Choose your words carefully

Choose your words carefully – they can bless and encourage people or hurt them. And can be remembered for eternity…

How many times have careless words, thrown away by a colleague or manager, left you with a sour taste in your mouth?  Some of us even remember times from our childhood when a friend, peer or adult said something that left a deep impression on our memory.  In these days of the instant message, the quick email or tweet, it’s even easier to cast words into the world without much thought.

Yet we need to think carefully before speaking – none more so than in the pressure-charged atmosphere of the modern workplace, where urgency and sometimes overwhelm can leave us little time to think.  This applies to both the every day and also to the more obviously important conversations like appraisals and performance reviews or planning sessions.

If we get it right – our words can encourage, bless, positively challenge and motivate others.

If we get it wrong – at best it can create a mental ‘ouch!’  At worst, it can pierce the confidence of someone and create the conditions for a downward slide in motivation and performance.

So – in the heat of the moment when words are burning the tip of your tongue to be spoken – take a deep breath, bite your tongue and just play out in your head the words and the tone you were planning to use to test it for ‘sting’. Never release words in anger in the heat of the moment. And in planning for the bigger conversations – consider the outcome you want from the conversation – perhaps someone who is clear on what they do well and with a plan […]

By |July 31st, 2014|Management Development|0 Comments

Towards effective People Management & peak performance

 

How does your organisation prepare people for management responsibility? In a recent rough and ready online survey we conducted, we found that only 36% of people managers had received any formal management training before starting their first people management role.  Leaving the 64% majority to learn ‘on the job’, presumably.

That’s a pretty staggering statistic, if it proved to be representative of the general manager population.  Without training, we’re asking people to take on a completely new responsibility, with its own discrete skillset, without any preparation.  Like handing over the car keys to a complete novice and saying “Drive” or asking an incredible classroom teacher to take on the leadership and administrative responsibilities of a head teacher role.  It doesn’t make sense, does it? Essentially, there’s an assumption that ‘everyone knows how to do it’, and that’s a big risk to take with your organisation’s most precious resource: Its people.
As a manager, your job evolves from just being the ‘doer’ of a task to being responsible for managing these three key resources to achieve a goal: Money, time and people.  And you may still have to balance that with performing a specific role. Take the example of a copywriter in the marketing department of an organisation Phoenix has worked with.  Promoted to head of a small team, she not only needed to produce copy herself, she now needed to manage others to do the same, and support them in prioritising, communicating, developing in their roles. An entirely new skillset, and in many cases an undervalued change in role.

The problem is that many organisations just tack the management side of the role onto the existing role, perhaps not even understanding that there is a difference in skillset […]

By |March 24th, 2014|Management Development|2 Comments