Time Management for Managers: Five Practical Ways to Make the Most of Your Time

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As a manager, you are responsible for overseeing both people and processes. You may, at times, feel there aren't enough hours in a day to do all that you need to do. Here are some simple tips for freeing up your time to focus on the most important aspects of your job.
  1. Consider the "payoff" when planning and performing your work.

    High-payoff activities are those that provide the greatest long-term value, as they are important to the fulfillment of your goals. They are often complex, time-consuming, and require uninterrupted concentration. Low-payoff activities are typically short, quick, and easy to do, but provide no real benefit. They tend to outnumber and take time away from high-payoff activities. Here are some strategies for effectively performing each:

Focusing on Career Development with Inmates

By Amy Thul-Sigler

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At 25 years old, I signed a one year contract to work as an adult educator in a county prison. It was my first job after receiving a master’s degree in counseling. The job granted me hundreds of eye opening experiences. It was through this experience that I learned essential strategies for helping those who were incarcerated with career preparations.

My experiences did more than just improve my career counseling skills. I learned about ‘the hole,’ counted the pencils I brought to work, and heard countless times not to tell the inmates my last name for safety reasons. This was a new position, and I was hired to fill multiple roles that included teaching GED subjects, prepping inmates to find work upon their release, and teaching them skills needed to be a working citizen, such as interviewing skills and workplace etiquette. Without any resources to begin, I tried various ways to build the class with pencils and paper only.

8 Qualities of Effective Team Players

 photo 8-Qualities-of-Effective-Team-Players.jpg Throughout your career, you will be expected to work closely with co-workers to achieve a shared goal. You might be assigned to a team formed to achieve a specific outcome, such as improving a business process, coming up with new product ideas, or identifying additional customer markets. Or, you may simply need to work with co-workers to perform your day-to-day job duties.

Teams often produce better outcomes than individuals, and do so better, faster, and more creatively. This is because individual team members have:

  • Their own unique set of strengths, which can be leveraged for higher quality results.
  • Different people in their networks, which increases access to, and sharing of, information among the group.
  • Diverse experiences and perspectives, which contribute to a bigger pool of ideas and better problem solving.

Can Employers Ask Job Seekers and Employees About Disabilities?

 photo Can-Employers-Ask-Job-Seekers-and-Employees-About-Disabilities.jpg The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits the types of questions that employers can ask job seekers and current employees. These vary based on a number of factors, including whether a disability is known to the employer. A disability would be known to an employer because it is a visible (obvious) disability, it was revealed directly by the individual or during a medical exam, and/or a reasonable accommodation was requested.

Another determinant of whether an employer’s inquiry is lawful under the ADA is the specific stage of the employment process during which the question is asked. Specifically, was it before or after a conditional job offer had been made? The answer to this question helps determine the amount of disability-related information that can be requested.

Power Up Your Communication: How to Leverage the 4 Communication Styles

 photo Power-Up-Your-Communication.jpg By Astrid Baumgardner

Think about the last time you were at a party and had the opportunity to observe a lot of people in action:

  • Who dominated the conversation and put a premium on being right and convincing others to go along with his solutions?

  • How about the serious person who rather cautiously talked in precise detail?

  • And how about the person who was bursting with enthusiasm and could not wait to tell you her great idea?

  • Who walked into the room and began by introducing herself to others, spending time with each person to establish a connection?

These are examples of 4 different communication styles:

Career Development Opportunities Can Be Found by Looking at Own Job

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By Maggie McCormick

Working adults sometimes assume that career development means going to classes or undertaking developmental roles outside of their jobs. They may even believe that development is only for those interested in promoting up the management ranks or for those on the “fast track.” However, it is critical to both the individual and to the organization that employees continue to grow in knowledge and skills regardless of rank, tenure, or career movement.

The truth is all employees can find development opportunities; they need look no further than their own jobs. Every day at work presents a chance to learn something, to increase one’s skills, and to improve performance. How does one identify opportunities for development in the work? We’ll begin by looking within; then we’ll look around, look ahead, and look out. We will also take an example and walk through the process.

Understanding and Facilitating Self-Efficacy (Career Professionals)

Through studies of human behavior, psychologists have learned that one of most powerful predictors of success is self-efficacy.

What is self-efficacy?

Psychologist Albert Bandura defined self-efficacy as a person’s belief in his or her capability to successfully perform a specific task. Self-efficacy perceptions can be developed or strengthened through accomplishment, or through learning and persuasion from others. They can also be positively or negatively affected by emotions such as stress and anxiety.

Bandura’s theory says the three outcomes of high perceptions of self-efficacy are 1) persistence, 2) performance and 3) approach versus avoidance of tasks.

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Job Search and Workplace Success Tips for People with Disabilities

 Job Search and Workplace Success Tips for People with DisabilitiesSoftSkillsBuilder.com is pleased to provide a series of posts covering a wide range of information for people with disabilities. In this one, we have outlined general yet powerful strategies for boosting your value and reputation among hiring managers, supervisors, and co-workers.

Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

 Control Your Anger Before It Controls You

It’s natural to get angry sometimes. But on the job, you need to be very careful to control your behavior when you’re feeling that way. Here are some tips to help you deal with angry feelings.

Get the Most Out of Soft Skills Training by Providing Ongoing Support and Reinforcement

 Get the Most Out of Soft Skills Training by Providing Ongoing Support and Reinforcement
Interpersonal skills, the ability to get along with others, is just one of many categories of soft skills needed in the workplace. When lacking, the impact on an employer is huge. Consider these statistics:

  • 85% of workers report experiencing some level of workplace conflict, and spending an average of 2.8 hours per week dealing with it.[1]
  • 25-40% of a manager’s time is hijacked by the need to handle personality clashes among staff.[2]
  • 60-80% of so-called “performance issues” stem not from a lack of skills or motivation of individual employees, but from strained relationships among co-workers.[3]

Yet the costs of problems among employees are much more far-reaching than this. Engagement, productivity, collaboration, information sharing and idea generation, team trust and morale, and retention are also negatively affected – and can have devastating consequences on the organization’s ability to meet customer needs and business goals. In addition, interpersonal problems can give rise to violence and litigation.
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