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Archive for February, 2016

28
Feb

Supporting Multiple Managers

Working for multiple managers requires serious organization. You must constantly monitor tasks and projects and track various due dates, meetings, and timelines. The following tips can ensure that all your managers know what is going on and help you avoid conflicting priorities.shutterstock_68508943 copy

  • Meet with your managers regularly to become familiar with their desired outcomes and the expectations they have of you. Ask them to share the big picture of what is happening in the company, so you can better understand your role.
  • Request that each manager give you deadlines and priority levels for all assignments. If timing and priority are unimportant, suggest your own deadlines, based on your workload and other deliverables.
  • Develop a master spreadsheet that includes every assignment you have been given by each manager. Include deadlines and priorities. Give a copy to each manager.
    • A whiteboard report posted in your office is an effective tool to keep everyone aware of your weekly goals. Use red for critical and milestone dates. You can also put a Word table, Excel spreadsheet, or calendar page on your shared drive. Every Monday, print out the report for the week and post it on your wall where everyone can see it.
    • Communicate with each manager immediately when scheduling conflicts arise.
    • Do what you can to encourage your managers to meet with each other to discuss their priorities. As a team, they can help you schedule your work, which will make everyone involved with your projects more productive.

If you have 12 people pulling you in 12 different directions, your productivity will suffer. Know who your ultimate manager is. This person has the authority to ensure you are not overwhelmed and can be positively productive while meeting everyone’s needs.

For more information, see my blog posts Don’t Let Someone Hold You Up and Tips for Managing Multiple Priorities.

21
Feb

Get Along with Your Manager

Working for multiple managers requires serious organization. You must constantly monitor tasks and projects and track various due dates, meetings, and timelines. The following tips can ensure that all your managers know what is going on and help you avoid conflicting priorities.shutterstock_98421482

  • Meet with your managers regularly to become familiar with their desired outcomes and the expectations they have of you. Ask them to share the big picture of what is happening in the company, so you can better understand your role.
  • Request that each manager give you deadlines and priority levels for all assignments. If timing and priority are unimportant, suggest your own deadlines, based on your workload and other deliverables.
  • Develop a master spreadsheet that includes every assignment you have been given by each manager. Include deadlines and priorities. Give a copy to each manager.
    • A whiteboard report posted in your office is an effective tool to keep everyone aware of your weekly goals. Use red for critical and milestone dates. You can also put a Word table, Excel spreadsheet, or calendar page on your shared drive. Every Monday, print out the report for the week and post it on your wall where everyone can see it.
    • Communicate with each manager immediately when scheduling conflicts arise.
    • Do what you can to encourage your managers to meet with each other to discuss their priorities. As a team, they can help you schedule your work, which will make everyone involved with your projects more productive.

If you have 12 people pulling you in 12 different directions, your productivity will suffer. Know who your ultimate manager is. This person has the authority to ensure you are not overwhelmed and can be positively productive while meeting everyone’s needs.

For more information, see my blog posts Don’t Let Someone Hold You Up and Tips for Managing Multiple Priorities.

14
Feb

Lead for Results

Some people are natural leaders; most of us need to learn how to lead. Here are some tips to help you be a stronger leader and get the results you need.leadership key

  • Walk your talk. If you want your team to deliver results and be positively productive, you need to set the right example. Do your best every day and hold yourself to a higher standard than everyone else.
  • Maintain a leadership attitude. Leaders don’t crumble when things hit the fan or when faced with a challenge. They step up and take charge, encouraging their team to stay focused on the goal, remain calm, and be positive.
  • Share the glory. Show your appreciation for hard work by rewarding and recognizing the accomplishments of your team members. When you acknowledge their successes and give them credit when it is due, you gain their trust and loyalty.
  • Be accountable. Share the glory, but assume accountability for the actions of your team. Hold each person responsible for results and a level of performance, but the buck really stops with you as the leader. This takes courage and humility when things have gone wrong, but these are the characteristics of authentic leadership. For more information, see my blog post Are You an Accountable Leader?
  •  Listen and learn. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers. A good leader learns from others and is willing to discover new, better ways of doing things.  Encourage your team to make suggestions for improvement and act on the ones that will make a positive difference.

Leadership can be challenging, especially if you also are a manager and are  responsible for day-to-day productivity. These tips can help you improve your leadership ability easily and effectively. For more help, check out my Lead 4 Results e-learning program.

7
Feb

Improve Your Professionalism

Continuous learning is necessary for a successful career, to become a valued employee, and to enhance your professionalism. Here are four strategies to focus on this year.shutterstock_79452490

  1. 1.    Enhance a skill you’re good at. Sometimes we get complacent about what we do well and don’t think about becoming even stronger in this skill. Like any muscle, your areas of strength need to be worked and improved to become even stronger. Choose one skill that you’re good at and set a goal to deepen this skill by taking a class, reading a book, or listening to an audio.
  2. 2.    Strengthen an area of weakness. Where do you need improvement? Focus on an area that will do the most for your career. For example, many people are afraid to speak in public, but this skill is necessary if you aspire to advancement or to a leadership role. Join Toastmasters, take a class in public speaking, or hire a coach to help you.
  3. 3.    Network inside your company. Networking is invaluable for long-term success. Who you know and who knows you can open doors to opportunities that you may not otherwise discover. Each month, meet at least two new people in your organization and get together with someone you already know for lunch or coffee and reconnect with them. See my blog post Network within Your Own Organization for more information.
  4. 4.    Join professional organizations. Join and become active in professional organizations to enhance your reputation and demonstrate your abilities outside your company. When you become known as an expert in your field, you burnish your reputation and open the door to opportunities for advancement.

Improving your skills is a career-long activity. Set an intention to continue to learn and grow in order to remain competitive and enrich what you have to offer your organization.