3 Game-Changing Management Habits
Published 16th November 2020
Managers need to master a range of different skills. In fact, there are so many that this isn’t even our first (or second) article about skills needed by managers.
This can feel a little overwhelming for managers and team leaders trying their best to support their teams.
In this article, rather than firing an exhaustive list at you, we’ve considered all of the different toolkits and selected the 3 habits that can really make a difference without overhauling your whole approach to management.
We’ve also given you tips for implementing these habits immediately and outlined the fastest way to develop your entire management toolkit.
Jump to any Section
1. Develop a Routine
The working day of a manager is unpredictable, so you may already be shaking your head or muttering something along the lines of “what’s a routine?!”.
We’re not suggesting that you can always successfully map out your day as a manager (and if you’ve succeeded, please tell us how!), but a little routine goes a long way.
Here are 3 ways to make this a habit:
Each morning, before you begin taking calls, attending meetings, or answering emails it’s really helpful to take 15 minutes to organise your mind.
Use this time to map your tasks and tidy your inbox at the start of the day. Consider whether you can delegate items you know you won’t get to complete.
It doesn’t matter if the day doesn’t go according to your plan; having this time to organise your mind at the start of each day helps you stay focused on what’s really important.
It also gives you a calm start to your working day.
10-Minute Rapid-Fire Success
Schedule a "10 minute rapid-fire success meeting" with yourself at some time during your day. This one works really well if you’re having a day where you feel that you’re not getting anything done.
For 10 focused minutes, do short tasks that you can accomplish, whether they are high priority or lower on your to-do list. Even organising your to-do list is a satisfying task to accomplish.
The simple act of completing tasks kicks your mindset back into productive mode and moves any frustration down a few notches.
Use the “Little and Often” approach for 1-to-1 meetings
As a manager, it’s crucial to check in with your team members regularly. This can feel like an area you’re always racing to catch up with, particularly in larger teams.
Zoning a dedicated day of the week for 1-to-1 meetings and keeping them brief means that you’re more likely to get to everyone on a regular basis.
As you establish this habit, your team will recognise the best times to approach you with queries.
If they know they have a slot every week or fortnight to speak with you - even if it's just 15 minutes - they are less likely to interrupt you at other times with questions or requests to chat.
2. Let Clarity be your Watch-Word
Save yourself a lot of time and stress by getting very clear. Clarity in communication changes everything. This includes speaking, writing, listening, and questioning.
Three ways to put this habit into action:
Get clear in what you say
When you communicate, either by speaking or writing, take a pause to really think about what you want to convey.
This is slightly easier with written communication as you can proofread an email before hitting send.
With spoken communication, take a breath before you speak and use questions to check that you have been understood.
Listen actively and carefully
Instead of waiting to speak and get your point across, give your full attention to what is being said. This can take some practice, but it’s a skill worth developing.
With emails, it can be tempting to skim the message and fire off a quick reply, especially if you’re swamped and want to get through as many emails as possible.
Taking the extra 2 minutes to re-read an email, check you have understood, and of course, proofread your response can save you time in the long run.
Consider your questions
First of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re in a management role, you may feel like you should understand everything going on in your department or team instantly.
No manager does, and the best managers aren’t afraid to ask.
Think about the information you need. What kind of question will get you there?
3. Do the thing you think you can put off
This last tip is a bit like going for a run or making a dentist’s appointment. You don’t really feel like doing it, but you feel a real sense of accomplishment once it’s done. You may even feel like a responsible adult!
Have you spotted a potential conflict brewing in your team, but are hoping it will blow over? Is there a report lurking on your desk that isn’t due for another week, but you could get to now?
Have a conversation about any unease in the team. You may diffuse it early and get things back on an even footing before it gets out of hand.
Do the report now. Next week could be hectic, and knowing the report is off your desk will be one less thing to handle.
Proactivity where possible is like a gift to your future self. The more you do it, the smoother your working life will be.
Good Habits for the Whole Team
The habits above are all immediately actionable, and although aimed at managers, can be very helpful for the whole team
By modelling these habits, you’ll begin to create a culture of organisation, clear communication, and proactivity across the team.
- 2 Days - For Teams
Another great way to help your team work as an efficient, productive unit is through running a Team Building workshop.
Our 2-day workshop is available for in-house (also called “in-company”) training. This means that we would deliver a live virtual course exclusively for your team.
This trainer-led course gives you a classroom experience online, making it a perfect way for teams working remotely to stay connected as a team.
It is a great option if your team could benefit from clearer communication and the ability to handle tricky situations together.
The Fastest Way to Develop Your Management Toolkit
Take a look at our short management courses for a deeper dive into skills and techniques that can support your role as a supervisor, manager, or team leader.
Choose from a 2 or 3-day live virtual online course to develop a versatile management toolkit that will enhance each of the habits listed above.
All of our management courses cover essential management skills such as:
- Understanding Management Styles
- Motivation & Team Building
- Organisational Skills & Planning
- Communication & Assertiveness
- Managing Performance
- Managing Conflict & Tricky Situations
Our Management Courses
- Both of these courses have dates available every month.
- Our 2-day Management Training runs alongside our 3-day QQI People Management Course, enabling you to upgrade to Day 3 and certification if you choose.
- These courses are suitable for beginners and more seasoned managers alike.
- was €699, 17% discount: €575 (including certification)
This QQI certified People Management Course is our most popular management programme.
- team building
- how to motivate staff
- understanding EU Legislation relating to management
- key principles of management
- was €450, 16% discount: €375
Running alongside Days 1 and 2 of our QQI People Management Course, our 2-day Management Training is ideal for those who want to gain management skills but are not looking for certification.
Advice on the Right Course for Your Role
If you’re interested in developing your management skills, but are unsure of where to begin, we can advise.
Our experienced training consultants can offer guidance tailored to your background, career goals, and current role.
Call us at Freephone 1800 910 810 or Dublin 01 861 0700 during office hours, or click below to ask us anything about management training.