Do you work with a big team of professionals who could use a nudge from time to time?
As a manager you will know that keeping a team motivated and on track is a skill set all to its self. If you are a new manager, you may find it challenging to motivate your team, creating a stumbling block to overall success. How can you keep your team members on track and motivated to reach for the next objective?
Provide Challenging Goals
To start, your team needs to know what the goals and objectives are for that week, month and year. Pull together a team meeting to ensure that everyone is on board and understands what to strive for. If possible, include the team in the planning session when goals are set; at the very least let them have input into the strategies for achieving the goals. While you want a goal that will stretch team members, you don’t want a goal that is too overwhelming. Wise selection and communication of the goals is a key skill that management professionals need to take seriously.
Track Progress Visually
Help your team see their progress by coming up with a range of tools that show the goal and its progress. Remember high school fundraising posters that were colored in to show the progress made? Today, you can create similar graphic visuals using software including Visio, Miscrosoft, or Salesforce. Consider the use of digital screens or white boards strategically posted around the office that show new sales, numbers of clients or dollar figures achieved. These visual reminders will really help people remember that all tasks should be correlated with the goal at hand.
Use Fun Competitions
If your role includes management of a sales team, think about using competitions to keep your sales team excited about their goals. Sales professionals and other folks who enjoy social talking respond well to competitions and prizes. Determine a goal, and then make it fun to see who will achieve the goal first. Announce exciting prizes like a free lunch, a reserved parking space or even a weekend getaway. These kinds of prizes need to be big enough to inspire action. You’ve probably heard of a manager who oversees a car dealership using trips to exotic destinations such as Hawaii to reward the top salesperson that year. What kind of competition will work in your industry?
Getting and keeping a team motivated can be a daunting management task. If your past experience as a manager has not led to success, try out these three ideas to get your staff onboard with new goals. If you are looking for more information about how to grow these management skills consider organizing onsite training such as the Management Success program or visit our website for free resources.
Are you just starting out as a manager? Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Then place your energy into learning these top management skills; listening, influencing and presenting. These three valuable skills will help you in your first job and they will carry you throughout your career too. Let’s take a closer look at the skills that can make you a stand out manager.
There’s nothing worse than being talked over, or feeling that your counterpart is just waiting for you to stop talking so they can spew their ideas (without really listening to yours). Inexperienced managers might be tempted to talk a lot as a way of demonstrating their knowledge, however this strategy can easily backfire. Instead, take the time to listen to your employees, colleagues and clients. Practice reflection, paraphrasing and deep listening so you can learn what’s important to your counterpart. By taking the time to listen you will undoubtedly be able to contribute more thoughtful comments that actually improve the situation.
Do you ever need to get employees on board with a new corporate direction? Want to sway a client towards a certain action? Then brush up on your influence skills. Dictionary.com defines influence as “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others”. As a manager you will have multiple opportunities to be a compelling force on the behavior of others. By taking a training course on Influence, such as Influencing For Professional Results™, you will learn influence principles that can be applied to any situation, large or small. Or read up on Influence books to learn how to start playing with these valuable management skills in day to day activities. By practicing in low stakes conversations you can sharpen these skills for when it really counts.
Do you cringe when you have to stand up and speak to your Executive Team? Do you every get blank stares from your staff when you are talking to them as a group? It could be that your presentation skills need some polish. Learn how your facial expression may be detracting from your words, or how your body language may include bad habits. More than 80% of professionals in our presentation training sessions have at least one distracting habit such as rocking, swaying, or fidgeting when they present. By investing time in a traditional presentation training course you can learn both the Do’s and the Don’ts when it comes to public speaking.
By recognizing the importance of these top three skills then taking time to get proper training you can start developing your prowess early on. Listening, Influencing and Presenting will not only help you in your first job, but will assist you in climbing the corporate ladder and taking new positions down the road. Consider getting management training such as our Management Essentials course to improve your ability to develop these three skills. Note that the skills also transfer well from industry to industry making you more valuable than you could have imagined. So to sum it up, we conclude that sharpening these skills early in your career helps you leverage your capabilities right from the start. And that makes you a Stand-Out Manager.
Most managers, especially new ones, have the desire to do well in their jobs. Fueled by passion and excitement for their work they can easily stumble into three bad practices that will sabotage their success. Without management training it’s easy to see how a new manager might not see the downside to these particular practices. From trying to make friends, to doing it all, to tooting their own horn too loudly – these three behaviors cause more pain than reward. Read on to learn how to avoid these top three mistakes as you navigate your management career.
Making Friends with Staff
If you’re a people person you’ll want to be liked. But by trying to be liked, and making friends with staff, managers wander into troublesome territory. Imagine how difficult it would be for a manager to appropriately discipline a colleague who is their close friend. Or consider the damage done when people on the team feel that others are treated differently due to the personal friendship. The boundaries that good managers need to establish can get very blurry when they allow their desire for friendship to affect their business relationships.
Trying to Do it All
Passionate managers often feel that they can make a difference in the workplace. With their high sense of responsibility it’s easy for managers to take on too great a workload. This can not only lead to a sense of overwhelm for the manager but can leave team members with little to do. When employees don’t have sufficient challenge, and latitude to take initiative, their work satisfaction starts to suffer. So smart managers learn to assess their team’s strengths and delegate work that is exciting and fulfilling.
Tooting Your Own Horn
Good managers exude passion for their work and their workplace. But how loudly should they express their passion for their own accomplishments? Rather than tooting their own horn, it’s wise for managers to attribute success to the whole team if several people contributed to a project. Similarly, its important to watch for arrogance which can creep into conversations about accomplishments at work. No one enjoys listening to someone boast. Managers have greater influence when they remember to celebrate the success of a project, rather than the mastermind behind it.
Summing It Up
Whether you are a seasoned manager or a new one it’s wise to reflect on your management practices and behaviors. Stop the urge to be make friends, do it all yourself and toot your own horn. By avoiding these three mistakes to ensure that your team works more effectively to meet company goals. Channel your passion for your job into positive practices such as establishing appropriate boundaries, using delegation and celebrating team input.