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Improve Management Skills

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Posted 12 October 2009 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help you with the development your leadership and management skills training.

Improve management skills

All good management is based on a "Success Formula"

It is a formula for all successful action and it looks like this:

The success formula

The five steps of the success formula are as follows:

  1. Name a clear purpose
  2. Formulate your best, written plan
  3. Take decisive action
  4. Gather the feedback: both on target and off target
  5. Change in the light of off target feedback.

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

As the team leader or manager, you know that, on the technical level, you are very good. In your role as an effective and inspirational leader-manager, you recognise that there may be some gaps. Now you are searching for a method to help you to improve your skills as a team-leader and manager - click here to find out more!

This is a cycle, a process, not a list.

You go round it, not down it.
The success formula is a never-ending process.
Understand and use the five-step success formula, and encourage those you are helping to do the same.

This five-step process is a description of all successful action. You can use it to help others achieve more: It always works no matter what the time and place and no matter what the context; from writing a book. To baking a cake.

Use the success formula to bake a cake

Step one Name a clear Purpose

Imagine that you decide to bake a cake. Before you can begin, you have to know exactly what kind of cake. A coconut cake, a jam sponge?
Before your can do anything else you must decide exactly what you want.
When you are clear on your purpose, you have achieved step one, clarity of purpose.

Step two is "Formulate a written plan"

You need to have a plan to guide your actions. In the cake scenario, you will have a recipe. A recipe is a written plan of action telling you three things:

  1. What resources you will need
  2. What actions to take
  3. What order to take them

Having a written plan is important

But why a written plan? Why not a plan you make up in the moment?

There are four reasons for developing a written plan:

Four reasons for having a written plan

  1. You should have a written plan because a written plan acts as a permanent template, a blue print that you can use to check yourself against.
  2. Writing plans forces you to think more specifically and carefully because you have to find the words to express your vision. In finding the words, you are forced to clarify meaning to yourself.
  3. A written plan can be checked by others. Other people may see errors or omissions in the plan that you have missed.
  4. A written plan can be distributed to others if necessary, so you can more easily communicate your intentions.

Success formula Step three: Take decisive action

This is the practical application of the plan; the hands on practice; the work.
Many people put off "the doing" part of the success formula.
They have goals and they have plans.
They have the resources. They just don't do anything with them.
The success formula demands action!

Success Formula Step four: Gather the feedback, both on target and off target

As you prepare the cake you should be checking the results of your current actions. Are they in line with achieving the goal or not?

Is the mixture smooth or lumpy?
Is the taste sweet enough or not?

Not looking for or not noticing the "feedback result" will cause the "final result" to be different to what you intend.

Management principle: You must give and get feedback.

But feedback comes in two varieties:

  1. On target
  2. Off target

"On target feedback" occurs when your current actions result in consequences that are equal to or better than those you anticipated.

The proper response to "on target feedback" is:

"Keep doing what you are doing"

Most people like on target (positive) feedback. It makes them feel good.

"Off target feedback" occurs when your current actions result in consequences that are not what you intended or worse than you want.
The proper response to "off target feedback" is twofold:
"Analyze the feedback"
And then, if you decide the feedback is accurate,
"Change in the light of off target feedback".
People do not like off target (negative feedback)

It makes them feel bad.

As a manager you will need to practice the art of giving both on and off target feedback in a professional way.

Step Five Success Formula: Change in the light of off target feedback

Off target feedback tells you that your current actions are not working: that your actions are not taking you to your goal.

The proper response then, is to change something.

"Change something" means that you must be prepared to return to step one of the formula, (to check that the goal itself is still valid, and desirable) and continue through the cycle again, re -formulating and altering plans, taking fresh actions and gathering more feedback, varying procedures whenever the feedback tells you that it is necessary.

In this way, you move through the task until you have achieved your outcome; in this case, a beautiful cake.

Remember the success formula

  1. Purpose
  2. Plan
  3. Action
  4. Feedback
  5. Change

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