Hints and tips for new and experienced managers
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eManagement Tips - September 2019

A free monthly update for Associates and Members of RiverRhee's Managers' Community
Welcome to the September 2019 issue of eManagement Tips.
This month's issue includes:
  • Understanding more about our personalities and what shapes them
  • A new series on the manager as coach - starting with how to help employees reach their potential; and what to do when employees are grieving
  • An example of using mind-mapping with tips on productive meetings
Our next two open courses are Introduction to Project Management on the 24th September, and Conflict Management on the 29th October

See our latest calendar of open courses at the foot of this newsletter.  

August has been a busy month for us in terms of delivering one-to-one coaching for clients - and we are enjoying using our new picture cards from Barefoot Coaching.

Do get in touch to discuss any of your requirements for other open coursesin-house courses, team workshops and one-to-one coaching.

Understanding more about our personalities and what shapes them

Professor Brian Little's book has some excellent insights on what shapes our personalities and how we can use this understanding to support our well-being.

He tackles for example the question of nature vs. nurture and suggests that our personalities are shaped by:
  • Biogenics - our biological / genetic make-up
  • Sociogenics - the cultural codes, norms and expectations that shape us from childhood and through to adulthood
  • Idiogenics - the personal projects, plans, aspirations, commitments that are imposed upon us or that we choose to pursue
What's interesting about the cultures that we find ourselves in, and the projects that we pursue, is that they may require us to act in ways that are different to our natural or preferred ways of being: our biogenics.

Little refers to our biogenic ways of being as 'fixed traits', whereas we use 'free traits' when we behave in ways that don't come naturally.

Examples of all of this would be someone who is naturally an introvert, behaving more as an extravert - perhaps through giving an amusing after-dinner speech to a large group of people.

Using our free traits is certainly a route to personal development, but using them for long periods of time can also be stressful, so that we need to find opportunities to recoup and recover - to support our well-being.

Brian Little's book also explores how our environment can be in tune with our fixed traits and thereby provide supportive or restorative niches for our well-being.

Find out more in "Personality, personal projects, place and well-being"

The manager as coach

The ability to coach is an invaluable, if sometimes daunting, management skill.  It is something that we introduce in our Introduction to Management course, and in our training on Performance Reviews and Appraisals.

We also offer one-to-one coaching as a stand-alone service to our clients. 

“The manager as coach” is a new series of blogs, the first of which appeared recently as a LinkedIn post …”when a direct report is grieving”.

Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten' s article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review (Sept-Oct 2019) explores how we can use coaching to help individuals reach their potential. 

As the authors of this article point out, we often get caught up in the minute details of problems or situations that people are dealing with.  It may be however that these issues are symptomatic of some bigger personal change that the individual wants to address.  We can spot these opportunities, and help people reach their potential in the following ways:

Spot the opportunity: people choose to change either because they are moving away from something painful or uncomfortable, or because they are energised by a new opportunity.  You can spot if they are ready to change by paying attention to what they are saying, or not saying, and by their body language.  So it's about staying attentive to the people who work for you, and making sure you are having regular conversations with them.

Help to put the ground work in place.  People will only change if they choose to do so, not because you tell them to!  The GROW coaching model is one of many available to you to help your employees think through what they want to achieve, and how they might go about getting there.

Provide support for follow-through. You are an important resource to help your employee sustain their efforts to achieve change.

See the full blog The manager as coach: helping employees reach their potential.

Mind-mapping and productive meetings

(Illustration from Meister: Conducting Effective Meetings, August 2019)

Mind-mapping is an excellent tool, originally introduced by Tony Buzan, to support memory and learning.  We find that it works particularly well for people who are very creative, and who have non-linear or lateral ways of thinking. 

Mindmaps can also be used to support brainstorming during meetings, and we are using them with one client to support our coaching / mentoring discussions.

MindMeister is one of several mind-mapping tools available.  Here's an excellent blog from Meister, complete with some sample mindmaps, on 12 Ground rules for Conducting Effective Meetings.  Their ground rules in summary:
  1. Determine whether the meeting is necessary
  2. Assign a meeting organizer and facilitator
  3. Limit attendance to people who can make valuable contributions and decisions
  4. Share a calendar invite including all information required to join the meeting
  5. Ensure the availability of materials and/or equipment needed in advance
  6. Share an agenda in advance, stating the aim of the meeting and discussion questions
  7. Ask all attendees to speak slowly and clearly, particularly if meeting online
  8. Ask all attendees to practice active listening and avoid distractions
  9. Limit the discussion time of each item to reach the end of the agenda
  10. Give everyone the opportunity to participate with inclusive practices
  11. Assign an attendee to take meeting notes
  12. Recap agreed on points and assign tasks to the relevant people, before sharing via email.
Our current schedule of courses for 2019 
... please ask if the course you want is not listed

Introduction to Project Management - 24th September - A workshop-based course for line and project managers who are relatively new to Project Management.

Conflict Management - 29th October - How to facilitate constructive conversations for healthier and more productive working relationships
Managing Change - 14th November.  A one-day course on the behavioural and procedural concepts and techniques for effective business change.

Introduction to Management - 26th-28th November. An in-depth three-day course for those who are new to management or have been doing it for some time

Transition to Leadership - 12th December. For those moving into a leadership role

We have also received enquiries for further dates for:

Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma - Explore how to gain up to 20% savings on internal processes, free up talent to innovate and grow the business, and ensure that you deliver what your customers value.

Green Belt Lean and Six Sigma - a modular course to equip people to lead Lean and Six Sigma process improvement projects in their organisation.

All of RiverRhee’s courses can be scheduled on demand, either to run in-house for your company, or to publicise as an open course for other delegates.

Please get in touch to ask for any course that is not already scheduled.

We can also explore most topics in one-to-one coaching sessions.

See the RiverRhee Consulting website or contact Elisabeth at or on 07876 130 817.

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