Course Category
Course Location

PTP News

Archive: Mar 2019

8 skills needed for essential management of teams

Posted: March 28, 2019 10:37 am
Anyone new to team management can find it an intimidating prospect. However, what’s worth noting is that most of those considered an exceptional manager today did not start out that way. Management skills are learned, both from personal experience and also the standards that have been tested and set by others that have gone before. If you’re looking to hone your team management style then these 8 skills will be essential.

1. You put the team first

That doesn’t mean always sacrificing your own interests or driving yourself into the ground for your team. Instead, it’s showing a willingness to step up to protect them, to take risks to ensure their success and to show that you’re working as hard for them as they are for you

2. You continually challenge your team to be better

Even the top performers can do more. Managers should always continue to challenge teams to excel in new directions – this drives both individual satisfaction and general productivity.

3. You can admit when you’re wrong

This is a tough one because being a manager means being in the spotlight and that’s a difficult place in which to hold your hands up to mistakes. However, great management requires being humble enough to recognise if you’re wrong and to take steps to change direction afterwards. If you have too much pride to admit to a mistake you could lead your team in totally the wrong direction for all the wrong reasons.

4. You are honest and up front

Hiding things, covering the truth or flat out lying will break trust with your team and that can be difficult to rebuild. Transparency is essential, especially when it comes to difficult conversations.

5. You’re able to foster genuine connections between your team

Spending time together outside of the working environment gives people an opportunity to build genuine relationships that can sustain them through tough times and disagreements. Learning how to help your team make these connections, whether that’s through bonding activities or sharing experiences, is a crucial skill to have.

6. You know how to make people feel valued

From the top performers to team members who have yet to prove themselves, it’s important to understand how to make each one feel valued. Feeling valued is crucial to engagement, which drives loyalty, motivation and productivity.

7. You have nurtured empathy

Research has shown that the higher we climb up the office hierarchy, the more difficult it is to preserve empathy. A very basic definition of empathy is to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, something that many managers find very challenging when it comes to their subordinates. However, the benefits of remaining empathetic include gaining a better understanding of your team and being able to genuinely engage with them.

8. You understand when emotions are relevant

If you remove emotion from the workplace it’s difficult to be a good manager. However, it’s also key to understand when emotion is relevant and when it can be inappropriate. Perhaps the most obvious example is allowing emotion to influence decisions that should be objective. These key skills provide a firm foundation on which great management can grow. Book your place on our Effective Management of Your Teams course today or get in touch with PTP on 01509 889632 with any questions.

Discover the most important skills in senior management

Posted: March 27, 2019 2:56 pm
Effective management takes a whole range of different skills. With so many different parties to consider, from the team that you’re leading to your own superior, there is a lot to consider. If you’re looking to make progress in your career, and to do a better job in a management role, then these are some of the most important skills that it’s crucial to learn.

Setting an example

One of the simplest ways to manage is to set an example and be the employee that you want your team to emulate. From arriving on time, to taking an interest in the issues of your industry to maintaining a stoic attitude in the face of disaster or change, if you’re able to set this kind of example then others will follow.

Be aware of the context for the business

Leaders need to be well informed when it comes to market conditions, business development and competitors. Whether or not these directly affect your job, they will impact on your ability to take strategic decisions and can be a positive influence when it comes to shaping future growth. Strategy development and risk management are two key skills that will provide a firm foundation on which managers can grasp essential context.

Don’t forget the people you’re leading

It can be easy to focus purely on your own career and to forget about employee development. However, one of the metrics for analysing the effectiveness of a leader is how well employees do when they are being managed by that person. So, focus on employee development – as well as your own - and you’ll not only have a happier team of people working for you but you’ll also be viewed as a better leader by others in the business too.

Inspire commitment to the business

This is all about understanding how your employer rewards those who do well and then conveying this to the people you’re leading. What do they have to do to be recognised and where do the advantages lie for their careers in demonstrating commitment to the business in this way?

Handling change

Change is something that people across the business have to deal with constantly, whether it’s market change or operational change. Great managers can help to smooth the journey and involve others in the decision making process during times of change. They are also well equipped to support those who are feeling resistant to impending change.

Be a leader

It sounds simple but the intricacies of leadership are often not well grasped by very ambitious people. For example, being good at managing means understanding how to provide constructive feedback so that employees can see a way to develop and grow. It’s also essential to be able to manage tough situations and to have the strength and confidence to set clear boundaries for everyone. Some of the skills required by senior management are obvious – others, less so. There are always opportunities to change and grow and many of these essential skills are simple to learn. Book your place on our Senior Management Skills Course today or get in touch with PTP on 01509 889632 with any questions.

How can you use coaching to improve employee performance?

Posted: March 21, 2019 10:30 am
Coaching provides a foundation for the daily interaction between manager and employee. It’s a conduit through which feedback can be provided on performance and solutions found to help enable ongoing development and growth. A coaching style relationship not only helps to cement engagement and loyalty among staff but can also be crucial for improving performance too.

When is coaching useful?

A coaching style relationship between manager and employee is a great basis no matter where the member of staff sits in performance terms. It provides a way to keep channels of communication open and ensures employees know that they are supported. It can be especially useful where:

Employees are underperforming

In a situation where an employee consistently does not meet targets or where there are clear issues, coaching is a great tool for turning the situation around. It is an effective way to solve performance problems and offer the employee a way to do better that will also benefit the team and the wider business.

There are no performance issues

Even employees already performing well can benefit from coaching to do better – it’s an opportunity for individuals to continuously improve both skills and the ability to add value to the business. Although coaching is often aimed at employees falling behind from a performance point of view it’s also essential to ensure that those who are doing well also get development support.

Using coaching to improve employee performance

Focus on the issue not the individual

When raising a performance problem with an employee, describe the issue and the situation, rather than focusing on the person. Ask them to help you solve the issue and express confidence in their ability to find a solution.

Identify potential obstacles

Is there anything standing in the way of performance improvement that could be removed? A lack of training, not having the tools to do the job and insufficient time, for example, are all obstacles that can be removed. Temperament is trickier but if this is the performance obstacle then there are also ways in which it can be overcome.

Talk through the potential solutions

If this is a high performing employee then these can be phrased in the context of ongoing improvement. If it’s someone who is having performance problems ask them for input on how to correct or solve issues.

Write down the outcomes

It’s important to keep a record of what was agreed, of the goals that were set and the solutions that have been identified to move the situation forward. It’s also a good idea to establish a date and time to follow up on the conversation. This timeline can be used to establish when feedback might be necessary.

Be positive

Even in a difficult situation, positive encouragement will provide an opportunity for change. It’s essential to express confidence in the ability of the employee to achieve the goals set and to convey the support that you will provide in helping them to do so. Coaching has a lot to offer when it comes to employee performance. Whether you’re looking to solve problems or give high performers the chance to excel, it’s an incredibly useful tool. Book onto our Performance Coaching Half Day course today.