What Do Managers Do

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Professional and Personal Skills for the Manager

What Do Managers Do?

Both of the above interpretations acknowledge the major functions of planning, organizing, leading and coordinating activities -- they put different emphasis and suggest different natures of activities in the following four major functions. They still agree that what managers do is the following:

1. Planning

Including identifying goals, objectives, methods, resources needed to carry out methods, responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks. Examples of planning are strategic planning, business planning, project planning, staffing planning, advertising and promotions planning, etc.

2. Organizing resources

to achieve the goals in an optimum fashion. Examples are organizing new departments, human resources, office and file systems, re-organizing businesses, etc.

3. Leading

Including to set direction for the organization, groups and individuals and also influence people to follow that direction. Examples are establishing strategic direction (vision, values, mission and / or goals) and championing methods of organizational performance management to pursue that direction.

4. Controlling, or Co-ordinating

This occurs with the organization's systems, processes and structures to effectively and efficiently reach goals and objectives. This includes ongoing collection of feedback, and monitoring and adjustment of systems, processes and structures accordingly. Examples include use of financial controls, policies and procedures, performance management processes, measures to avoid risks etc.


(http://www.coachingnetwork.org.uk/resourcecentre/Bookshop/BookDetails.asp?bookID=20) The Manager as Coach and Mentor, Eric Parsloe, CIPD, 1999

Simple Techniques to Manage Time

There never seems to be enough time in the roles of management and supervision. Therefore, the goal of time management should not be to find more time. The goal is set a reasonable amount of time to spend on these roles and then use that time wisely.

1. Start with the simple techniques of stress management above.
2. Managing time takes practice. Practice asking yourself this question throughout the day: "Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?" If yes, then keep doing it.
3. Find some way to realistically and practically analyze your time. Logging your time for a week in 15-minute intervals is not that hard and does not take up that much time. Do it for a week and review your results.
4. Do a "todo" list for your day. Do it at the end of the previous day. Mark items as "A" and "B" in priority. Set aside two hours right away each day to do the important "A" items and then do the "B" items in the afternoon. Let your answering machine take your calls during your "A" time.
5. At the end of your day, spend five minutes cleaning up your space. Use this time, too, to organize your space, including your desktop. That'll give you a clean start for the next day.
6. Learn the difference between "Where can I help?" and "Where am I really needed?" Experienced leaders learn that the last question is much more important than the former.
7. Learn the difference between "Do I need to do this now?" and "Do I need to do this at all?" Experienced leaders learn how to quickly answer this question when faced with a new task.
8. Delegate. Delegation shows up as a frequent suggestion in this guide because it is one of the most important skills for a leader to have. Effective delegation will free up a great deal of time for you.

Major Causes of Workplace Stress

1. Not knowing what you want or if you're getting it - poor planning.
2. The feeling that there's too much to do. One can have this feeling even if there's hardly anything to do at all.
3. Not enjoying your job. This can be caused by lots of things, for example, not knowing what you want, not eating well, etc. However, most people always blame their jobs.
4. Conflicting demands on the job.
5. Insufficient resources to do the job.
6. Not feeling appreciated.

Personal Skills Audits

This task considers personal skills, knowledge, and attributes, and the importance of their accurate evaluation and development, as a pre-requisite for managerial effectiveness.

The task focuses upon the interpersonal skills of the manager, and how managers should address any shortfalls in personal styles, in addition to providing guidance on the analysis of personal performance in the job role.

Key to the audit is the notion of continuous professional development, and the need to apply all phases of the learning cycle to personal development activities.

It also provides a framework to reflect on personal and professional development, notably in terms of self awareness (strengths and weaknesses, emotional resilience, creativity, analytical problem solving, social skills, mental agility, balanced learning habits).

* Introduction to personal development planning

* The nature of processes that can contribute to continuing professional development (CPD) such as supervision, management, counselling, coaching, Mentoring, and reflection

* The processes of setting and reviewing personal objectives

* Accessing internal and external study skills resources

* Report writing, Presentation and Time and Stress Management

* Understanding and developing reflective skills and personal responsibility

* Identifying and developing personal Leadership styles

* Obtaining information on personal performance

* The importance of effective time management

* Theory and practice of effective communication skills

* Managing difficult communication such as: negotiation, handling complaints, being assertive, giving and receiving constructive feedback

Strategies for preventing, minimising and handling conflict


Psychometric tests are structured tests, taken in exam-like conditions, which aim to measure objectively a person's ability, or certain aspects of their personality. Most psychometric tests which measure ability, and virtually all accredited psychometric tests which measure aspects of personality, are devised by occupational psychologists

Since the 1980s, businesses in the UK have been making increasing use of psychometric tests as part of the selection process for job vacancies. The tests attempt to measure the abilities, attributes, personality traits and various skills of the candidates under consideration for particular vacancies. (Andrew Jenkins, 2001, Companies' Use of Psychometric Testing and the Changing Demand for Skills: A Review of the Literature, Citeseer)

What do psychometric tests measure?

There are many, many different types of psychometric test. A common misconception is that psychometric tests only measure personality, but that is not the case. Some measure your ability to understand the written word, or to reason with numbers. Others measure your ability to solve mechanical problems, or follow instructions accurately, or be able to understand data which is presented in a variety of ways. And then, of course, there are the personality tests, assessing everything from motivation to working preferences. (http://www.howtobooks.co.uk/employment/psychometric-testing/)

SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment. It is the first stage of planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors.
In SWOT, strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. For example:A strength could be:

* Your specialist marketing expertise.

* A new, innovative product or service.

* Location of your business.

* Quality processes and procedures.

* Any other aspect of your business that adds value to your product or service.

A weakness could be:

* Lack of marketing expertise.

* Undifferentiated products or services (i.e. in relation to your competitors).

* Location of your business.

* Poor quality goods or services.

* Damaged reputation.

In SWOT, opportunities and threats are external factors. For example: An opportunity could be:

* A developing market such as the Internet.

* Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances.

* Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits.

* A new international market.

* A market vacated by an ineffective competitor.

A threat could be:

* A new competitor in your home market.

* Price wars with competitors.

* A competitor has a new, innovative product or service.

* Competitors have superior access to channels of distribution.

* Taxation is introduced on your product or service.

A word of caution, SWOT analysis can be very subjective. Do not rely on SWOT too much. Two people rarely come-up with the same final version of SWOT. TOWS analysis is extremely similar. It simply looks at the negative factors first in order to turn them into positive factors. So use SWOT as guide and not a prescription.
Simple rules for successful SWOT analysis.

* Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your organization when conducting SWOT analysis.

* SWOT analysis should distinguish between where your organization is today, and where it could be in the future.

* SWOT should always be specific. Avoid grey areas.

* Always apply SWOT in relation to your competition i.e. better than or worse than your competition.

* Keep your SWOT short and simple. Avoid complexity and over analysis

* SWOT is subjective.




(http://www.coachingnetwork.org.uk/resourcecentre/Bookshop/BookDetails.asp?bookID=20) The Manager as Coach and Mentor, Eric Parsloe, CIPD, 1999