Thursday, April 28, 2005

Trip Report Effective Supervision II -- day two

Day Two:

Managing Time and Successful Delegation

The following model was discussed for use in deciding what needs to be done:

Important and urgent

Important but not urgent

Urgent but not important

Not urgent and not important

Discussion included information on procrastination, delegation how, when and why, and project management.

Real World: Risk Taking, Decision Making, Problem Solving

One systematic approach was discussed in detail it included the following steps:

  1. Assess reality
  2. Clarify goals
  3. Define the problem
  4. Gather data and analyze
  5. Generate alternatives
  6. Implement best solutions
  7. Follow up and evaluate

We had quizzes and assessments for all kinds of topics including: learning styles, communication style, meeting participant style, right brain/left brain orientations, how well do I delegate, and aptitude for becoming a mentor.

Ideas and factoids presented:

The Basic of Time Management

  • Time is a unique resource. Everyone has the same amount daily
  • It cannot be accumulated
  • You cannot turn it on or off
  • It cannot be replaced
  • It has to spend at the rate of sixty seconds every minute

Some of Today’s Facts

  • Average working times over the last decade have increased by 20% and leisure time decreased by 32%
  • 43% of people find it difficult to delegate
  • Now 75% work more than 40 hours each week
  • 81% suffer stress at least once per week
  • A manager on average spends 3 hours each day on interruptions
  • One in eight telephone calls gets repeated because something was forgotten
  • The average manager spends 3 hours each week looking for things on that desk. A manager’s desk holds 36 hours of work. They spend 11 hours a week in meetings.

Ideas to Control Procrastination

  • Change your attitude
  • Decide to do the most unpleasant job of the day first
  • Break the job down into small tasks
  • Commit yourself by telling someone you’re going to do the job
  • Set your deadline
  • Reward yourself at stages through the job
  • Remove/avoid your escape/distracters – for e.g. socializing
  • Schedule start times for jobs
  • Stick to high priority jobs
  • List the advantages of not doing the job, and the advantages of doing it, and compare the two lists.
  • Consider the consequences of procrastination
  • Do one job at a time
  • Ask ‘what is the best use of my time now?’

Timesaving Tips

  1. Do your thinking on paper. You will make quicker and better decisions if you write down the pros and cons of a line of action. This doesn’t take time, it saves time!
  2. Use a “slush” file – have a specific place to put all papers which are not important enough to file permanently but which you feel uncomfortable about throwing away just yet.
  3. In handling correspondence, consider answering routine letters and memos on the original, running them through the office copier for your own records and returning the original to the sender
  4. If long periods of sitting make you lethargic, arrange two working levels so you can do some of your work standing up.
  5. If you find it difficult to get any “quiet time,” try to arrive at the office before anyone else to gain uninterrupted time for planning and other tasks.
  6. Get at least 20 minute of programmed exercise every day, and throughout the day use every opportunity to walk, stand, climb stairs, bend over, etc. This not only promotes health but also increases “prime time” by reducing fatigue.
  7. Avoid clutter. Keep everything you are not working on out of your immediate working area and out of sight, if possible. Always tidy up your desk and work area before leaving the office.
  8. Set up a desk date file (sometimes called a future file, a suspense file or tickler file) to provide an automatic method of bringing papers to your attention on specific dates in the future.
  9. Never do errands on impulse. Plan your route carefully, handling as many errands as possible each time.
  10. Make maximum use of catalogs when shopping either for personal items or office supplies
  11. “Let your fingers do the walking.” Before running errands, phone to compare prices, determine availability, etc.
  12. Plan each night what you are going to wear the next day, and lay it out ahead of time.
  13. Hire someone to do yardwork, housework and other routine home chores where possible. Don’t get hung up on the “do it yourself” syndrome.
  14. Use window envelopes where appropriate for correspondence, saving the time of a second typing of the name and address.
  15. Have your phone and driver’s license numbers, as well as your name and address, printed on personal checks.
  16. Plan your televiewing a week ahead, so that you will be mores selective in what you watch. Never turn on a TV set just “to see what’s on.”
  17. Hire specialists to handle things you could do yourself but probably not as quickly or as well.
  18. Learn to read routine material more rapidly. Don’t “backtrack,” compulsively rereading phrases before going on.
  19. Write a memo to yourself for future reference whenever you have completed a difficult task which is going to recur. You will benefit more from an experience if you have made a written record of your mistakes and of the lessons learned.
  20. If you are always “putting out fires,” ask yourself after each crisis: (a) Why did it occur? (b) What can be done to prevent its recurrence? And (c) If it does recur, how can I handle it better next time?
  21. Ask yourself Townsend’s question a hundred times a day: “Is what I am doing, or about to do, moving me toward my objectives?”
  22. Purchase, rent or borrow from your library cassette tapes on time management, self-motivation and similar subjects, as well as any that are available tin your professional fields, and listen to them whenever you are traveling in your car.
  23. Carry a cassette recorder when traveling or making calls. It is the most convenient way of making detailed notes following a phone conversation or while driving or flying.
  24. Don’t be afraid to give yourself time frequently to relax, to meditate or even to “goof off.” But do so as result of a conscious decision so that you can relax completely. Don’t drift into periods of dawdling, when you are half-working, half-resting.
  25. Consider moving closer to your place of work. This is a big step, but if you saved only 15 minutes on commuting time each way, you would gain an additional three weeks of working (or playing) time per year!
  26. Rewrite and reprioritize your goals and activities at least every three months. The world changes, we change and so must our goals.
  27. Work on only one item at a time.
  28. Buy paperback books, remove a chapter at a time and read it during your waiting times
  29. Expect others to succeed; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  30. Don’t over-control others. It is frustrating for them and time-consuming for you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Trip Report - Effective Supervision II - day one

Another two days of training with the very entertaining British woman.

Day One:
The Supervisor’s Role in Impacting Performance

This was a day of learning about how to coach, when to coach and who to coach.

There was a lot of discussion on what motivates people. Interestingly enough money only comes in at #4. However, it is recognized as an important motivator particularly if said money does or does not provide a decent living. We had tests on performance values, motivation (i.e. what motivates us, what would motivate others), and what do people what from their jobs. And there were lots of “fun” role-playing activities to do in small groups.

From the manual page 1 –19

11 Guaranteed Ways to Kill Motivation:

  1. Tell the employee exactly how to do the job
  2. Stress busy-ness rather than results
  3. Manipulate employees rather than treat them as adults
  4. Care only about yourself and your concerns
  5. Don’t listen to employees’ ideas, concerns, or suggestions
  6. Dwell on weaknesses and failures
  7. Never tell an employee what they’re doing right
  8. Don’t get them involved
  9. Don’t give any awards
  10. Never provide opportunities for growth or challenge
  11. Either expect second best or absolute perfection.

The video for the day was “Whale Done” a very good movie about how trainers for a seaworld work with Orcas. It was very entertaining. Many of us are ready for a career change to whale trainer.

Supervising for Success

This part of the day focused on the performance management cycle and coaching, it included a six-step coaching model:

  1. State what has been observed
  2. Wait for a response
  3. Remind them of the goal
  4. Ask for a specific solution
  5. Agree together on a course of action
  6. Make it private and positive

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Trip Report: Effective Supervision I - day two

Day Two

Establishing Effective Workplace Relationship

This was a brief bit on self-assessment and the value of honest, respectful, communicative relationships.

Performance Driven Leadership

More discussion of leadership styles and this section referenced the interpersonal styles work mentioned at the beginning. There was a lot of information and exercises. Info included:

Twelve Identifiable Traits of Organizational Fear

  1. Increased telling of untruths
  2. People hiding mistakes
  3. People hesitating to exercise initiative and take risks
  4. Productivity decreasing and “extra efforts” disappearing
  5. C.Y.A. (cover your anatomy) becoming an art form
  6. Increased passive/aggressive behavior
  7. High AT&T (absenteeism, tardiness and turnover)
  8. Obsequious behavior
  9. Blaming
  10. Informing
  11. Hostile interpersonal relationships
  12. Overall demonstration of negativity

Primary Root Causes of Poor Leadership Performance

  • Ineffective communication
  • One-dimensional leadership
  • Unwillingness to subordinate self
  • Fear-based style
  • Distancing from responsibility
  • Abrasive/abusive conduct
  • Poor delegation strategies
  • Failure of example
  • Remaining a “buddy”
  • Micromanagement
  • Disillusioned with leadership
  • Inability to lead change
  • Violations of trust

Five Principles of Empowerment

  1. Give people important work to do on critical issues
  2. Give people discretion and autonomy over their tasks and resources
  3. Give visibility to others and provide recognition for their efforts
  4. Build relationships for others, connecting them with powerful people and finding them sponsors and mentors.
  5. Help others to develop their own personal power and effectiveness

Traits of an Innovative Leader

  1. They have a mission
  2. They create a vision
  3. They trust their employees
  4. They keep their heads in a crisis
  5. They encourage risk-taking
  6. They are experts
  7. They know what is essential
  8. They listen
  9. They are teachers and mentor

Leadership Beatitudes Are:

Be bold and challenge the status quo

Be a risk taker

Be authentic and approachable

Be a role model

Be out and about

Be courageous

Be inspirational

There is a lot of information in the manual I received. All of the above is quoted from the manual, which quotes other sources. There is a large bibliography of recommended reading too.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Trip Report: Effective Supervision I - day one

Two days of training with the very entertaining British woman. Delightful accent, lots of energy, interesting stories, she was a fabulous teacher.

We began the day with an analysis of our own interpersonal style. This was FASCINATING and explained a lot about how we as individuals relate to others. It was a much simpler process than the MBTI and really was an interesting assessment. I highly recommend this trainer and this process for one of our retreats! There was a video that went along with this that was vastly entertaining. (Particularly for a training video)…

Day One

Supervision: Roles, Expectations and Responsibilities

Discussion and learning objectives centered on identifying roles and challenges of being a supervisor. There were quizzes, assessments, videos to help with this process.

Effective Managerial Communication

Assess the type of message, the audience and how to communicate it. Do not email corrective action.

Listening skills and this was not just a “parrot back” type of active listening. This section was interesting although it did include the dreaded “role playing” activities.

Impediments to Effective Listening

  • Impatiently waiting to talk
  • Information overload
  • Preoccupation
  • Perceived low value of message
  • Prejudice (low value of the messenger)
  • The challenges of concentration
  • Jumping to concluisions
  • Preconceivedc assumptions
  • Selective listening
  • Embracing the minutia
  • Lack of empathy
  • Emotions (fear, anger, grief, etc.)
  • Physical distractions
  • Poor delivery of the messages
  • Replaying the positive

Four Ineffective Listening Styles

  1. The missing in action listener
  2. The distracted listener
  3. The selective listener
  4. The contentious listener

The Twelve Characteristics of an Effective Listener

  1. Have a strong commitment to the listening process
  2. Realize that listening skills are neither instinctive nor eternal
  3. Are motivated to learn, practice and reinforce their active listening skills
  4. Display high self-confidence and self-assurance by listening effectively
  5. Are high efficient in completing their assignments and fulfilling their responsibilities.
  6. Demonstrate greater flexibility in resolving disagreements and conflicts
  7. Participate more intelligently and effectively in conversations
  8. Are as focused on their communication partner’s message as they are on their own
  9. Make more decisions based on a solid foundation of facts and data and avoid reactionary, shoot-from-the-hip conclusions
  10. Experience greater upward career mobility
  11. Suffer less embarrassment resulting from foolish mistakes or incompetent decisions
  12. Successfully control the listening barriers that effect their reception of messages.