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Management Blog

Tips for Handling Conflict at Work

As a manager you’re bound to find out that not everyday is going to be as pleasant as others. You may have problems with clients or deadlines but in my experience the worst days are the ones during which your own team has trouble getting along. If your team members are in the midst of a conflict it’ll be up to you to sort things out. Here are a few tips to help make that job a bit easier.

Determine the Actual Problem

Sometimes people argue and then things escalate until they no longer remember what the original problem was. Ask everyone involved to sit down and talk about what they perceive the problem to be. Once you all agree on a source you can start to find a solution.

Allow Everyone to Contribute

Make sure everyone involved in the conflict has the opportunity to talk about what he or she not only thinks the problem is but what his opinions are and how the problem can be solved. Give each person a set amount of time to speak and make sure everyone sticks to the facts – no berating other team members.

Reach for a Compromise

Identify the methods each member of the group thinks need to be followed in order to reach a compromise. Not everyone will be happy with the entire outcome but there is always a way to make as many people happy as possible. Identify both long and short term goals and find ways for everyone to work toward them together.

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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6 Time Management Mistakes to Avoid

Quite a few of you are probably relaxing with your friends and family, enjoying the holiday season. I might add that doing so is an excellent time management strategy because it is just as important to take time out for yourself as it is to attack the lingering list of chores you’ve probably made for yourself.

Sadly, not many people make time for themselves and their inability to do so is a huge time management mistake. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about tips for more effectively managing your time but we haven’t focused on some of the mistakes people make. Here are a few to consider.

  • Do you pay too much attention to the minor details instead of doing what you can to get a perfectly acceptable job out the door? While attention to detail is great it can also be distracting or detrimental when you’re facing a deadline.
  • Do you find that you often have too many projects on your plate at the same time? Doing so will stretch your resources and instead of finishing one great project you’ll turn in multiple sub-par projects.
  • Are you dead set against changing your routine? Sometimes deviating from the norm will free up your time so that you can get your most important tasks out of the way sooner.
  • Do you prefer to do mundane tasks before focusing on your major projects? Putting some time into your larger projects earlier in the day might motivate you to get them done sooner – and those mundane tasks will be a welcome break after all of your hard work.
  • Are you good at anticipating problems? If so, that’s great, but people who expect problems to occur usually waste a lot of time focusing on them even if they haven’t happened yet. And if that problem never actually comes to fruition you’ll find you wasted a ton of time.
  • Are you surrounded by unhappy and unmotivated coworkers? They’ll drag you down and waste your time whether you realize it or not.

Can you identify with any of these issues? If so, you may want to work on making some changes in the way you manage your own time in the New Year. Until then, enjoy your time away from the workdesk!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Time Management 101: Prioritising

When it comes down to effectively managing your time you’ll find that there are dozens of resources offering tips for how to save time. Most of these resources tell you that you should prioritise your tasks but they don’t really tell you how to prioritise. How do you choose which tasks are more important than others?

A method I’ve found to work very well is to take every task and place it in one of four categories. Each category has a level of importance and it will make it easier for you to determine which ones should take priority over the rest. Here are the four categories:

  • #1 – Important and Urgent – These are critical items that must be taken care of before anything else.
  • #2 – Important but not urgent – These are the tasks you really want to complete in a given time frame but don’t find as pressing as those you placed in the first category.
  • #3 – Urgent and not very important – You may find something to be urgent but at the same time not very important to the success of your day. Don’t let someone make you feel like you need to complete something faster than it deserves to be completed. If it’s not important, how urgent can it really be?
  • #4 – Neither urgent or very important – You’d like to complete these tasks but not doing so won’t have an impact on your day either way.

Can you look at your calendar for the day and place each of the items on your to-do list into one of these categories? If so, you’re well on your way to effectively prioritising your day. Good luck!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Conducting a Knowledge Audit

Now that we’re a bit more familiar with the knowledge management cycle and some of its key factors I’d like to take a few minutes today to discuss the importance of conducting a knowledge audit. A knowledge audit is the process through which you take an inventory of the actual knowledge stored within your organisation and how it is used.

The knowledge audit is incredibly important for a number of reasons. It allows you to identify some of the strengths and weaknesses associated with your organisation’s overall level of progress and method of storage. The following are six signifcant outcomes an audit will provide:

  • First, you’ll be able to identify areas in which you either have too much or not enough information;
  • You’ll be able to identify how good your organisation is at keeping up with current events and then updating its resources with the most up to date knowledge;
  • Your audit will tell you how often your employees or team members are making use of information that is outdated;
  • An audit will usually help you to identify areas in which people are holding on to valuable information that should otherwise be archived and shared with the rest of the organisation;
  • Your audit process will help you to identify places where people are reinventing the wheel, or duplicating each other’s work, because they don’t all have access to the same knowledge; and
  • You will be able to identify resources you may not have known you had available to you, including old pros and those who are experts in certain areas.

The conduction of a knowledge audit is essential to the success of your business. It is imperative that you keep your resources as up to date as possible so that your potential customers see you as a valuable source of information – and want to do business with you instead of your competition!

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Digital brain in hands

4 Key Factors in Knowledge Management

Digital brain in handsThe fact that you and your organisation have knowledge to share or use in your day to day operations is one thing. Having a firm grasp on when and how to store that knowledge is another concept altogether. As a manager, it will be your responsibility to determine what knowledge is stored, what is destroyed, and how best to keep it safe.

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What Does Coaching Offer Employees?

learnYou may be ready and willing to start a coaching program with each of your employees. The trick to building a successful coaching relationship relies on three things: you ability to know what you need to encourage your employees to learn, your ability to recognize what new behaviours your employees should be picking up, and your ability to understand exactly what benefits coaching has.
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Aiding Grieving Employees

As much as we hate to deal with it, tragedy can and will strike our families and our employees and can do so at any given time. The loss of a parent, child, or other close family member can be devastating and the last thing your team member is thinking about is work.

Your job will be to help find ways in which your organisation can help your employees deal with their situations. It is incredibly important for you to recognize that a person who returns to work after only a few days, even weeks, is not fully recovered and will not be able to give you 100% of his attention. This is normal and is something you’ll have to learn to work with. Learn More

How To Raise Spirits & Boost Morale In The Workplace

Has your team been having a difficult time lately? Were you extra busy, short staffed, or otherwise strained? As a manager, it’s your job to make sure your team feels motivated and has a positive attitude towards their daily tasks. It’s your job to boost employee morale.

Unfortunately, boosting employee morale isn’t always easy. There’s always someone complaining about something but, in the end, the majority of your team member will appreciate your efforts to be involved in their lives and keep them happy. Here are a few tips for boosting employee morale.

Be Human

You are, first and foremost, a human being. Act like one. Have a little fun, crack a joke, laugh, smile, and let your team members know you are one of them. They’ll like you better for it.

Encourage Input

Do you have a suggestion box where your employees can share creative ideas? If so, do you actually use it or acknowledge submissions? If not, give it a whirl. Let your employees know that you appreciate their ideas, whether you incorporate them into your daily routines or not.  You might even offer a small monthly prize for participating and offering suggestions.

Treat Each Employee as an Individual

Your employees will have better morale, individually, if they feel as though they have a personal career path to follow when they come to work each day. Why not use your next coaching session to help each employee set his or her own long and short term goals and then help them find a way to take the first steps towards meeting them. They’ll feel as though they have a purpose aside from trudging through their 9-5 jobs every day.

Encouragement with Incentives

Offer incentives or goals to your employees each week or month. They don’t have to be elaborate. Have bagels for breakfast on Friday mornings or encourage a group luncheon once a month. Offer a prize for the employee with the highest level or production. Something, anything, they can look forward to will boost morale.

Remember – happy employees are productive employees. What will you do to make their days a little brighter?

Thanks again,

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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