Are You a Hard Working Manager and Not Getting Noticed?

Visibility or getting noticed at the office is essential if you want to be recognized for your excellent work. More than that, it is also necessary so that you can get promoted and take on interesting new assignments. All this happens only if they have you in their minds.

A lot of us, me included, think that if we do a good job and work hard, we will be rewarded. We hate to beat our own drums.  This is especially true if you come from another culture. Unfortunately, life is not always fair. Here are a few suggestions to help you advance your career and maintain your dignity.

BUILD A NETWORK

There is an old saying: “If you want a friend, be a friend.”

In this case, it means help others and they will help you. Then you will have visibility.

Build alliances with people throughout the company. When some exciting new project comes up they will tell you or even recommend you. You do the same for them. Listen to shop talk and contribute your part.

Take the time to sit down at lunch or a coffee break and talk with a wide range of your fellow employees. Even, go out for a drink after work. Don’t just sit at your desk.

ANALYZE WHAT THE COMPANY NEEDS

Try to figure out where the company is going and what skills will be needed. Think about how you could contribute in areas where there will be a shortage. Make sure that you are ready to advance with the company to the next level. That will add to your visibility if you make sure that people know what you are thinking.

Try to combine competences. For example, if you are a specialist in IT, see if you can develop a soft or non-technical skill like coaching. Be flexible and willing to take on challenging new assignments.

DOCUMENT YOUR WORK

Keep a record of all the work you do. Collect compliments from satisfied clients or supervisors. Make sure that you have a handy way to refresh your mind regarding your accomplishments. When it is time for a performance appraisal or writing a new resume, you will be ready to show exactly what you have been doing.

BE PATIENT

Build a long term view of your career and where you want to do with it.

LOOK FOR A MENTOR

Few people get to the top without the help of some that are already there. Look for someone who could take an interest in your career. It has to be someone who likes you and is impressed with your ability. You in turn may be able to help that person. Then, when the time comes, and you are in that upper level, give someone else a boost.

COMPETENCE COUNTS

All your efforts to succeed will collapse unless you do competent work. Keep up to date in your field and add new skills. This includes being a good people person.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  1. RELATIONSHIPS COUNT
  2. ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMPANY
  3. BE PATIENT

How to Handle Complaints and Keep Your Clients Smiling

Key Points

  1. Have a system to deal with complaints
  2. Train your staff carefully
  3. Make this a priority

Do you hate to get complaints from your customers or clients? In a business, it is almost impossible to avoid getting complaints. However, it is important how you deal with them. An unhappy customer will do you damage. On the other hand, a happy customer is an asset.

This assumes a complaint by telephone, but it can also be adapted to customers in person:

Here is a time tested way to handle complaints from customers something you should follow and train your staff to use.

1. GREET AND REASSURE THE CALLER

Step one is to identify your company, yourself and ask how you can help. At this point, the caller may be emotional so reassure him/her that you are there to help. Remain calm and pleasant. As soon as possible, go to step 2.

2. ASK FOR THE DETAILS

Now question the caller to get the details of the problem. It is helpful to write down the information. Make sure you get all the details. go to step 3.

3. LISTEN AND EMPATHIZE

It is important to listen carefully. Repeat back any information such as numbers to be sure that you have the correct information. Express empathy and understanding for the feelings of frustration of the caller. This should not be an adversarial encounter. Go to Step 4

4. SUGGEST POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Depending on company policy, suggest possible solutions to the problem. Make sure the customer fully understands the choices available. If at all possible, do not refer the person to another department, but try to take ownership of the problem

5. AGREE ON A COURSE OF ACTION

Now get the customer to agree on the best solution to the problem. This may take some selling because the customer may not get all that he/she wants.

Listening for a Manager Is a Key to Success

Key Points

  1. Talk little—listen a lot
  2. Show interest
  3. Make it clear that you understand

Listening is an essential skill for a manager. I recommend that you work hard to develop your listening skills. Here are some points you should consider in this regard:

  1. Have a quiet place to meet
  2. Keep calm, don’t show your emotions
  3. Don’t interrupt
  4. Check for Understanding
  5. Make listening a priority

LISTENING PROBLEMS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

Managers with poor listening skills miss a lot. Often they are unaware of problems among their staff. They may also find it almost impossible to build trust, essential for a good working environment. Here are some of their comments I have heard about managers who are poor listeners:

“The manager talks a lot and I never get a chance to say anything.”

“The manager always interrupts me when I am trying to say something.”

“The manager doesn’t look at me when I am talking.”

The manager acts impatient, like I’m wasting her/his time.”

“The manager always answers the phone and has along converation when we are talking in the office.”

SILENCE

In my view the first quality of a good manager is silence. As they say,” You can’t hear someone if you are talking.” Give your employee the change to say what is on his/her mind.

HEAR AND UNDERSTAND

Be aware of the difference between hearing and really understanding what they are saying. You can hear the words and get a general idea of what the speaker is saying, but that is not enough.

RECEIVE THE MESSAGE

When you really understand what the other person is saying, you see things from the other person’s point of view. You take in the whole message, both verbal and non-verbal. The person will then sense that you really understand.

Brainstorming Brings Out Some Great Ideas

Many Minds are better than one

KEY POINTS

  1. You will get lots of new ideas from brainstorming
  2. Brainstorming will help build better team work
  3. Brainstorming will allow you to know your staff better

Brainstorming may offer a solution to your problems. You always need new ideas. In business it is deadly to keep doing the same things over and over The problem is to find new ideas. I believe that the best source of new ideas is the people who work for you. They know the business and the customers.

The following are the steps to put it into action.

Focus on Quantity

Get your team together or select a diverse group of people with differing skills. You need to identify the problem or new approach you want to discuss. Then work to generate as many possibilities , no matter how crazy, that your team can imagine.

Withhold criticism

The secret is to put all these ideas on the table without making any judgement.- Just get them out there, no matter how rediculous it may seem at first. That way everyone will feel safe in putting forward an idea or suggestion

Welcome Unusual Ideas

Your purpose is to get some new ideas that you haven’t considered before. That will be the source of a new solution to a problems or a new service or product. Be sure that the environment is relaxed. No cell phones or computers!

Combine and improve ideas

After the rich flow of ideas come the second part. Look at how some ideas can be improved or some could be combined.

Some More suggestions

1 Find a quiet location, preferably out of the office

2.Allow plenty of time

3.Define the problem carefully

4. Develop a relaxed atmosphere

5. Make sure no one criticizes an idea at the first stage

6. Encourage someone to run with another’s idea

7. Have someone who will write down the thought of the group

8. At the end, combine ideas and identify the most likely ones.