The Management Blog

Tips & advice to help you improve your performance


Decision Making Skills


Managing Supplier Relationships


Most leaders and managers will procure goods and services for their businesses or organisations. This article is aimed at those relationships where you are responsible for the selection and ongoing management of the supplier.
Learn More


Are You Prepared To Make The Decisions?


Some managers hesitate and procrastinate over decision making. This is generally because they are anxious about making the wrong decision and the possible consequences this might have. The best managers are prepared to make decisions quickly even if they are only 80% sure they are right. This is because delaying a decision can cause more problems than it solves. By acting quicker and anticipating the risks you may be able to still put the situation right. Procrastinating may leave this option unavailable. Learn More


Dealing With Theft At Work

It is probably one of the most stressful situations you would ever have to face at work…someone had been suspected, or accused, of theft. If you haven’t dealt with anything like this before, it can be daunting and frustrating to have to get to grips with it. Anna Bunting of Davis Blank Furniss has some ideas that might help in this situation: Learn More


Decision-Making Made Easy


We make decisions every day. That’s part of our job. And, most of he time, things go right with those decisions. Rarely do we make massive howlers that send the FTSE 100 index crashing through the floor, or find the building around us burn to the ground.

If you need to make large, long-lasting decisions that will have an impact on what you do in the future, it would be good to have some kind of model that assists us and provides a firm foundation for the decision that has to be made. Learn More


How to Have an Effective Brainstorming Session


Brainstorming is a great way to develop a large number of ideas from a group of people in a short period of time. It can provide valuable information for market development, tackling organisational problems and any kind of problem-solving or opportunity-seeking situations. Learn More

How To Troubleshoot Any Problem

So, you face a real challenge, something that would test the patience of a saint, or cause a headache to even the most seasoned chief exec. In fact, you may go as far as saying, ‘You know, we got a problem here!’ There are basically only four factors that you need to consider when you are troubleshooting problems, whether they be business or personal. Ask the right questions and you get the foundation laid for solving these situations. The four factors are: People, Systems, Structure and Circumstances. Firstly, People: Ask these types of questions when things go wrong; 1) Have mistakes been made, and why? Are staff not capable, or have they been badly managed? Do they lack confidence or competence? 2) If management is at fault, was it the system that let them down, the hierarchy or the managers themselves? 3) If the people are incompetent, what can be done to recify the situation? Train them? Coach them? Move them on? Secondly, it’s Systems: 1) How culpable are the systems currently being used? 2) Is the fault the systems themselves? Are they badly designed or not appropriate to the way of working? 3) Are the people who run the systems at fault? Next, there’s Structure: 1) Has the organisation or management structure contributed to the problem? 2) Do people understand the expectations of the structure? 3) Can control be exercised over the structure, or is it too unmanagable to work? 4) Are team members clear on what their responsibilities are for maintaining control, and are they effectively carrying out these responsibilities? And lastly,there’s Circumstances: 1) Are circumstances within the control of the people managing the situation? Are external forces (the economy, weather, government activity) affecting the results? 2) Are measures in place to minimise the affects of these external forces? 3) Have adequate resources been put in place to counteract circumstances that may affect results? Each of these factors can influence the problems you face to some extent or other. You need to analyse the end results before assessing what can be done. But if you ask the right questions, you stand a better chance of diagnosing the situation and determining the right steps to take to prescribe the answers. Thanks again Sean

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

How Managers Solve Problems

You know the story…you’re right in the middle of something, and then a problem comes out of left-field. How do you react? How you face problems is one of the critical factors that helps determine how successful you will be as a manager.

Many managers panic or resist problems, thinking that by ignoring it or passing it on, somehow it’s solved. Firstly, assume there is an answer out there… it just needs to be found. Worrying about it gets you nowhere; working towards the answer will get you everywhere. I’m not just referring to being positive, but the state of mind you decide to choose will play a big part in the way the problem will be handled.

Now, ask yourself ‘what are the facts?’. Many problems are not as big as they seem at first, once everything is known. Also, facts will help you find a better solution, faster. Knowing this is the next step allows you to think logically about the situation. If you encounter a problem, simply begin asking questions and gather the facts. Sometimes you have dig to get to the real problem! This is where your quality questioning comes in.

As a manager, sometimes you get involved in situations that don’t need too much of your time. You might be able, having summarised exactly what the situation is, to put the problem back to someone else or identify how it can be dealt with in a different way. If you are the best person to deal with it, think of what you, personally can do to deal with it. Brainstorm some ideas. Expand your thinking to identify what alternatives you might have

Consider what research you might do to solve the problem- maybe the internet could help, asking other people, or reading how others have solved the problem might help. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you know it all, and that your first instinct for an answer is necessarily the best. Bounce your ideas off other people, even if you think they know less on the subject. Sometimes the more you know, the more you can overlook the obvious.

Finally, make your decision, and put it into action. Think short-term as well as long. Follow through properly. Allow yourself the time to pick the right solution and set milestones to measure its effectiveness. Monitor those solutions and make sure you have some contingencies, just in case.

By following logical steps, you identify what progress you can make with specific problems and will soon have them under control.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Management Blog Call To Action

Making Effective Decisions For Your Team

Problem-solving and decision-making are two of the most effective skills you can develop as a manager.

When you think about it, what are you doing most of the day, other than solving problems and making decisions?

So what parameters might you be working under and how can you start making effective decisions with your team? Learn More