It’s a new year and a new you. We are using the month of January on our Service Management blog to give you tips and tools to help you be the best you can be, as an organization, and as an individual. Today the topic is management, and how you can manage yourself more effectively to ensure efficiency, trust, and ultimately, success. And while honing the three areas we are about to present to you will bring you these things in most areas of your life, our focus today is on the relationship between you and the person you report to. By using these tips you can create a strong, effective working relationship that won’t only get the job done, but will also get you noticed, and respected. So without further ado, the three ways that you can manage (everything) better are:
- Ensure Open Communication
- Set Clear Expections
- Focus On Delivery
These three areas of interest will help you with any task or role you need to manage. Of course the key is always in the execution, so we will elaborate on these tips to help you manage those areas of your life, particularly the relationship with your own manager at work, that may get the better of you sometimes.
Ensure Open Communication
The world is bombarded with messaging these days, from everywhere, all the time. Emails, phone calls, adverts, social media, technology, it is never ending. And the way people deal with it is they stop listening. So if you have something important to relay, there is really only one simple, effective way to do it. Short and succinct. Whether doing a presentation, sending an email, going through the budget, or any other project that involves collaboration and/or an audience, this is the best way to get the results you want. This way your message doesn’t get lost. This does not mean to communicate less frequently though. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to be proactive. The report you were asked to complete took way longer than you expected because finance STILL hasn’t gotten back to you? Send your manager a quick email to give him/her a heads up. Your workload has suddenly diminished? Quickly pop by a colleague’s or manager’s office to see what you can add to your plate. Always follow up once to either check to make sure the receiver understands your communication and is taking action, or to let the communicator know that you understand them and that you are taking action. Lastly, respond. Make sure, especially with email, that you respond to a request, demand, or other form of communication, within an appropriate amount of time (that’s usually less than 24 hours).
To recap, open communication means:
- Short and succinct
- Be proactive
- Follow up
- Respond (within 24 hours)
Set Clear Expectations
Setting expections means leaving little or no room to disappoint. Always ask your manager what they expect of you. Reiterate those expectations so that they know you understand them and so they resonate with you. If some of the expectations seem unresonable or unachievable, speak up (using that open communcation we mentioned above)! If you don’t, you are the one that looks like a fool when something doesn’t get done. It is important that you also set expectations. Make your manager and colleagues aware of your limitations and your time. Sometimes it is even best to help others understand how you work; how you set priorities, etc.
To recap, setting clear expectations means:
- Ask what is expected of you (conduct, role, time, deliverables, etc.)
- Discuss your limitations
- Make others aware of your availability (time, etc.)
Focus on Delivery
Delivery means meeting those previously set expectations. But it also means more than that. You want to make sure that you are delivering 110%. In the real world, particularly the business world, this may not always seem possible because of deadlines, collaborations, time limits, and more. But you can still give 110% of what you have, and what you have been given to work with. Delivery is about integrity. Deliver on time. Even if the whole thing isn’t finished, show your manager or colleagues what you have so far, what it is you have been working on. It is also about accountability. No one likes a finger pointed. If you haven’t delivered, and it is your fault, take responsibility. This is where open communication and setting expectations comes in. If you are struggling with the completion of something, or you can’t handle a specific task, it is better to be open about it and set a different expectation then wait until D Day (delivery day) and come up empty handed. If something does go wrong, make sure you can come up with an alternative solution. You should also understand what went wrong and how to fix it in the future.
To recap, delivery means:
- Be on time
- Respect the guidelines of the task/projects
- Give 110%
- Take Accountability
Ensuring open communication, setting clear expectations and focusing on delivery will help you be a better employee and colleague. It will also help you to manage your life in a more productive and effective way. By following these three easy guidelines, you are adding order to an otherwise chaotic business environment. It can help you to organize and prioritize your days and your goals at any organization.
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