Being A More Effective Manager

We all probably associate managing with work.  While it is true that work is the place where we often have the title manager, every one of us is managing all of the time.  We might be, for example:

  • Managing our money so that it does no run out before pay day
  • Deciding how we are going to use our time
  • Setting targets for doing things

Given that management is such a huge part of our life, how can we become more effective?

Set clear goals

Goals need to be clearly stated and be capable of being assessed as to whether we are on or off track.  In their book The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson suggest that each goal should be written down in not more than 250 words.  Our behaviours determine whether we are moving towards or away from a goal.  If we are making progress, chances are we are adopting behaviours that help us.  Conversely if, we are struggling chances are we need to change some aspect of our behaviour.

Question:  How clear are your goals and how do you know if you are on track?

Recognise successes

 How effective are you at recognising your own and others successes?  We all know how easy it is to focus on what is not working.  Imagine that you or your team collected 98% of debts this month.  How do you describe this?

We collected revenues from 98 out of every 100 customers

We failed to collect revenue from 2 out of every 100 customers

What description would be most empowering for you?

Question:  How will you start to recognise your own and your team’s successes?

Deal promptly with performance issues

If you were trying to help someone get better at a sport, would you avoid telling them where they were going wrong?  Yet when it comes to managing, many people do just that.  Giving people specific feedback on performance issues and at the same time telling them how much you value them, helps improve performance and motivation.

Question:  What could you change about how you deal with performance issues?

Work/life balance

I received an interesting e-mail from a fellow accountant and coach in the USA on work/life balance in the accountancy profession.  On a positive note, it appears that Partners in CPA firms in the US are starting to take this issue seriously.  On a less positive note, UK research published recently indicated that almost a third of accountants had been affected by stress.

We often forget (and yes I am sometimes as guilty as the next person) that being effective at work depends on us looking after our whole life.  Our eating habits, rest and relaxation, family time and exercise are all important contributors to our effectiveness in the work place or in our businesses.

So where to you need to focus some attention to be even more effective as a manager?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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