Supervision: Managing to Achieve Results Chapter 4 Effective Communication:Improving Performance through Listening and Providing Feedback
Effective Communication• Excellent interpersonal or human relations skills are required if you hope to eventually become a successful manager, or owner of a business.• In business, communication takes place in a variety of formats.• Informal communication—not formal communication—is most important in business.
Formal and Informal• Information enables managers and supervisors to make sound business decisions. – Verbal communication provides a more personal interaction and fosters feelings of trust and goodwill.• Formal communication often addresses task-related issues and tends to follow and span the organization’s chain of command.• Informal communication may move in any direction, and it is as likely to satisfy social needs as it is to facilitate the functions of business. – Perhaps the least understood method of informal communication is the employee grapevine and the rumors and gossip it provides.
Communication Types• Downward communication is necessary to execute decisions and to give employees information about the organization.• Upward communication is initiated by employees who seek to inform or influence those who are higher up in the organization’s hierarchy. – There is probably no area of communication that is more in need of improvement than upward communication.• Written communication is generally the method used if the message is somewhat complex and official. – Because e-mail messages are surprisingly permanent, a good rule of thumb is to think before you press the Send button.
Methods of Communication• Writing well in business is more important than ever - you need to write concisely and with impact.• In your business writing, ensure that you follow the seven suggestions and tips below 1. What’s the point? 2. Get organized 3. Write the same way you speak 4. Make it brief and concise 5. Keep it simple 6. Write then rewrite 7. Convey a positive attitude
Obstacles to Effective Communication • The messages that we send are not always the messages that are received. • When individuals have different cultural backgrounds, effective communication can be challenging.
Obstacles• People sometimes struggle with the communication process when they demonstrate – Cultural differences – Differences in background – Prejudices and perceptions – Assumptions and expectations – Emotions (especially anger)• When giving direction and instructions to your staff, it is best to use language that is measurable, concrete, and not open to interpretation.
Overcoming Communication Barriers• Think about what you are going to say• Keep your emotions under control• Be a good listener• Actions speak louder than words• Provide and ask for feedback
Listening• Passive listening - you are not really processing the entire message.• Active listening - requires effort and concentration because you want to fully understand what the speaker is saying.• There are generally four requirements for active listening – Listen with intensity – Listen with empathy – Listen with acceptance – Take responsibility for the message
Seven Tips to Follow to Maintain Focus on the Other Person• Express your interest in what they have to say• Maintain your focus – People speak at a rate of approx. 150 words per minute – People think at a rate of approx. 500 words per minute – Don’t let your mind wander• Ask questions• Seek the key points• Avoid interruptions• Listen with more than your ears – pay attention to non-verbal communication• Take notes
Active Listening Exercise• Pick a partner• Read active listening handout• Tell a story (should be @ 3 minutes and should contain some detail)• Ask your partner to repeat the essence of the story• Reverse the process
Positive Feedback• Telling your employees that they are doing a good job and then pointing out specific examples is providing positive feedback.• Positive feedback is almost always well received because it reinforces what people want to hear or what they already believe to be true about themselves.
Negative Feedback• Strolling out of the office and barking at the employee who has done something wrong is not negative feedback.• The ultimate goal of negative feedback is to change incorrect behavior or performance by using hard numbers, data, and other specifics.• For feedback to be effective, remember – Be specific – It’s not personal – Be in the moment – Keep the goal in mind
SummaryEffective managers need excellentinterpersonal or human relations skills tocommunicate with employees and to providethe kind of work environment where talentedemployees can self-motivate. Thecommunication process - sending andreceiving information - contributessignificantly to one’s human relations skills.
Supervision: Managing to Achieve Results Chapter 6Building a Team: Hiring the Best
Hiring Process• Finding and hiring the best candidates for a job has never been easy.• Hiring the right people is one of the most important tasks that managers face.• When you begin the hiring process, you have to understand your goals.• Companies generally divide employees into two groups – Cost center is a department that provides services to customers or other employees without adding directly to the bottom line. – Profit center is a department that generated revenue above and beyond the costs of operation.• Employees in either group are expected to help the company secure its future.
Desirable Employee Characteristics• The following list gives you an idea of the general qualities that employers consider most important when hiring new employees. – Hardworking. – Good attitude. – Experienced. – Go-getter. – Team player. – Smart. – Responsible. – Stable.
Poor Hiring Decisions• Bad hires can make working for an organization an incredibly miserable experience.• The consequences of a poor hiring decision include: – Loss of investment. – Lower employee morale. – Loss of good employees. – Low productivity. – Low morale.
Hiring ProcessThere are twelve basic steps in the hiring process.1. Define the need2. Get approval3. Write the job description4. Place an ad and ask for referrals5. Read the résumés and cover letters and call the candidates who look the most promising6. Either interview the candidates over the phone first or ask the candidates to come in7. Ask the candidates to fill out the application and take any necessary tests8. Conduct a first interview with a promising candidate9. Conduct a second interview with the candidate10. If necessary, conduct a third interview11. Check the candidate’s references12. Make the job offer
Define the Job Before You StartDefining the job includes:• Drafting a job description that fully describes all the tasks and responsibilities of the position and the minimum necessary qualifications and experience.• Defining exactly what standards you’re going to use to measure your candidates.• Using the job description to outline the most important qualities that you are seeking in your new employee.
Recruiting Talent• You will find that your best experience comes when you do a broad search for the new hire, and involve other employees in the process.• The following list presents some of the best ways to find candidates for your positions. – Within the organization. – Personal referrals. – Temporary agencies. – Professional associations. – Employment agencies. – Internet. – Want ads.
Creating a Recruitment Plan (Practice)• Divide into teams• You are the manager of a small marketing group and you are hiring an entry-level marketing associate. You are also on the search committee to find a new vice president of marketing. As a team, write a sample recruitment plan for each position, listing the sources you would use to reach candidates.
Reviewing Applications• If the prospective employees résumé and cover letter closely match the job description, then they may be asked to fill out a job application.• A cover letter should always accompany the résumé and should have a professional tone and presentation.• Most companies will want prospective employees to fill out some standard forms.• Consider all this information in developing your gut feeling that either this applicant is a good fit and will do a good job, or that you should keep looking.
Interviewing• The secret to becoming a great interviewer is to spend some serious time preparing for your interviews.• The heart of the interview process is the questions that you ask and the answers that you receive in response.• You get the best answers when you ask the best questions.• Every interview consists of five key steps. – Welcome the applicant – Summarize the position – Ask your questions (then listen) – Probe experience and find out the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses – Conclude the interview
Interview Preparation• You should prepare for your interviews by: – Reviewing the résumé of each interviewee the morning before interviews start. – Becoming intimately familiar with the job description. – Drafting your questions before the interview. – Selecting a comfortable environment for both of you. – Avoid playing power trips during the course of the interview. – Take lots of notes.
Interview Don’ts• Certain questions can land you in major hot water if you make the mistake of asking them.• Some interviewing don’ts are merely good business practice.• Interviewing is one area of particular concern in the hiring process as it pertains to the possibility of discrimination.• Ask questions that directly relate to the candidates’ ability to perform the tasks required – not the discriminatory topics which include – Sexual orientation – Marital Status – Religion (or lack thereof) – Arrest and conviction record – Height and weight – Debts – Age – Disability
Further Evaluation• Before you make your final selection, you need a little bit more information.• The twin goals of checking references are to verify the information that your candidates have provided and to gain some candid insight into who your candidates really are and how they really behave in the workplace. – Check academic references. – Call current and former supervisors. – Check your network of associates – Do some web surfing.• When you contact a candidate’s references, limit your questions to those that are related to the work to be done.
Further Evaluation continued• Review your notes from the interviews and organize your candidate packages into three categories – winners, potential winners and losers.• Depending on your organization’s policies or culture, or because you’re undecided as to the best candidate, you may want to bring in candidates for several rounds of interviews.• The ultimate decision on how many rounds and levels of interviews to conduct depends on the nature of the job itself, the size of your company, and your policies and procedures.
Hiring the Best• The first step is to rank your candidates within the groups of winners and potential winners.• The next step is to get on the phone and offer your first choice the job.• Be objective and consider the job to be done and the skills and qualifications that being successful requires.• Trust your gut feel when choosing between two equally qualified candidates.• If you’re forced to go to your group of almost winners, and no candidate seems up to the task, then don’t hire someone simply to fill the position.
SummaryFinding good employees can take many hoursof effort and a substantial financial investment.However, the investment of time and moneycan pay off when the right decision is made.The payoff is a productive, happy employeewho can do the job well and add to the successof the company.
Begin Coaching Early - Employee Orientationhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vAq-_R-EiIhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCFbAIL8ftQ
Supervision: Managing to Achieve Results Chapter 7 Training a Team: OrganizingTeams and Coaching Employees
Teams• There’s a revolution in business today and it’s called teams.• Teams offer an easy way to tap the knowledge and resources of all employees - not just supervisors and managers - to solve the organization’s problems.• The best managers of teams are coaches - individuals who guide, discuss, and encourage others on their journey.
Transformation• Until recently, most organizations were vertical: they had many layers of managers and supervisors between top management and frontline workers.• The hierarchical model has one fundamental flaw: Many supervisors and managers made little direct contribution to the production of a company’s products or services.• The transformation from vertical to horizontal businesses has had a fundamental impact on financial and organizational elements: – Quantifiable benefits to the bottom line by eliminating overhead. – Movement of authority and power downward in the organization.
Organizational Cooperation• Businesses worldwide are rewarding employees for cooperating with each other instead of competing.• Organizations are no longer measuring employees by their individual contributions but also by how effective they are as contributing members of a team.• Benefits from promoting cooperation include: – Reducing unproductive competition – Sharing knowledge – Fostering communication – Achieving common goals
Empowerment• The transfer of power, responsibility, and authority from higher-level to lower-level employees is called empowerment.• By empowering workers, managers place the responsibility for decision making with the employees who are in the best position to make the decision. – Quality circles – groups of employees who meet regularly to suggest organizational improvements - are examples of participative decision making• Empowerment is also a great morale booster in an organization.
Team Advantages• Teams not only have the potential to make better decisions, but they can also make faster decisions.• Teams can also lead to increased innovation.• Teams are also more adaptive to the external environment as it quickly or constantly changes.
Setting Up TeamsThree major kinds of teams exist: formal, informal,and self-managed.– A formal team is chartered by an organization’s management and tasked to achieve specific goals. • Task forces - assembled on a temporary basis to address specific problems or issues • Committees – long-term or permanent, created to perform an ongoing, specific organizational task • Command teams – manager or supervisor and all his/her employees– Informal teams are casual associations of employees that spontaneously develop within an organization’s formal structure.– Self-managed teams combine the attributes of both formal and informal teams and are generally chartered by management. • Made up of people from different parts of the organization • Small • Self-managing and empowered to act • Multifunctional
Empowerment• Although many managers talk a good story about how they empower their employees, few actually do it - real empowerment is still rare.• You can encourage empowerment by allowing teams to – Make most of the decisions that influence team success – Choose their leaders – Add or remove team members – Set their goals and commitments – Define and perform much of their own training – Receive rewards as a team
Meetings• Meetings are the primary forum in which team members conduct business and communicate with one another.• Successful companies conduct meetings effectively.• Unfortunately, most meetings are a waste of time. – Too many meetings – Attendees unprepared – Certain individuals dominate – Too long – No focus
Successful MeetingsTake the following steps to make themost of the meetings: – Be prepared. – Have an agenda. – Start on time and end on time (or sooner). – Have fewer but better meetings. – Think inclusion, not exclusion. – Maintain the focus. – Capture action items. – Get feedback.
Becoming a Coach• A coach is a colleague, counselor, and cheerleader, all rolled into one.• Coaching a team of individuals isn’t easy, and certain characteristics make some coaches better than others.• You can always find room for improvement, and good coaches are the first to admit it.• There are several important characteristics of coaching. – Set goals – Support and encourage – Emphasize team success over individual success – Can quickly assess the talents and shortfalls of team members – Inspire their team members – Create environments that allow individuals to be successful – Provide feedback
Coaching Methods• Coaches teach their employees how to achieve an organization’s goals.• Coaches lead their workers step by step through work processes or procedures.• After the workers discover how to perform a task, the coach delegates full authority and responsibility for its performance to them.• For the transfer of specific skills, you can find no better way of teaching, and no better way of learning, than the show-and-tell method. – You do, you say – They do, you say – They do, they say
Coach’s Tools• Coaches focus daily on spending time with employees to help them succeed.• Follow the guidelines that can help you be a successful coach. – Meet with your employee – Listen! – Reinforce the positive – Highlight areas for improvement – Follow through• Although every coach has his or her own style, the best coaches employ certain techniques to elicit the greatest performance from their team members. – Make time for team members – Provide context and vision – Transfer knowledge and perspective – Be a sounding board – Obtain needed resources – Offer a helping hand
Discussion• You work at a manufacturing company and you learn that the managers are not spending time with their employees or guiding their careers. You decide to choose a few of them and help them become coaches. What specific types of things do you suggest that they do to become successful coaches?
SummaryThere’s a revolution in business today and it’scalled teams. The best managers of teams arecoaches - individuals who guide, discuss, andencourage others on their journey. Although everycoach has his or her own style, the best coachesemploy certain techniques to elicit the greatestperformance from their team members.