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Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers

Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers
Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers Everybody wants to become a leader. You may vie for it, I might die for it; but in reality not everybody can make a good leader. Leadership does seek persons who are unique in their own way. One unique element which I’ve noticed in managers or leaders is that when they enter the work place, they bring along with them a kind of aura that has the power to make others submissive and polite. Not to say they are over-powering but definitely the sub-ordinates would love to greet their heads with such vigor so as to be in their good books combined with a sense of loyalty laced with respect. This session talks about “First Time Managers” who have reached the position by chance or choice and the etiquettes needed to be bestowed upon that position. 1. Learning is Eternal: “கற்றது கைமண் அளவு, கல்லாதது உலகளவு –This quote by the famous Tamil lady poet Avvaiyar who lived in 13th century reminds you “What you have learned is a mere handful; what you haven’t learned is the size of the world” and exhibited at NASA. It can also be written as “Known is a drop, unknown is an Ocean.” See how appropriate she is in indicating the finer points in our lives- just because you are a team leader or a manager does not mean that you are near perfect. You may be lacking the self-confidence to lead a team or you might be falling short in communicating clearly with the team down the line. It is always better to play along with the team, understand their psychology and at the same time exercise your rights at the right spots. You will stand to gain so much by being flexible and empathetic. 2. Communication is the Key: Here I want to take the help of the ManagementGuru Peter Drucker who prescribed the medicine for better management which is “Management by Objectives.” Keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and all-important deadlines and also involve them to set short term goals. A periodical review of the goals and results would put them in place and make your work easy. Effective communication makes you trust worthy in the eyes of your team, also provides clear direction and a sense of belongingness. 3. Inspire your Team: Passion is one element that is infectious and the other being smile. If you are passionate and sincere in your work, the enthusiasm flows like honey on ice-cream all over the workplace. A good manager creates that “Feel-Good-Factor’ whenever he is around. It is his confidence, emotional stability, communication and determination that gets carried on facilitating effective accomplishment of the enterprise goals. An infographic from AN ETHICAL ISLAND– A great guide for leaders and managers… 4. Be a Friend: Efficient managers understand the pulse of work-force just from their body language and communicating styles. It becomes difficult sometimes to read between the lines when employees are hard nuts to crack and would not explicitly convey or talk about important issues that are bothering them. This may be due to fear, anxiety or peer pressure.  These are the times when a manager has to behave like a friend in listening to them patiently to understand the crux of the problem so as to find a suitable solution. 5. Spontaneous appreciation and Mild Criticism: Think about the happiness you derive when somebody appreciates you for a good effort or achievement. The same applies to your team also, right! Appreciation for the sake of appreciating will fetch you only negative results, it has to be spontaneous. Even a mild nod of approval, a pretty...
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Job Interview

Job Interview
The Purpose of a Job Interview Interviewing cannot be viewed just as a two way conversation, but as a process of social interaction. Personal interview is the most flexible tool that helps to obtain the most accurate information about the prospective candidate as the presence of the interviewer makes it hard for the respondent to report incorrectly. You might have seen some poker players with a winning spree. That is because of their ability to guess opponent’s potential apart from their own knowledge about the game. The same applies to an effective interviewer who elicits the most appropriate information from the interviewee by gauging his potential and scope. Ambience: The ambience of an interview should facilitate the respondents to freely come out with their ideas about what they expect from the job and also what they are capable of contributing in terms of lifting the organization to greater heights. Fear generally grips freshers who may not have had exposure to such situations that decides their future. Even before completing their engineering or professional courses students get placed in very good companies that offer much scope in terms of pay and career advancement. It has become statutory for these students to express themselves in the most impressive manner to capture the interest of the interviewers and to outsmart their rivals competing for the same position or capacity. Body Language: Your body language speaks volumes about the self confidence you possess, whether you are really capable of leading. Pleasing personality is definitely a plus and it is a winning strategy to get noticed among the pool of prospects. Try to be as modest and dignified in your behavior and attitude but at the same time be self assured to avoid any question that falls beyond the scope of discussion or if it is aimed to puncture your ego. Stress Interviews: Most of the stress interviews are structured in order to test the tolerance level of the prospective employees given a crisis situation and also to judge their decision making skills in such a situation. Rapid fire questions are thrown before you, wherein either you can buy some time to think, keep quiet to prove your self control or burst open and check out. Higher level management interviews are of this order as managers of the senior levels and CEO’s are constantly exposed to pressure situations and they need to keep their think tank cool to keep going. Systematic interviewing using lucid language is welcome. The session must be to the point and the respondent should not lose interest in the interview. Emotional and leading questions better be avoided. The interviewer must be a trained man who has the ability to conduct the interview in the most natural way and also should be well informed about all the possible and important aspects about the prospective candidates. Hypothetical Questions: Recent trend is to ask hypothetical questions where the respondent has to place himself in a particular situation and arrive at solutions. This probes beyond the skill sets that the respondent possesses and it concentrates on the crisis management ability, presence of mind and the quick wit of individuals. Corporate companies conduct their interviews in a completely different manner. They are more concerned about the attitude, morale, soft skills, role analysis and the like. How an individual performs as a member of a team or a group and how well he can lead his team in times of crisis are a matter of concern in big corporates. Say for instance, if you are the head of a company, what possible changes would you bring in terms of sales, marketing and production? What will be...
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Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction
Job Satisfaction – Are You Happy with Your Job What is your attitude towards Job? How many of us go to work with cheery attitude and positive framework of mind. Most of us treat work as a duty or accountability. Either way it does not solve the purpose. If you treat job as a duty, there can never be any enjoyment attached to it. In case of accountability, you work to reach some targets without any passion for the job or you spend most of your time dreading the thought of reporting to your superior. Without involvement and love, any job is not complete and people experience only “Job Satis-friction“and not satisfaction. Have you thought about it? The Mobile Shop Scenario in Developing Countries: In most of the developing countries the proportion of dissatisfied group dominates the satisfied set of employees. This is because preference and priority is to earn the daily bread rather than achieving anything big. Well, this attitude shall be attributed to the low income group where without work their lives cannot go on. But the bottom line remains the same, the work should be satisfying. So, what are the terms? Also See: Performance Appraisal High Income Group: In high income group and higher level jobs where the work is very challenging, we see that the employees are very much satisfied with their work. They need constant battles to win over and are provided with such an environment that puts their think tanks into full use. But is it enough to keep them satisfied; no, the reward system has to be equally compensatory. Rewards in terms of pay, perks, recognition, appreciation, social status, awards and what not. So, how do we correlate satisfaction factor with productivity? The organization has to maximize the positive relationship between performance and reward systems. Also See: How to Handle Attrition Repetitive and Monotonous Jobs: Repetitive and monotonous jobs make a person dull headed and a stereotype; his enthusiasm is absorbed to the extent that he fails to understand and rejuvenate his skills. The job content should provide at least some sort of cheer and interest to the performing individual. Say for instance, you manufacture plain paper cups, if you decide to incorporate some floral designs on the covers; you very well witness a fresh whiff of enthusiasm amongst your work force. Such is the power of variety and change that brings cheer into human lives and attitude. If you are a terrific boss everybody will like you but if you are a source of terror, chances are there that there is a high turnover ratio in your company. People after all expect certain level of consideration and warmth from their bosses. Organizations must make the individuals perceive their roles properly to affirm satisfaction and to avoid conflicts. Career Advancement: Career advancement is what most of the people aspire and when they don’t find any scope for advancement their interest in the job gradually decreases. Merit versus experience factor also has its say over deciding the next probable candidate for promotion. The top level management, especially the human resource department must ensure the employees with a supportive environment that paves the road for collaborative effort and in turn internal satisfaction. Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction has to be considered from a broader perspective that encompasses all the independent and dependent variables that affect the nature of a particular job. This is very vital to an organization as job dissatisfaction leads to absenteeism, high turn over or attrition and decline in productivity. A dissatisfied employee is always a pain who can create problems by voicing his protest, gathering the union, neglecting his work or quitting. To avoid friction in the minds of employees, try to create a...
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Devising Your Career Plan

Devising Your Career Plan
Devising Your Career Plan Have you ever thought about how to gain insight into yourself? Well, it is high time, if you really want to make it to the top in your career and it is supposed to be the best personal strategy. Setting up of long range plans helps you to formulate your career strategies accordingly. To reach the destination, you need to have clear travel plans. Like wise, devising your career plans is inevitable to reach the ultimatum in your work environment. I reckon that the following tenets infuse some confidence to those who want to achieve: Set your goals high Never settle for less Never under estimate yourself You are born to achieve something You are different from others You possess that “in thing” that is going to take you places Career advancement, is something that is not the sole proprietorship of the managerial cadre. It applies to anyone who has the “will” to learn and move forward. One’s attitude towards time, achievement, change, material things, work etc., determines the extent to which he is prepared to pursue his career with a long range plan. Decision Making: Another important aspect of career planning is the tough preposition of decision making. If a qualified and experienced manager is adept in all areas of management, naturally he gets confused as to “which way to go”, when presented with a chance to take up another job, in pursuit of better career prospects such as pay or promotions. People sometimes tend to resist career planning for the fear of making decisions and sometimes due to the fear of failure of achieving goals in the new set up, which might be a big blow to their ego. This dilemma of choosing a goal is commonly noticed in students who want to pursue higher education, since it involves not only decision making but also determines their capability to be successful in the chosen field of activity. If an individual wants to become a doctor, he or she has to give up to pursue other opportunities, say, to become a lawyer or an engineer. Commitment: Furthermore, career advancement means more involvement and commitment, which makes you a quick learner and in the process to achieve your goals, you become well versed in the area of specialization, however complex the subject or situation may be. Psychology has its role to play in career planning too. People who are extroverts easily manage to work things up to their advantage, for the simple fact that they socialize well, which is important for a manager to be a good liaison. Time Frame: The planning horizon of your career depends on the time taken to make yourself qualified to suit the job and also the time frame in which you will be able to satisfy your commitments. For example, if your aim is to become a software engineer, Four years of your time in a reputed institution(Reputed and accredited institutions are mainly targeted by big and popular software companies for campus interviews), The effort you put in to achieve a degree with distinction(if possible, because it makes your career life easy), The importance you attach to training given by your recruiters and Other aspects like your work progress determines your career as a successful software engineer, facilitating to convert your plans into action. Everything is said easier than done. One has to have the inner drive to align the short term work activities in accordance with his or her long term plans. Last but not the least, competition has to be dealt with inside as well outside the work environment for which you need to be sure about your strengths as well as...
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Executive Development

Executive Development
Executive Development – Options are Wide Open Who is an Executive: A person or group having administrative or managerial authority in an organization. While “executive” and “manager” and “leader” are often used interchangeably, “executive” is commonly used to signify the top 5% to 10% of the organization. Executive Development : aimed at developing the skills and competencies of those that (will) have executive positions in organisation. Capabilities of a Good Manager: A good manager can make an organization grow, survive and shine amidst tough competition, if he is bestowed with corporate competencies such as perseverance, capacity to put in hard work, sense of loyalty and responsibility, all of which may be inherited or acquired qualities. Loyalty stems from internalized morality that may be a result of his value system. Executive success is what the organizations should aim for, and firms should try to figure out the fundamental components that make up the success formula or equation. Road to Self-Development: In less developed countries, employees are more than satisfied if they are provided with a job that offers safety and security. Their thinking is restricted to mere physical and biological comforts and does not go beyond that point, where self development and self-actualization come into the picture. In developed countries, the situation is quite different, where the workers aim for empowerment and look for reasons that motivate them to do a job. Money also has its due role to play, and people whose wages are very meager cannot be expected to aim for empowerment, where their single motive is mere survival. Abraham Maslow’s Point of View: Abraham Maslow puts forward the hierarchical needs theory, arguing that, there are five levels of needs for people in general, right from physiological needs at the bottom of the pyramid and need for self actualization at the top, and safety, security and esteem needs coming in between. He points out that, once a need is satisfied, it ceases to be a motivator. This is so evident in our day to day lives, where wants and needs never cease to exist and once a want is satisfied, human mind wanders to catch hold of another. So, organizations should understand and analyze, what factors best motivate their employees, particularly their managers (who might serve as a source of inspiration to their subordinates).It should be remembered that non-availability of jobs leads to dissatisfaction whereas availability of jobs need not motivate employees. Some factors which have been proven to be real motivators are as following: Recognition Opportunities for self development Additional responsibilities(lateral expansion) Timely rewards(in terms of money and appreciation) Security Inculcating a sense of belongingness Conducive corporate atmosphere Corporate culture Good human relations Economic burden makes people less enthusiastic and anxious in developing countries and this hinders them from delivering to their fullest potential. Also the bureaucratic approach followed by conservative firms, autocratic leadership style and lack of supportive atmosphere make people work like automatons devoid of creativity. Such firms may show good results in terms of productivity initially, but in due course has to pay the price, in terms of absenteeism, high attrition rates and less efficiency. It has been proven that job satisfaction is directly proportional to efficiency. When people find a job tedious and monotonous, they tend to lose interest, which will be evident from their lack lustrous performance. Performance management has its bearing on executive success and by providing with ample scope for career advancement and autonomy; managers prove their mettle even within limited scope of resources. Acceleration of executive change implies the development of the executive mind for performing managerial activities in a better way. Note : A survey of CEOs in Fortune 500 enterprises indicated that executives spend little time with their...
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