Time Management

Making sure you are personally well organised, relaxed and successful. 

 

Time Management is such a misnomer!

No one can manage time. Time proceeds independently of us, and will tick on regardless of what we do.  What we can do is manage ourselves so that we make the best possible use of the time we have at our disposal. And the key to that is ensuring that we are well organised.

 

What simple action can we take?

To be well organised and successful, means you:

  1. Know exactly what you need to be doing every day
  2. Identify and balance the different priorities that keep coming at you
  3. Understand the difference between the Urgent and the Important
  4. Use tools and systems, and get rid of time wasters
  5. Manage pressure so that it does not become stressful.

 

Know exactly what you need to be doing.

It is important to always have a very clear focus for the day ahead. It can never be “just another day”. Every day has to dawn with a set of challenges and goals that you have clearly identified and that you are ready to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you are going to be doing to be successful for the day

 

Identify and balance the different priorities that keep coming at you.

The single most important element of being organised and successful at work is, within the rush and hurly-burly of life, to cultivate the ability to identify, understand and rank your priorities. Choose what to do first, then second, then third – every day. Sometimes there is a practical need to fine-tune these priorities during the day. At the end of the day reset your priorities ready for tomorrow, knowing exactly what you are going to tackle first.

 

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”  Goethe. 

 

Understand the difference between the Urgent and the Important.

It is easy to end up chasing your tail every day. There is no success or satisfaction in it. Often the Urgent matters are those that create a whirlpool of busyness – things like some emails, some deadlines, some meetings, interruptions. This single minded dedication to busyness can mean that the Important matters – things like relationship building, planning, prevention strategies –  are sacrificed and put on the back burner, only to emerge as a crisis at a later date.

If you don’t get your car serviced, at some point that lack of action will jump up and bite you – probably at midnight on the motorway.  Make time for the Important.

 

Use tools and systems, and get rid of time wasters. 

Actively choose to move away from a life of crisis management by simply using some effective tools that take the pressure off you.

Make use of your Calendar and To Do lists – they will drive your self-discipline. Also, consciously and deliberately reduce time wasters like some emails, some conversations, some meetings.

 

Manage pressure so that it does not become stressful.

The bonus with good time management is that you do not feel unduly pressurised or stressed.

Too often pressure is internalised as stress, and this then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pressure in a modern job goes with the territory. The key barriers to preventing pressure feeling like stress is to:

  1. Acknowledge that there is pressure in your job and that this is normal
  2. Don’t be afraid to take pressure and use it to challenge yourself to be better organised
  3. Foster a calm demeanour and put in place practical personal relaxation strategies that help you keep pressure as pressure, no more than that. These may simply be ensuring a regular personal regime of basic health & wellness practices. They may also involve a mind element like meditation
  4. Apply self-discipline and keep on working hard at keeping pressure where it should stay – as an external element of your job that doesn’t get to you

 

It is all about working smarter not harder.

Following these guidelines should help you and your team members to be better organised and ultimately more relaxed and successful. Keen to learn more? Positive People run a Time Management module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program. Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.

Communication

Engage and inspire your team with effective communication. 

 

In today’s digital world communication is everywhere, yet why is it so hard to still get cut through in the workplace? From a time when under communicating was a key workplace issue, these days it is easy to over communicate, lose your messages in the noise, or get lost in translation.

 

So how do you get it right?

To make sure your employees receive and understand your key messages make sure you:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Have a mechanism for feedback
  3. Include verbal communication in your plans
  4. Tailor your message to your audience

 

Keep it simple.

When drafting emails, memos, newsletters or updates it is easy to include too much information or over explain. This will cause your essential messages to get lost.

Before you start think carefully about exactly what you want to say – then say it. This way a clear concise message will be received.

 

Have a mechanism for feedback.

What if your message doesn’t make sense to someone? What if they don’t understand a concept? How easy is it for your employees to ask questions and are they encouraged to do so? In any company communication plan, it is essential to have a place or forum where the team feel comfortable to ask questions and deepen their understanding of your message. Remember the message that you have sent is only what your team understand it to be, so promoting two way conversations and feedback makes sense to help you get this right.

 

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

 

Include verbal communication in your plans.

The increase in online Company communication forums means it is easy to forget the importance of face to face verbal communication, as it is so much quicker and easier to post something online. Written messages can be misunderstood, lack the right tone or a human face, which can aid the impact of your message. Regular team meetings or Company gatherings are crucial to keeping messages personal and connecting your team to your message.

 

Tailor your message to your audience.

It is easy to communicate a message in a way which you understand, but think carefully about your team – are they all like you? Do you have employees with English as a second language, or team members who don’t understand more technical terms, or don’t have an extensive knowledge of business? Giving updates which the team don’t understand adds to the noise and decreases the self-esteem of the team. Think carefully about your audience, recheck your words and write for your team – not for yourself.

 

Strong workplace communication is essential for engagement and motivation and helps to create inclusive, collaborative teams. Using the tips above will help you to get cut through in an increasingly noisy world and create a better workplace for you and your team.

Would you like to improve your Company communication? Positive People run a Communication module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program, which can be tailored for both Managers and staff.  Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.

 

PositivePeople November 2, 2016 No Comments

Leadership Development in Talent Planning

It’s a fact of life that no matter how great your workplace is, at some stage you will lose key staff. This might be due to career changes, personal situations, babies, marriages, or they simply make the big move out of Auckland to escape the rising house prices.

Whatever the reason, losing a successful leader can have a huge impact on your team, as well as your future business objectives. Projects can be delayed, team dynamics interrupted, and it takes time and cost to ride this out and get your business back on track.

Having a succession and talent management plan in place is a vital ingredient of successfully safeguarding your business against this disruption. Equally as important is ensuring the identified successors have the skills and ability to step up into the role before the transition takes place.

A key component of this is ensuring that successors have the leadership skills to manage this transition to leaders, develop relationships quickly, and move their teams forward from day one. Too often we see team members moved into leadership roles without the required leadership experience to be successful, promoted with the hope that they develop these skills once they have been appointed. The damage this can do to a team and to their own self confidence while they learn can be long lasting.

To develop a succession and talent plan that really works to support your business it is important that you:

  1. Identify a pool of talent, large or small, within your business that has the potential to move into leadership roles
  2. Identify the key skills required for each identified team member to step up to a new role
  3. Identify the skills gaps for identified team members well in advance of these skills being needed
  4. Develop these skills by training, coaching and project work, before they need to use them

A skilled leader will fill any role gap seamlessly, ease the team into the transition, and communicate openly and honestly from day one on their expectations and your business goals. When this is done well the loss of a key team member is barely felt and your business can continue successfully on its current trajectory.

Succession and talent planning matters. This has, in no small measure, been one of the key ingredients to the All Blacks continued success and competitive advantage over many years. What would you give to be the All Blacks of your sector?

Positive People have 22 years’ experience working with businesses to develop their future leaders.

For more information view Leadership Development