A note about self motivation

I am convinced that people have immeasurable potential. I also believe that some people’s potential is suppressed by factors like fear, procrastination, etc. These suppressors have a dual impact. First, they keep individuals and teams from excelling at what they do. Second, suppressors keep people from going beyond what they think they can achieve, and this keeps them from realizing their true potential. Each person would do well to take a look at themselves beyond what they are able to achieve now. Each individual should take aim at what they can achieve based on their potential and pursue it with fanatical determination.
From Leadership: A Moving Target by Jorge Acuna

Effective Time Management & Your Online Presence

To manage a business effectively, today’s world demands having an online presence. That means having a Web site, using email for communications and marketing, and networking via social media. Here is the catch. Have you noticed how easily some people can spend hours on emails or on social media sites like Facebook? To manage your online presence online effectively it takes planning and discipline. Here is a tool that might help you plan and manage your time online better: the 30-30-30-10 online presence management model.
First, decide how much time per day or week you are willing to dedicate to your business’ online presence. Then distribute that time into four areas as follows:

Spend 30 percent of your time online focusing on business and logistics. This is the time you devote to fixing a graphic on your Web site, writing your next email campaign ad, or adding a blog about a relevant topic and sharing it on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The next 30 percent should be spent communicating directly with prospects and customers. This is when you post your “likes” and comments on prospects and customers. This engages them online.

Another 30 percent is used for networking to continue building your relationships with colleagues, peers, or employees if you have them. This is your opportunity to see what others are doing well and to coach others.

Finally spend the last 10 percent of your allocated time to planning for the future and tweaking your strategies.


This simple 30-30-30-10 model will allow you to maintain and grow your online presence at a steady rate. You may certainly adapt to changes in circumstances. The important part is to have a plan and the discipline to follow it.

30 30 30 10

How much time do managers spend on Conflict?

Survey Results and Management Tips

Surveys by many different groups across the years indicate that managers spend 10%-26% of their time managing conflict in the workplace. As an average, this accounts for a full day each week!

Table 1 Accounttemps* CPP** CIPD*** Total Average
Time spent on resolving conflict 18% 26% 9% 18%

 

As disturbing as these numbers may appear, there is an underlying concern not clearly revealed by these numbers.

Nearly 6% of managers who successfully brought conflict to a resolution report that it taking over 10 days to resolve their recent situation. Add this to the fact that nearly half of the managers dealing with conflict report that its having a negative impact on productivity within their organization.

These alarming numbers make us quickly realize that conflict is both costly and long-lasting.  Since ignoring workplace conflict only allows it to prolong lost productivity, our only viable option is to manage the conflict quickly and effectively. Better yet, learn how to identify its early signs and prevent it altogether.

Here are some tips

  • Learn how the interaction between different personalities contributes to conflict.
  • Train managers and staff to identify the sources of conflict.
  • When the early signs of conflict appear, act quickly to prevent its escalation.
  • When conflict happens, help individuals see how they can use their personality strengths.

Three lessons learned from the conference

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 This past weekend Jorge Acuna, president of Learning4Managers, presented for an audience of 6,000 business owners and professionals in The Orleans Hotel Arena in Las Vegas. Here are the top three lessons learned from discussions with participants after the event.

Show your passion

Passion is contagious, and when you want others to believe in your product or service, your passion will be the most important factor in making a decision.

Never stop learning

There are learning opportunities all around us all the time. Becoming an expert does not mean that you stopped learning about a topic. On the contrary, it means that you continue to learn about it.

Everyone has a story

Every individual you get in touch with is like a brand new book. Learn to appreciate their story, and you’ll watch them open up more and more.

Workplace Violence

About 3 of every 10 employees are victimized at work

A recent report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a section of the US Department of Justice, indicates that a high number of employees in the private sector report being victimized by people they work with.

Over 28% of men and nearly 40% of women report being victims of violence by a relationship at work, such as a customer, a patient, a supervisor, an employee or a peer.  Out of all of these, Coworker violence frequency appears to rate the highest.Coworker violence continues to be a concern in the workplace. Not only is it disruptive to the workplace and people’s lives in the short-term, its effects on productivity and on staff’s motivation can be long-lasting.

To keep employees engaged in the workplace we need to take measures to curb these trends in workplace violence, and the first step is prevention. One of the keys to prevention is educating staff to recognize and prevent triggers that can lead to violence.

To assess your readiness to prevent violence at work, ask yourself

What steps are being taking in my organization to prevent violence in the workplace?
When was the last time I took a conflict management course?
When was the last time our  team discussed how to handle difficult people at work?
Can I identify key triggers to most conflict situations?
If your answers to these questions concern you, we invite you to attend our premier webinar

Managing Conflict: Personality Types in the Workplace

Managing Conflict: How Managers Learn Their Skills

In our Learning4Managers Survey we asked managers how they learned to manage conflict. The majority of them, to the tune of 38%, indicated having learned this skill On the job at a previous job. This answer was followed by 34% who claim to have been Self-taught.  On the job at a current job was the next highest ranking choice at 16% and finally In school ranked last at at 12%.

It is worth noting that no manager considered this skill Not Applicable in the survey, which underlines the importance to know how to deal with conflict in today’s workplace.

What raises concern is that at least three of every ten managers learned claim to be self-taught. This implies they do not count with the support of formal training in the topic, and may be exposing themselves and their organizations to serious consequences.  

Managing Conflict 2013

Leaders and managers come into conflict situations almost daily. The conflict can be with superiors, peers, with those they supervise and with vendors and clients. If these conflict situations are not well managed, they can easily escalate into more serious matters.

An argument between a manager and a Vice President can lead to ongoing resentments and loss of productivity. A feud between departments can lead to lost productivity.  Workplace bullying can lead to low motivation and frustration. A disgruntled employee or customer might escalate the issue into a full blown fight, and put the entire organization in the midst of a legal battle. In the worst case scenarios we have seen in the news acts of unbelievable violence sometimes caused by poor conflict management skills.

If managers are not sufficiently prepared to manage these situations, or are left to their own resources (and three out of ten indicate they are), we are putting our organizations and the people in them at risk.

In today’s business world we cannot afford not to provide sufficient support to our managers, particularly when it comes to conflict training. We encourage leaders and managers alike to investigate internally how their staff learned to deal with conflict, and to establish comprehensive training as well as policies to promote a productive and healthy work environment.

If you are interested in learning more about conflict resolution, attend our Conflict Management Webinar on May 22. Register now and get a full report with the results of our entire survey. Space to the Webinar is limited, Register Today.

 

Managing Conflict in the Workplace

We continue our series of reports based on the ongoing Learning4Managers Survey: Learning Competencies for Supervisors and Managers.

Year after year we hear about the increase of bullying behaviors and conflict in the workplace. Still few managers receive any formal training on the managing conflict in the workplace.

The survey results show that only 13% of responding managers learned how to deal with conflict as part of their formal education. The same number learned to deal with conflict while employed at their current job. Does this make you wonder if companies assume that experienced managers should come with this skill as part of their portfolio? To participate on our ongoing confidential survey please follow this link: SURVEY

Most managers told us they learned conflict management skills at their previous job (39%), and almost as many told us they were self-taught (34.7%). Once again, we emphasize that there is little evidence of a formal training process at stake here. As a matter of fact, with so few managers receiving formal training in school in this subject matter, it is hard to believe there is any standardized training taking place.

The results imply that managers today are approaching the matter in the same way managers have done for years: doing the best they can without formal support, training, or standard methods. This approach can lead to serious problems at work. With nothing but anecdotal information to go by, managers may be unknowingly fostering or ignoring ongoing conflict which could escalate into bullying or violence.

We strongly suggest that you take a look at your management practices and establish not just policies and procedures to prevent conflict at work, but develop training that supports you and your staff on how to manage conflict in healthy ways. In a few weeks, after we complete our series of reports on our managers survey results, we’ll address some best practices you can implement to manage conflict and train your staff.

Contact us for assistance and training on how to manage conflict in healthy ways at work.

Effective Performance Reviews Start with Training

A manager’s first task is to make sure they have the right team on board.

Their next step is to keep that team motivated and productive. The challenge is finding ways to measure productivity and motivation. One way managers evaluate their team members is by conducting performance reviews.

In our recent survey we asked managers where they learned critical management skills, including how to conduct performance reviews. Respondents chose from the following options: self-taught, learned in school, at work in a previous job, at work in their current workplace, or not applicable.

The initial survey results indicate that nearly half of the surveyed managers learned to conduct performance reviews at their previous job. About a quarter of the remaining surveys report having been self-taught, and another quarter learned how to conduct performance reviews at their current job.

To participate on our ongoing, confidential survey please follow this link: SURVEY

An interesting challenge organizations may face here is that with almost 3/4 of their managers learning to conduct performance reviews elsewhere, organizations don’t always think it necessary to review and assess how they do it.

Leaders often make the mistake of assuming that experienced managers have learned skills elsewhere, and that is in part one of the reasons they are so valuable to the company, saving them the time to re-train them.

While experience is important, different organizations may have different cultures and ideas as to how to conduct reviews. This can lead to confusion and tensions during the review process. Imagine a company with two managers. One is taught at a previous job that performance reviews are an opportunity to reward good work. The other manager learned at a previous job that reviews are an opportunity to point out flaws.

To maintain employee engagement the organization must invest in standardizing and retraining managers to ensure they use an approach that supports motivation, engagement and better performance. An approach must match the corporate culture as well as the needs of the employees.

Learning How to Conduct Interviews

Learning4Managers is conducting an online survey on Learning Competencies for Supervisors and Managers. In the survey, we asked those in management and supervisory roles how they acquired the key competencies and skills needed in their position. Specifically, we wanted to know if the skills were self-taught, learned in school, at work in a previous job, at work in their current workplace, or not applicable.

One of the competencies we asked about was Conducting Interviews. Attracting and hiring the right staff is the first key step towards building strong and successful teams. Making a bad hire can also mean many hours of conflict, stress and difficulties for the team.

Identifying who the rock-stars are among the many candidates that are interviewed, and getting the right people onboard is no easy task. You would expect that organizations make it a priority for managers and supervisors to be well prepared in this area.

However, what we found was that organizations might not be doing a great job at preparing hiring managers for the task. Our survey reveals that 1 in 5 managers and supervisors learned the skill at a previous job.

The rest claim to have been self-taught (see image). These numbers are in line with anecdotal reports from the many managers and supervisors we have worked with over the years.

In countries like the USA this is of particular concern because there are many laws and regulations that directly affect the hiring process. Courses on discrimination like “Discrimination and the Law” should be mandatory training for managers and supervisors before they begin conducting interviews. Refresher courses should be offered on a regular basis to ensure adherence to best practices.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, regulations such as the “Saudization Programme” are mission-critical to corporations if they want to continue to do business in that country. Without a clear understanding and training on how to implement these regulations, companies may be at risk to miss out on the most talented staff or even be at risk of being in noncompliance with the law.

If you need assistance developing a training strategy for new supervisors and managers regarding interview practices, Learning4Managers is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Surviving Your New Leadership Role- Dealing with the Team’s Fears

Starting a leadership role with a new company or becoming a first-time leader can be as exciting as it can be challenging.

Many new managers enter situations where the old-ways linger, and where there is little or no motivation to change. However, as new managers in charge we may be asked to increase performance or productivity. What can we do when we are responsible for improved results, but the culture of the company isn’t ready for change?

When teams go through change they need to adjust. Just as we adjust to becoming new leaders, the team needs to adjust to your new role. Understanding this fear and responding to alleviate it appropriately can help foster a culture conducive to change.

Team members’ uncertainty about the future keeps them from feeling vested in change. If they don’t know what the future will bring, they will fear it. Let’s face it, it feels safer and comfortable to keep things the same. For most people, it is better to resist change than to venture into the unknown.

Our first step towards facilitating change is to build engagement. As you know, motivating teams is hard enough. To motivate them to change is even harder. You’ll need to start by removing obstacles such as fear of the unknown. Develop a communication strategy that helps your team understand what to expect during the change period. Clarify what is expected of them and what they are accountable for. These steps will be a start to building engagement.

You’ll be wise to include your team in the development process where appropriate, so they understand their needs are being heard, and that their opinions have been taken into consideration. Once you build a system of communication and fair accountability, build checkpoints to evaluate progress and monitor staff engagement. Taking these steps to alleviate the teams fears will create an environment that can foster growth and positive change.