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School for Managers
You are now a manager. How did this happen? By the "magic fairy
dust" method: Poof: "You are a manager"? Or did you go to the
school of hard knocks (learning through trial and error)? Well, regardless
of how, the more important question is: are you trained and prepared for the
new intellectual and emotional challenges that await? Too often, employees
are placed into the role of manager with little or no management training
and development skills. The following are ideas, tips and techniques we at
A. E. Schwartz & Associates have uncovered. They are presented here as
an excerpt from our most popular program, entitled: The School for Managers.
Can you identify your leadership style?
examining the varieties of leadership styles, their advantages and
weaknesses, as well as your employees and the given situation, you can decide what is the
"best" leadership style for you. You should adopt a style that you are comfortable with to
lead you to future success. There are many different leadership styles, but
one trait is prevalent in every successful leader - the ability to bring
people together to accomplish a task! This can be done by:
employee commitment and building a resource base of peers, former managers
and previous managers of your new organization are very important. The more
extensive your network, the easier it will be to handle the new challenges that
accompany your efforts with time management, delegation, communication and
Are you in charge of a motivated workplace?
you take time to focus on your employees and their environment you will
create and sustain a cohesive, enthusiastic team which produces at or above the level
expected by top management. To build a solid, productive workforce you should take the
employees you have and train them to be highly competent.
a good job of training and coaching is the most practical way to have
successful and productive employees. If you keep your employees' interests, priorities
and goals in mind when you organize tasks, you will achieve your intended goals and also
build a stronger team.
Do you set achievable goals?
setting gives direction to the work of an individual employee as well as to
a department and organization by:
process allows an organization to check on the attainment of both its
short-term and long-term objectives.
Question: Are you communicating clearly
Successful communication is a complex and difficult process. A broad development of awareness, understanding and hard won new habits is required in order to gradually improve your skills of effective communication. A good communicator always:
communication means getting through to the other person what you mean in a
way that they understand. The end result is to get things done with minimal
or no problems so that you, the organization and the employee will all be
you familiar with the problem solving process and your own decision making
Solving problems and making decisions are challenges managers encounter daily. Effective problem solving and decision making depends on using a method rather than relying on luck such as the ready, fire, then aim syndrome. Whether the problem is new or recurring, a systematic approach will have these stages:
can use this system by yourself or with a group. While working alone may
seem more efficient, there are benefits to involving others in the problem
solving and decision making process: you can get a greater variety of
perspectives, use the group dynamic to generate creative ideas, and gain a
greater commitment to solving the problem from everyone involved.
Are you overwhelmed by insurmountable projects, endless paperwork and
Instead of thinking about how you can manage, create and save time, think more about ways to utilize it. Once you have accomplished this, you may invest in time what you value. To help you do this, keep in mind some of the principles of time management:
a new manager, you will soon realize that you can not accomplish all of your
tasks by yourself, you must learn to delegate.
are you an effective delegator?
Delegation is a challenging skill for all managers to master because it involves effective communication, motivation, goal setting and leadership. Three essential components to successful delegation are:
all three are achieved, the delegation process will not be effective. To
make your decision easier, clarify the parameters of the delegation for
yourself by considering these
2. Should I delegate this task? Knowing the purpose of the assignment
3. What exactly do I want done? Specify the scope of the assignment.
delegation can save you hundreds of hours of unnecessary work,
leaders build high performing and profitable organizations through the use
of three key elements: knowledge, experience and insight. By developing your
management skills you will realize enormous benefits in increased
productivity, decreased stress and increased confidence. Your employees will
also receive and feel these same benefits, and you may find employee
grievances and turnover decrease. Training is the key.
striving for awareness of your employees and your work environment, and with
appropriate management development and skills training, you too can be a
FOR NEWLY APPOINTED MANAGER
Don't Expect Too Much Too Soon: Realize that old habits die hard.
A position of management necessitates new skills and new ways of thinking.
These just won't happen; you'll need to learn them.
Do Unto Other...: Sometimes when people are promoted they forget what life
used to be
Admit Mistakes/Not Knowing: A management title doesn't erase one of fallibility.
You'll be surprised by the respect you'll generate from saying the words
"I don't know." But be sure to quickly follow those words up,
however, with "but I'll find out."
Know Your Role: It's essential that you know what your department's role is
and how it
Learn How to Juggle: As a manager, you're now in the delicate position of
dealing with missed deadlines, conflicting priorities, and petty office
politics. Keeping "all the balls in the air" will become a
much-needed art form.
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