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Archive: Jun 2018

8 ways to improve your time management at work?

Posted: June 27, 2018 2:49 pm
Positive time management is essential to career progress. Time is a limited resource and one that we cannot get back if it is wasted. We all work within the same time limits – only 24 hours in a day – so what can you do to improve your time management at work and make sure you’re getting the most from the hours that you have?

1. Learn to self-care

There is nothing more important than learning how to look after your body and mind so that you can perform at your best. No amount of goal setting or efficiency training will work if you’re sleep deprived and living off a diet of refined sugar. Regular exercise, nutrient-rich food and positive sleep patterns provide an essential foundation for positive time management.

2. Set your goals

If you want to make the most of every minute then you need to have objectives that you’re working towards. Without defined goals, both short and long-term, we can waste a lot of time going around in circles. Define your goals and then identify the activities in each day that will drive you towards them.

3. You don’t always need to say “yes.”

Being available to others in your team or office is going to be an essential part of your progress. But you also need to learn when to say no to tasks or requests that are either not essential to what you’re trying to do, or are just someone else passing on work they should be doing themselves. If you want to climb up the ladder to management level then the ability to say no is going to be even more important.

4. Master the art of delegation

Delegation is not about handing off the work that you don’t want to do to someone else. It’s ensuring that you have enough support so that a project or job is successfully concluded without you being overburdened in an unconstructive way. If you’re a manager or a boss then delegation will be a crucial part of effective team management – if you’re micro managing everything then little will get done and others will feel redundant.

5. Measure your minutes

How much of your time is spent productively each week and how much is wasted? It can be useful to audit the way you currently managing your time to see where improvements could be made.

6. Are you prioritising?

Effective time management depends on ensuring that you’re completing the most important tasks first. Structure your tasks based on urgency and importance, starting with important and urgent, followed by important and non-urgent and ending with less important and not urgent tasks.

7. Make the most of planning

A well-structured working day makes it much easier to use your time more effectively. Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to write your goals for the following morning and clear up any chaos on your desk. The next morning, spend 15 minutes creating a clear plan for the best way to use the time you have to achieve your goals.

8. Minimise your distractions

If you want to get the most out of your time then reduce the number of potential distractions around you. Put your smart phone aside, close your office door and redirect your phone. You’ll find you work much smarter and harder if you’re not constantly getting interrupted. Our Time Management course provides a practical approach to developing time management skills and organising your time to achieve desired results.

10 ways to become an effective sales manager

Posted: June 21, 2018 10:40 am
Effective sales management requires a range of key skills, from developing marketing strategy to using all the available sales tools to optimise your team’s results. If you’re looking to become a more effective sales manager then these are our top 10 ways to do it.

1. Don’t get confused about who you should be focusing on

Your primary stakeholders are the individual people on your sales team – the sales manager role is a leadership position so don’t get bogged down purely by the sales side. If you’re going to meet your targets then you have to ensure that the rest of the team meets theirs.

2. Learn to manage effectively

Being a great sales manager means understanding how to lead the team – the most effective way to do that is often to start by acknowledging that everyone on the team is unique and has different needs and opportunities that you’ll need to take into account when managing.

Throw out the hierarchies

Old school prescriptive and hierarchical approaches to sales management have been abandoned in favour of more collaborative and empathetic working. Listen to your team.

3. Start with your own success

It can be useful to go back over your own sales experience and identify what it was that made you successful. Break down the different components to your success so that you can look to replicate it with the members of your sales team where appropriate.

4. Set goals for your team

It will be crucial to unambiguously define expectations so that your sales team understands what is expected of them. Supplying the team with meaningful metrics can also give the people you’re working with tools for managing the process.

5. A change of perspective is going to be essential

If you’ve come from a sales role then you may be used to being selfish with your time, ignoring calls and keeping others at arm’s length so that you can get on with meeting your targets. That’s a perspective that could be incredibly damaging for a sales manager so it’s essential to shift to a more open and engaged way of working. Your time is not your own as a sales manager and your job is to give it to others to enable them to succeed.

6. Let go of the selling

It’s no longer your responsibility to make sales – it’s now up to you to coach others on to making sales achievements.

Don’t try to shape everyone in your own image

It’s a good starting point to look at your own success and use this as a guide for the sales team. But you also have to remember that everyone in the team is an individual and what drives you to success may not work for others.

Be the coach

Motivate your team, support them and guide them if you want to get the best results.

Get some help

There are lots of resources out there designed to smooth the transition to sales manager – our Sales Management course, for example, will focus on how to best use your resources and maximise your team’s results.

8 steps to successful interviewing to recruit candidates

Posted: June 14, 2018 2:52 pm
Successful recruitment results in a better fit between candidate and business. It can also flag up potentially problematic areas early on, highlight strengths and identify how and where an individual would sit well within an organisation. Honing interviewing techniques can result in overall higher retention and happier staff – so how do you do it?

Step 1: the job description

Writing an accurate and informative job description will attract the right candidates and focus the mind of the interviewer in terms of what the business is really looking for. A concise description that focuses on core skills and identifies what the right candidate will achieve over specific timeframes will lay the foundation for effective recruitment.

Step 2: interview questions

Writing the job description will have identified what the key attributes are for a candidate to be successful in the role, as well as the skills and experience to support those. So, the next step is to develop questions that will draw out whether a candidate meets those criteria.

Step 3: create a set of standard interview documents

If you’re interviewing a lot of candidates then it’s going to be important to ensure your questioning is consistent so that you can achieve measurable results. Key to this will be creating a set of standard interview documents that set out the questions you’re going to ask each candidate.

Step 4: keeping records

When you’re creating your standard interview documents you may also want to include a notes document that you can record answers and key points on during the interview. This will help you to ensure that you don’t forget essential information. If you’re interviewing multiple candidates it will also give you comparable documents to look back on at the end of the process.

Step 5: follow up on facts

When trying to impress an interviewer people can make all sorts of outrageous claims. Even the more modest numbers and assertions should be checked after the interview has closed, either against the CV or following up via references or other means. Just make a note of any figures or claims that seem particularly important during the interview itself and then follow up afterwards.

Step 6: don’t shy away from the money talk

Some candidates find it difficult to talk salary and so won’t bring this up during an interview. However, it’s one of the defining features of whether this person is a good fit for the role. So, don’t shy away from ensuring that expectations as to salary, bonus, benefits etc are aligned.

Step 7: ask the hard questions

For example, any role on a candidate’s CV that is for less than two years could be a sign that something went wrong in a previous job. So, it will be crucial to get an understanding of what happened and whether this could potentially be an indication of issues in the future.

Step 8: learn to listen

Sometimes, letting candidates talk is the only way to really get a sense of who the person is and what they have to offer. It’s as important to listen during an interview as it is to talk – otherwise you may find it difficult to make a decision. Mastering the art of interviewing has huge benefits. Our successful interviewing course provides all the key skills for those looking to improve interview performance. Book your place today.