Monthly Archives: January 2015

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 28 – MANAGING MEETINGS 2

POSTED BY Angela January 31, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 25 – DEALING WITH TIME WASTERS & INTERRUPTIONS

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 28 – MANAGING MEETINGS 2

Today I am back on the same subjects as yesterday, talking about managing meetings and this time focusing more on creating a useful Agenda so that you can get the most out of managing meetings.

It is truly advantageous to take the time before the meeting to create a workable Agenda, not only setting down in the body of the Agenda the points that will be discussed at the meeting but also to create a right hand column in which you identify who will be responsible for presenting that section of the meeting or the people who will be involved in that area and who are expended to bring information or outcomes to present at the meeting.  It is a good idea to list the items that need to be presented by those people, perhaps under the initials of that person, for example,  accounts, reports, articles, outcomes of phone calls or consultations, and so on.

To ensure that they bring the required information to the meeting and therefore avoid wasting everyone’s time, send out an email prior to the meeting reminding people what they are expected to bring, perhaps creating one e-mail and copying the contents to everyone who will be attending.

In addition, if you are holding online meetings there are many companies who supply meetings software for managing the meetings or recording them, including Skype and GoToMeeting to name just two.

So, making a success of your meeting entails holding people responsible for the information they are bringing to the meeting, and controlling the outcome, and keeping records of what transpired at the meeting and what people will take away from the meeting as an outcome, or tasks to undertake for before the next one.  Whatever the outcome, learning the skills of managing meetings will ensure that all concerned remain happy with the process.

 

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 31 – BUSINESS TRAVEL BY CAR2

POSTED BY Angela January 31, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 31 – BUSINESS TRAVEL BY CAR2

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 31 – BUSINESS TRAVEL BY CAR2

Having turned my attention to business travel, today I’m looking at travel by car and ways that one can make the journey more relaxing, so that business travel is as stress free as possible.

I do not recommend taking your hands off the wheel, making phone calls or texting or doing relaxing exercises whilst driving a car (including listening to relaxation or meditations tapes, oh, no). However, I know that when one is driving in heavy traffic, facing difficult weather situations, road hold ups and being stuck in a queue of stranded motorists whilst someone ahead rectifies bad driving, traffic accident or a breakdown or other such emergency, tempers flare.

Not only that, but if you are like me, and often try to fit in one last task before leaving which makes your timings rather tight, it is far easier under the above conditions to phone ahead and re-schedule, make it known that you will be late due to any of the above, or simply take on board some of the exercises that I recommend in this B S T today.

If you are quite sure that you are safely stationary and that you will not be moving any second soon, then some easy yoga breathing can come in handy – counting slowly in your mind as you breath in, say, to a count of 6 or 8, and then breathing out even slower to a count of 8-9 or even 10, will calm you down.  Do this a few times and your body will begin to feel that the crisis is over and you will begin to feel better.

Better still, whilst stationary you can imagine the skin on your neck becoming softer, smoother.  Feel your muscles relaxing in the neck and shoulders, down your arms, down your back.  Take another deep breath in and out and then stretch out your arms towards the windscreen and hold for a few seconds and then relax.  Only if stationary and with the hand-break on, do the same with your legs.  hold up your hands and let them go limp.  then shake your fingers as if they were rag dolls for a few seconds.  Then you can gently take the wheel again and as and when the traffic moves you will be feeling much more relaxed.

Business travel can be make a lot more pleasant if you put a smile on your face.  When you smile your muscles in your face become stronger, messages get sent to your brain to release ‘feel good’ hormones and the experience of business travel takes on a whole new feeling.  Good driving, and good business too.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 30 – BUSINESS TRAVEL

POSTED BY Angela January 30, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 30 – BUSINESS TRAVEL

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 30 – BUSINESS TRAVEL

Are you like me, always rushing around and trying to fit everything in to your busy day?  How do you cope with business travel?  Do you get to the terminal and discover you have left tickets or passport behind?  Well today, I am making one or two suggestions as to how you might become better prepared for business travel.

In the past I have included business travel in my business training course structure, because if you are not well prepared you might get caught out when travelling and find that you had not packed all the business items that you needed for your travel journey or for when you reach your destination.

It is better to be considered fussy, anal, a perfectionist and keep all your travel items in one place, one drawer or one travel bag and then they are always ready for you to grab and go.

Listen today to this b.s.t. where I suggest a way that you can always get the edge on rail or air travel.  Tune in and see if what I suggest can work for you and keep you in travel heaven when you are called away for that business meeting, overnight, two or three days, week or longer.

Make sure that your business travel sees you relaxed and content when you reach your destination and that you arrive in style.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 29 – MANAGING MEETINGS 3 – PROBLEMS

POSTED BY Angela January 29, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 29 – MANAGING MEETINGS 3 – PROBLEMS

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 29 – MANAGING MEETINGS 3 – PROBLEMS

Just a short b.s.t today about some of the problems that one can encounter when holding meetings, and some suggestions how to overcome them, ensuring that managing meetings turns out to be problem free in the future.

Managing meetings is quite a skill, though most people don’t thing of it in that way.  Controlling input, output, behaviour at the meeting can ensure that your meeting is a success and that everyone present gets the most out of attending.

Being at a meeting costs money.  The cost of the time that attendees are present is not just financial, although all time spent at work costs money one way or another, but time away from normal business activities and developing improved outcomes, financial improvements, promoting products or servicing customer / client needs effects the total business experience and has a cost on colleagues and their outputs, their work experience.  It is important to make sure that a meeting that you are holding is necessary.  Is there another way that the information can be exchanged, developed, outcomes achieved?  Managing meetings for the best possible outcome may mean not holding a meeting as such at all.

In this session I suggest alternatives, alternative styles of meetings that cost less and can achieve more. I address issues such as coping with interruptions, people that just can’t stop wanting to have their say.

Tune in and see if you can take away something of interest from today’s last b.s.t. on managing meetings.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 27 – MANAGING MEETINGS

POSTED BY Angela January 28, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 27 – MANAGING MEETINGS

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 27 – MANAGING MEETINGS

Do you hold formal or informal meetings?  Today, managing meetings is much more informal compared to how it used to be done.  Perhaps, if you are involved in a large structured business, a corporation or public company most meetings are still more formal. In such companies, not to mention counsel and government departments, there is a need to record every detail.  In that way, not only is control of the business easier and the passing of valuable information between employees, the issuing of tasks and the understanding of where people are in relation to outcomes much more comprehensive and recordable, but by being visible too, managers are kept up to date with progress.  Thus, managing meetings has always been an art-form that was not only necessary but sensible.

Nowadays more informal meetings can occur over lunch, in the pub, online, and so on, so their style tends to be informal.  None the less, taking notes or recording the meeting so as to record outcomes, is still a must do.

This b.s.t. is to remind listeners that even if your meetings follow a more informal structure they need to be controlled to get the most out of them and to avoid time wasting and forgetfulness.  It is human nature to  ‘forget’ tasks that we have been asked to do which we do not necessarily want to do or care about.  Better by far to have the instruction recorded or objections to the instruction raised at the point of time rather than when the ‘instructed’ is being expected to present the outcome of the requested task one is greeted with, “Oh, I didn’t have time”, or, “I wasn’t able to locate, find, discover, reach . . . . “.  Frustrating for all concerned because the expectation of the outcome remains in the atmosphere like an ex wife at the funeral, to haunt everyone.

Better by far to be dealt with at the time, as well as who is presenting what under which item of the Agenda, who has undertaken to carry out certain tasks (recorded in the notes of the meeting), when the next meeting will be held and who will be bringing what to that meeting.  All these items should be written up in the notes of the meeting and circulated later to each of those attending.  Only then, can managing meetings become less of a time waster and more of a management skill.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 26 – PROCRASTINATION AND DECISION MAKING

POSTED BY Angela January 26, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 26 – PROCRASTINATION AND DECISION MAKING

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 26 – PROCRASTINATION AND DECISION MAKING

In this session I am taking a rather different stance to the usual Decision Making theory.  Usually I talk about making SMART decisions, where they should be specific and clearly stated, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed or time orientated. This time, I talk about how it feels to make a decision, how you can take the stress out of the process, and how you can end procrastination and decision making by creating an enjoyable experience.

No, this time I look at the role of the imagination and how one can use that to create an experience of an outcome before attempting to travel that distance, see how if feels, and if it feels right then one can extend the vision to take the decision further.

Crazy, you think?  No, not crazy, just different.  A mixture of  business training and dreaming, maybe.  More a case of using the experience and introducing emotion into the paradigm, pre-empting anxiety and stress and driving it away by trying on an outcome for size and practicing before making any decision. Tune in and listen as I explain, even take you through the process so that you could try it out yourself the next time you need to make decisions and end procrastination.

Of course I am very well versed in traditional decision making techniques, have used them for some 30 years and got very good results for my clients that way.  I have also used psychological methods to achieve excellent outcomes too.  So if you want to end procrastination and decision making situations, just try it out and let me know what you think.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 25 – DEALING WITH TIME WASTERS & INTERRUPTIONS

POSTED BY Angela January 25, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 25 – DEALING WITH TIME WASTERS & INTERRUPTIONS

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 25 – DEALING WITH TIME WASTERS & INTERRUPTIONS

Have you ever been totally motivated and dedicated to getting a good day’s work done and then you have a day when every person in the world seems intent on interrupting you and filling your day with time wasters?

Well I have.  And do you know what?  I have now got it down to a fine art.

I spend my time last thing in the evening organising my work for the next day.  People aware of my general timetable and so they are not surprised if I am not at the end of the phone.  People who know me also know that I have certain days when I am not interruptible.  That means that family and friends cannot reach me because my answer machine is on at every contact point. Business colleagues know that I will get right back to them asap when they phone my work line and leave a message, or e-mail me.  I let it be known that two days per week I am not available as this is my planning and course construction days, and that if they visit my office and my door is closed, I am closed off to any kind of interruption.  They can send me a text or an e-mail or leave a phone message and I will contact them when I have finished my planning time or my VI work.

Sounds harsh?  Sounds abrupt and unfriendly?  I had to be a bit assertive at first, but the explanation and the way I explained it made it all friendly and reasonable.  After all, I told them, I would much rather speak to them and spend time with them when we can both relax and enjoy each other’s company, have a drink, or a coffee and a chat.

Work wise, I sometimes get together with work colleagues, people I rely on to get work done for me, supporters and mentors, and give staff and outsourcers rewards for a job well done and for fitting into their boss’s (my) plans.

Of course there are always the odd breakthroughs where someone gets through the net, but because it happens very rarely I don’t get stressed or resentful.

Time wasters and interruptions are now much reduced, I am very much happier and more productive, so are my colleagues.  If you adopt these recommendations your own output could be up, production could be much improved, time given over purely for problem solving and answering queries, giving advice and so on, so it is worth following the principals of management training and good business practice and keep time wasters and interruptions to a minimum.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 24 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION 2

POSTED BY Angela January 24, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS  24 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION 2

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS  24 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION 2

Today I am following on the discussion on effective delegation and talking about some of the reasons why things can go wrong and outcomes do not turn out as you have planned.  I also take a look at the 6 rules of authority and talk about why it is so very important to get this right when you want to ensure effective delegation.

This session glances at some more reasons why people shun away from responsibility and authority to act, fearing the outcome may go against them in the long run.  Getting to the point of total agreement as to what is expected on both sides can ensure that the mutual understanding results in an outcome that is good for both parties.

If you want to delegate tasks, therefore saving yourself time and worry, freeing up your daily planning to focus your attention on more important or financially advancing tasks, then having a clear and conscious understanding of the 6 rules of authority will ensure that misunderstandings do not take place and that your very important tasks can be delegated without backlash.

By giving attention today to the rules of delegation and understanding that in the outset it is your responsibility to know how effective delegation works, you will ensure a more positive outcome for yourself and your agent of action and that neither of you have to spend extra time putting things right because you both got it right first time.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 23 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION

POSTED BY Angela January 23, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 23 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 23 – EFFECTIVE DELEGATION

Do you stomp around feeling stressed, overpowered with work and not enough time?  Have you tried to delegate tasks to other people only to have a disaster of a result and have now given up? What you need is to learn more about the rules of Effective Delegation, and how this can answer all your needs.

When you begin to delegate you must fully understand the situation from the standpoint of the person you are delegating jobs to.  They will most likely be afraid that they might get it wrong and earn criticism or worse.  They might also fear recriminations, wrath and disaster as an outcome, all by themselves.  Fear can sometimes be what causes people to mis-hear what you are saying, and it is fear that blocks understanding sometimes too.  So before you start, say something nice to put the other person at ease.  Then break down the task in easy steps and get them to write each step down if possible.  When you have finished instructing them, check that they have completely understood and that you are both in agreement with what is to take place, to ensure effective delegation.

Step two is about the degree of authority you are giving away to the other person.  This means how much permission you have given them to take action before checking back to you.  They may be able to take full authority for the decisions that they may need to take to carry out the task.  This would apply if they have done the task successfully for you previously. You might want them to do the task but refer back to you with alternative options if they meet up with problems.  Alternatively, you might prefer them to take no action but to refer the matter back to you if a decision has to be made so you can make effective decisions.  You might take this option if the person has never done this task before or if they are still in training.

Basically, giving away the authority to act is all about the amount of control that you want the individual to have over the outcome.  It is based on previous performance and trust.  There are 6 stages involved and these will be discussed in part 2, tomorrow.

Step 3 is all about responsibility.  In a way, it is tied up with Authority too, so it depends exactly how much responsibility the individual is to have over actions and outcome.  If they have total responsibility when they first undertake the task they might be afraid to act.  If they have no responsibility at all, they might keep bringing information to your door every time they do a bit of research or move from one stage of the task to another.  You might get irritated by this, so be sure how much responsibility you give away at the start, and make sure that both of you fully understand a), the task and the stages  or methods to be employed to carry each stage out, and b) the degree of authority and the degree of responsibility you are giving them for the task or tasks or stages of the task.  This way, you stand a very good chance of the outcome turning out the way you imagined it would.

Tomorrow we will be looking at what can go wrong, and ways you can avoid that using effective delegation.

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 22 – TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

POSTED BY Angela January 22, 2015 IN Blog | No Comments
BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 16 – TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

BUSINESS SKILLS TIPS 16 – TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES (REPEAT) Because of the poor quality of the video when it was posted last, I have decided to run it again.  Here is a better version of this bst.

When was the last time you had time off to just have fun, enjoy being with your partner, your family and friends?  What?  Not enough time?  Too busy attending to your business?  Do you realise that life balance is important too, because without some time for relaxation and time out you are likely to get stale, stressed, bad tempered, and risk falling out with those family members and friends that help support you and your life.  So time management techniques become more and more important the busier you are and the more your business grows.

Time management techniques don’t have to be boring or dull.  In fact, it is quite an exciting challenge to spend a day timing your actions and finding out exactly how the time flies, whilst you are having fun . . . or not!

In this BST I start to look at ways that you can benefit from monitoring your time management using simple techniques to keep track of daily tasks.  I look at what is important and what moves you on forward towards achieving the goals that you choose.

Setting goals and achieving them is what will move you forward in your business, and it will help you survive when all around you is failing.  It also gives you a far better insight into how long it should take to achieve tasks so that when you are delegating them to others you have realistic knowledge about how long the jobs should take to achieve, instead of getting stressed out because jobs are taking longer than anticipated.  This way, you have evidence that will tell you if your staff are taking too long, maybe because they are uncertain as to what exactly you want from them or how to go about doing the job.  Assuming that you have clarified this beforehand, you will then be a better judge as to how efficient your staff really are.  Using time management techniques can save you time in the long run, and help you move forward quicker.