Developing Clarity of Focus in Management
One of the really unsung and over-looked heroes among the many management skills for effective delegation and project execution is focus. Focus comes in different flavors. For the manager, it is keeping their own focus on all the important actions, activities and important dates related to work activities. for employees, it is knowing what they are supposed to be doing and not getting distracted.
Why is focus so important to effective management and what needs to be done to foster it?
The main obstacle to maintaining manager and employee focus is distractions. It is a common ailment of busy managers and teams. Distractions, in the form of interruptions, phone calls, meetings, deadlines and an over-flowing to Do list are just a few examples. managers and employees are aware of these issues and battle them everyday. The starting point for management effectiveness is to concentrate on what you can control.
Two Keys to Developing Focus
The process to keep everyone focused on the important starts with “visibility.” that is to say, keep the important visible. It is a technique that is often skipped but does not need to be. Here are some examples of techniques managers can use to keep the focus on the important.
1. Meeting Agendas. Managers can make sure that every meeting agenda with the team includes a section that simply relates, “these are the things we should be focusing on.” If you make the key priorities and issues a clear an visible part of the written agenda and meeting discussion, they will be top of mind.
2. Individual Review Sessions. Effective delegation has a core technique of setting up regular review meetings with employees. these meetings should be short and purposeful, asking for a status report on current open action steps by each employee. when conducting this review, the manager can take the opportunity to highlight what the individual and team should be focusing on. Example, “(name) as you work on your current action step, don’t lose sight of where the team should be on these key things (list them).
3. Informal Meetings or conversations. During the course of the day, managers are likely to see or run into team members, They may also call, or be called by people with questions or on other topics. When this happens, managers need to take a few seconds and remind people of what the “focus” needs to be. Don’t let these casual meeting opportunities just be BS, point out a priority.
4. Written Communications and E-mails. where the manager has a regular written communication piece that goes out to all employees or weekly/daily e-mails, use these opportunities to Focus on the priorities.
Managers who take the time to put these techniques into place will do a much better job of keeping the business unit focused on what’s important. they create top-of-mind awareness on a regular basis. this does not prevent the interruptions but it does help keep people to get back on track. These techniques also help the manager keep their thinking clear, objectives front of mind and shield them from getting off track. Maybe that is the greatest benefit of all.
(c) Copyright 2011 – Michael D. Moore. All Rights Reserved World Wide
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