you moving forward.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

 

Management Quick Tip: Learn to take a punch.

No, no.  Thank you!  by Aaron Stidwell (cropped)

Okay, maybe not literally.  (Unless you’re into that.)  But figuratively, in the sense of seeking out rejection.

My guess is you’re a high performer and you set a high standard for yourself.  You work hard to make sure you don’t fail.  That you’re not rejected.  That you don’t get punched in the face by life.

But don’t let your high standards get in the way of trying new, potentially painful, things.

Because that’s where the learning comes from.

 

(Photo by Aaron Stidwell via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)