By Michael O’Flynn
Managerial positions can be a tricky environment to operate in, dealing with various personalities, competencies and levels of reliability. Ensuring all members of the team under your control are given the necessary attention and direction can cause headaches and unneeded stress.
Developing the skills to become a high-functioning member of the management team requires experience and qualifications, but, here at Professional Academy we use a number of quick, ‘one-minute’ management techniques that can be implemented to boost performances in the workplace.
Cumulative skills building
C-suite management tend to share a similar set of skills, a golden formula that results in a harmonious, well-performing team of individuals coming together for the betterment of the business. The first selection of one-minute techniques stack upon one another resulting in long term professional and personal skill building.
When holding meetings or simple one-to-one conversations, practice the following: Keep an open mind, assertiveness, timing, and avoid over-using “I”. Entering an interaction with these in mind will instil a level of personal boundaries which become instinctive.
Some managers seem to disregard the fact that those they deal with are just humans too; conversation techniques such as these can help form more personal relationships, encouraging sharing whilst still delivering a level of assertiveness to claim professional respect for hierarchy.
Another great, short-term method to increase work-place bonds is to ensure you recognise employee productivity. Entering conversations offering recognition for the other party’s work not only demonstrates to them a level of care and attention, but also results in the management team being more aware of what is actually being achieved by their team.
Immediate de-escalation tactics
Disagreements happen, it’s unavoidable in business; some people are just polar opposites and when placed in the same team (or under your management), debates over simple decisions fly riot. With the potential to upset work-group balance and productivity levels, it’s vital that you have a grasp of quick-fire de-escalation tactics.
Set stages play out with office disagreements and it’s important that you have the capacity to deal with each section. To begin with, do not become defensive; you are in charge and the employee needs to remember this. Even if it’s just to ask what the issue is, always try to take the front foot; this immediately sets the tone for the conversation and allows you the ability to proactively question rather than reactively respond.
Sometimes things go south, so another method of bringing down arguments is to simply stop. If the level of control shifts to the other party, take back the steering wheel by stopping the exchange; drastic though it may seem, oftentimes having the ability to know when to stop and establish another time to talk once emotions have subsided, can help avoid complicated situations.
The levels of punctuality and timekeeping demonstrated from the top impacts those below; a lackadaisical approach from management affects those further down the hierarchy. Many great businesspeople can lose hours due to email overload, which brings us to our next one-minute technique: If an email takes over 60 seconds to respond to, file it away and come back to it. Long email chains back and forth can eat the day away without you even realising; allocated hours per week to deal with these longer form messages can help reduce distractions during day-to-day work.
These are just a few quick tips on techniques designed to boost your managerial skills. Implementing one or two of these can help managerial teams develop better working relationships with employees while also providing additional tools to your managerial skills kit.
Michael O’Flynn is Marketing & Sales Director at Professional Academy