Leadership Skill: How to Handle Difficult Conversations
A good leader has the ability to empower others. It is important that a leader develop people who want to share and help in carrying out the goals of the organization. If it is your intention to develop a company where employees feel valued and appreciated, then how you handle disagreements can be crucial.
1. Whatever the issue ? bring it up in private. When you bring up disagreements in public those not involved feel out-of-place and uncomfortable. Also, their opinion of you is lowered.
2. Be sure of what you want to say, do it as soon as you can and deal only with the facts. Know what you want to say before bringing up the issue and don't let a lot of time go by before you say anything. Letting the issue sit will not make it go away but will make it bigger. Resentment sets in when there is a problem or a difficult situation and nothing is being done to solve it.
3. There may be many issues that you want to discuss but discuss only one at a time. Too many issues at one time can be overwhelming and it will be difficult to come to a solution.
4. Keep your voice at a moderate tone and do not speak in an accusatory manner. Using a loud voice and an accusatory tone can be intimidating and will be seen as aggression and can lead to a battle of words where no one listens and both parties lose. For those more timid, when faced with an intimidating person they will retreat, say nothing or say anything to keep the peace.
5. Give the person a chance to state their feelings or opinion and if you think you have heard something that you do not like, ask them to repeat it and try to understand ? do not get defensive. Sometimes when we assume we know the whole story and in our quest to be 'right' we only half listen. Instead of listening to understand we listen to contradict. Listen to understand.
6. Look at the issue from their point-of-view. Do not assume you know what the other person is thinking or that you know the whole story. Do not bring up things that the person cannot change.
Treat the person with respect and try to come to a solution that will benefit both parties. If you were wrong apologize.
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Quality Improvement is Free
The point of a quality improvement program should not only be to improve a product or the delivery of healthcare but it should also be to save time and money by reducing or eliminating waste or errors. For example, a doctor or nurse practitioner writes a prescription. We wouldn't deliver some of the best quality pills along with a few randomly chosen pills and we wouldn't completely incorrectly fill the prescription. To do either could create serious consequences. Rather, we want to only deliver the best quality. But there is another side to not achieving the best quality. If we incorrectly fill the prescription, even if there is no patient harm, there is waste. Once the error is found, the prescription must be refilled and paperwork redone. Wasted time and money for the healthcare provider!
How to Use an HR Consultant
Bringing an HR consultant into your organisation can often be the only way to get a particular objective achieved. It may be a project that needs to be delivered such as a recruitment campaign, a compensation & benefits review or the implementation of an HR information system. Another possibility may be the need to cover a maternity leave post. Whatever the company requirement, whether it be linked to strategic or operational HR there is a consultant to fit the bill, whether they be a generalist or specialist.
Is A Bad Attitude Permanent
Today there is great weight put on a person's attitude.It is as if this is something for which they are individually responsible and should be held to account for.
Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: Human Resources at Work
This article relates to the Human Resource Functions competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. It reflects one employee's satisfaction with the manner in which her HR department carried out their work. This competency examines how your employees feel with regards to the quality and implementation of the human resource role within your organization. A human resource department that is properly informed of employee issues, demonstrates a high integrity level, and communicates effectively with staff and management should expect a high satisfaction level in this competency area.
Interviewing Candidates: 3 Ways to Avoid Snap Judgments
Have you ever hired the wrong person? If so, perhaps you are an emotional interviewer?
Experiences of Management Coaching (Part 2)
In our experience, we have found that there are several reasons managers fail to get employees to see and acknowledge that they have a problem.
5 Management Decision Making Lessons from a Long Shot. A Heartening Belmont Victory
Like many, I watched the 134th Belmont Stakes hoping to see the first Triple Crown in 24 years. Instead, I saw the 70-1 long shot, Sarava, appear from nowhere to win. We should take heart from this unlikely victory. As small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs, the "big shots" often see us as long shots -- worth a cursory notice, but rarely more.
Managing Creativity - An Oxymoron! Not
Interrogated on a beach in Barbados by friends insistent that there was little validity to my speciality, I have felt compelled to answer the most common objections in the field of Managing Creativity and Innovation.
Do You Hear That?
I read a report in the Toronto Star stated that 70% of workplace errors happen because of communication breakdown and that many of them directly relate to a lack of listening skills.
Commercial Collections Billing Practices Advice
Swiftness is the key to collecting past due commercial accounts because commercial accounts depreciate more faster than consumer accounts.
Are You Ready to Sell Your Business
Make Sure You Understand Your Motivation for Selling
How Managers Can Help Retain Their Best Employees
A major problem for employers today is attracting the best talent, and then retaining key employees. Research shows that the key ingredient for retention lies within the manager's ability to understand what employees really want.
Running Successful Meetings - The Key Steps To Getting It Right
We all complain about meetings which are a waste of our time and the truth of the matter is that so many are exactly that. We've also seen the "corridor" meeting that takes place afterwards where it seems the real decisions are taken, or the agreed decisions are overturned.
Compensation and Six Sigma Black Belts
One of the more ambiguous elements of a Six Sigma project is the level and type of compensation the organization should give to its Six Sigma leaders and team members. On the one hand, setting compensation is not an integral part of any stage of a Six Sigma project; on the other hand, compensation is an important instrument to build loyalty and a sense of accomplishment that is a crucial element to the organization's Six Sigma success. While there are no hard and fast rules for compensation for Six Sigma leaders and team members, there are some good ways to think about how to productively provide compensation to your people.Black Belts are the key change agents for the Six Sigma process. They have an important role and should be compensated accordingly. If your organization is large enough to have people dedicated full-time to leading Six Sigma projects, their base pay should be in the top of your organization's range for their level of management. If your organization is asking a manager to also devote part of his or her time to leading a Six Sigma project, you need to find some way to compensate them for their extra efforts. In addition to base pay, you can find creative ways for recognition for completed projects. Black Belts should receive some special and public recognition for their efforts, whether it is dinners, award ceremonies, plaques, etc. Whatever fits best with your organizational culture. Such recognitions should not be strictly limited to Black Belts either, as acknowledging the achievements of all who participated in and benefit from the Six Sigma project should receive some sort of recognition to boost morale.Monetary bonuses are another way to compensate people for successful Six Sigma projects. Since Six Sigma projects are about helping the organization make more money it makes sense to share some of the cost savings from Six Sigma projects with the Six Sigma team. Develop a structured, team-based process improvement bonus system that will appropriately benefit each worker in the organization. As measurable and lasting improvements are made to processes, it is appropriate to share a part of the financial gains with employees. Just be sure there is a formal performance appraisal system that will identify what is to be accomplished, what success looks and feels like, and how an employee will be compensated, and that this is fully communicated to everyone. Such an organizational goal-sharing program will effectively support Six Sigma efforts. Being able to link compensation to Six Sigma implementation is much easier in a small company compared to a larger company. Bonuses can also be paid to Black Belts, but with differences due to their unique status. Instead of paying bonuses to Black Belts as a share of actual process improvement, pay them bonuses related to specific project goals. There is a danger in directly tying their bonus with a share of the actual improvements as they may be motivated to inflate or misconstrue actual gains. That still leaves you with many concrete project milestones that can be the basis for their compensation.
"We are so different and individualistic that we can't work together." Subroto Bag chi, a senior executive in wipro technologies and Indian Technology MNC, said to his chairman in a straight talk. But Premji, the chairman, simple reply to the statement was, "That's because we should work together."
Learn How To Get The Most From Your Team
Being a leader isn't easy. Every one looks to you to make decisions, resolve disputes, and to carry all the responsibility. Being a leader can be a lonely job.
How to Meet Quality Standards with ISO 9001
In today's hectic business environment, it is vital that we are all on the same page, right? But how do we know if we meet those standards? Business owners and executives can avoid the uncertainty, and that's where ISO 9001 certification comes in.
Dont Let Your Measurements Mislead You
Don't Let Your Measurements Mislead YouThere aren't too many words that can strike as much fear and loathing into the hearts of your internal customers, and sometimes your own employees as the words "Operational Measurements". Operational Measurements often get a bad rap because of their misuse by well intended, but misinformed management. And it's easy for your employees to view Operational Measurements as some kind of cheap trick to force more work out of them as you constantly try and force more and more production from your team. Meanwhile, your sales team thinks that you will use Operational Measurements to cloud the issue of customer satisfaction by pointing to your "great numbers" while leaving the customer very unhappy. The truth is that you cannot succeed in managing an operational organization without the proper measurements in place. Any attempt to run an organization without them is doomed to failure because you will lack the fundamental information required to manage your business. Coach Dave is a strong believer in Operational Measurements because he knows that the right measurements, taken in a consistent fashion will allow you to continuously improve the performance of the organization and the company. Yep, Operational Measurements are good. . . . except of course, when they are bad. In simple terms, Operational Measurements are progress meters that can tell you how well, or how poorly your group is performing. The key to successful Operational Measurements is to make sure that you are managing and measuring your key processes. It all starts with your departmental or company objectives. You should have 2 to 3 major objectives, depending upon the size and scope of your organization. The key is to focus on whatever it is that you are really being asked to deliver on, and then set up your objectives, and Operational Measurements in a way that can tell you if you are succeeding or not. If your objective is production based (i.e. produce 50 widgets per month) then make sure that your measurements track the number of widgets produced. If your measurement is time based (i.e. complete widgets within 10 days of receipt) then once again, make sure that your measurement tracks to the objective. You would be surprised how easy it is to create measurements that sound important, but have nothing to do with your stated objectives. For example, if you goal is to paint 10 houses each month a metric that tracks how many brushes you use may sound important for cost control purposes, but it really has nothing to do with the objective. By focusing on the number of brushes you use, you may actually impede your ability to complete the goal of 10 houses. Ensuring that your objectives and measurements are in synch will keep you and your department focused on the prize. Once you have your key measurements in place, you can start to look for a pattern in the results. If you are not able to meet your objectives, the question has to become "why". It could be a variety of factors from bad inputs, to bad processes, to bad people. To determine where the problem is, break out your measurements in that area to each key step in the process. As you examine those results it will become more apparent that "step 5" takes up 80% of the processing time. Then you can focus on reducing the time spent on that step. One other key factor to account for as you measure your process steps is "wait time". "Wait time" doesn't always manifest itself clearly in reporting, so spend the time to analyze how many handoffs exist in your process and ask yourself and your staff if some of those handoffs can be eliminated through combing functions, training, etc. It is simply amazing the amount of time lost in a process due to the "wait time" while an order is sent from one person to the next. Reducing the "wait time" can dramatically improve your results. In a nutshell, that's why you need to have good, clean Operational Measurements in place. Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count. - Albert EinsteinAny time your organization receives some kind of a work order from a customer (internal or external) adds value to it, and then either completes it or passes it along to another organization, you qualify as an Operational Organization. As an Operational Organization you need to have solid measurements in place to measure, validate, and eventually improve your own internal processes. But there is a downside to Operational Measurements as well. The downsides can take many forms, but the most common are when you start to measure everything that you do, simply because you can. Also, when your measurements rather than your customers, begin to drive how you do business. Are you counting the right things? The right way? Are you counting so many things that counting them has turned into your primary business? Are you helping your customers, or hurting them? That's the difference between good Operational Measurements, and bad ones. When Operational Measurements Go Bad: When you first implement your Operational Measurements, you will spend a lot of time analyzing, improving, and tweaking them. The painstaking process of developing and implementing the right measurements requires a lot of time up front. But that time is time well invested to make sure your measurements are complete, accurate, and in synch with your organizational objectives. You must spend the necessary hours making sure that your Operational Measurements track to your objectives, that they provide a consistent measurements, and that they are at the appropriate level of detail to allow you to identify weaknesses in your operation, and implement improvements. But, when you find yourself counting things because you can, or you begin adding measurements that do not relate to your objectives that's the first sign of trouble. Also, when your Operational Measurements become the sole driver in your organization, that's a pretty good sign that you've turned the corner and are headed down the wrong path. Remember, not everything that counts, can be counted. And just because you can count it, doesn't mean you should count it. Let's use the example we previously discussed of a house painter. For our purposes here, this is a big house painting company with multiple crews who do different types of painting. At the start of the year the decision is made to set a new objective for your crew. You are now being asked to paint 13 houses per month with the same size crew, up from just 10 last year. You sit down with your crew and begin to look for ways to improve productivity. You make the necessary changes to your team or process and then set out to accomplish your new goal. Your changes are effective and productivity improves and you start reaching your new goal. Then, a funny thing happens. You get a memo from your boss that goes something like this. "The bean counters tell me that your paint brush usage is up 15% above last year. Every dollar counts, so I'm putting together a special task force to cut the number of paintbrushes being used. We need to reduce our paint brush usage to 10% below last years level within 30 days." And . . . . we're off . . . . this is what I sometimes refer to as "The Operational Measurement Shuffle". What is the Operational Measurements Shuffle? It's a dance that management sometimes does where we lose focus on our objectives and instead start dancing with a lot of extraneous information that may LOOK important, but really isn't. Sometimes it's not entirely clear when the Operational Measurements Shuffle actually begins. But if you pay attention, you'll see the dance by the end of the first chorus. We're now going to start counting things (paintbrush usage) that has nothing to do with our objectives, but that looks important to someone else far away. Notice that the boss didn't ask you to explain why paintbrush usage was up, nor did he look at the cost/benefit of paintbrush usage versus revenue, he just told you to reduce the usage. You can expect this new measurement to be followed by new measurements of the painters' hats being used, the amount of thinner being used, and questions about the number of rungs required on the ladders. And lastly he blamed the "bean counters". The uninformed always blame the bean counters. At first glance you might think that it's ok to wonder about the paintbrush usage. And it is. But there is a difference between asking a question, and putting in new measurements to track them. For example, a smart boss would have called and asked about the increase in the number of paintbrushes being used. Your response might have been something like this. "That's right. Our paintbrush usage is up. In order to meet our goals for the year (13 houses per month) we made a change from regular paintbrushes to disposable paintbrushes. The new brushes cost 30% less than the old ones, plus we save on turpentine, and clean up time at the end of each day. So our paintbrush usage is up, but our costs are flat or down." With a good boss, that will end the discussion. You've answered the questions, explained the variance, and shown that there is just cause for the increase. But a bad boss will not listen at all, or will just pretend to listen and then suggest new measurements on paintbrush usage. With a bad boss the fact that there is a valid reason for the increase in paintbrush usage is not really relevant. Paintbrush usage is up, and it must be reduced. For a bad boss, it's as simple as that. If you have learned how to manage your boss, then maybe you can convince them that the measurements are not relevant by showing how they don't relate to and can even detract from your objectives. But some bosses are so enamored with measurements that they can't tell a good measurement from a bad one. The long and short of this discussion is simple. If your measurements are clearly in support of your objectives, you are most likely on the right track. If your measurements have wandered from the objectives, no longer support your customers, or even put you at odds with your objectives, it's time to take a step back and rethink your measurements. After all, who are we to argue with Einstein
Deciding What to Delegate
DECIDING WHAT TO DELEGATE: Once the benefits of delegation are established and obstacles removed, the next step in the delegation process is to decide what work can and should be delegated. In general, work to be delegated should adhere to the following guidelines: - It can be handled adequately down the line. - All necessary information for decision making is also available down the line. - The work involves operational detail rather than planning or organization. - The task does not require skills unique to the manager or position. - An individual other than the manager has, or can have, direct control over the task.
Management Procedures Usability ? How to Improve
Are your people consistently following your procedures? Each year, organizations lose thousands of dollars through common mistakes and lapses in usability. But what does that mean for business owners and executives?
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