Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2017 Contents BG12 | BIZ TIPS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JANUARY 19 • 2017
Help your managers
do their jobs better
When you're managing managers, your job is twofold: You
need to make sure they're producing good work that they're
effectively supporting their teams. Manage your people in
the way that you expect them to manage their own teams. In
your one-on-one meetings, ask directly about how they are
coaching people and giving feedback. This sends a signal that
these things are important. But don't dictate exactly how the
managers should manage.
You have to allow them to lead in their own way, and they
need to figure out what's authentic to them. It also helps if you
can boost their profile with their direct reports. Praise them
publicly, ask for their advice in front of others or assign them
part of a presentation that lets them show off their expertise.
(Adapted from "How to Manage Managers," by Amy Gallo.)
Stand up to the office
We've all worked with that person who is utterly convinced
that his view is the only view---and isn't afraid to vocalise it.
This can be annoying, and even disruptive, but you don't have
to stand for it.
When the person gets on his soapbox during a meeting,
hear the opinion out and then refocus the group on the task
of making a decision together. Don't get wrapped up in your
emotional response to the person's behaviour.
Instead, stay focused on the work the team needs to get
done. Present an example of decorum and mutual respect
for the others to follow. If the soapboxer tries to reclaim the
stage, you can say: "We heard about that point, and now we
are considering others."
(Adapted from "How to Deal With an Office Soapboxer," by
Make sure you have the right
equipment to work remotely
Working from home or on the road can boost your pro-
ductivity and engagement, but only if you have everything
you need to get your work done. Your phone and laptop are
essential, of course, but there is other equipment that will
make your life easier:
• Your own hot spot. Sometimes Wi-Fi won’t be easily ac -
cessible, so make sure you have a backup.
• A headset. You need one for those lengthy, hands-free
• Extra chargers. Keep one in your bag and in your car.
• A mini power strip. It’s frustrating when you’re about to
run out of juice in a crowded café or at a convention and all
of the outlets are taken. With this, you can ask one claimant
to plug into your strip instead.
(Adapted from "Virtual Collaboration" from the 20-Minute
Giving and receiving feedback can be uncomfortable. To
make it easier, you don't necessarily have to get better at
saying the exact right thing; you just need practice. If you
see someone doing something they can improve, offer your
observations right away. You want as little time as possible
between identifying and discussing the problem. After you
address the problem, offer a "patch up" to help the employee
know that you respect her.
The biggest predictor of whether someone will become de-
fensive after presented with feedback is the motive behind it.
If the employee knows that you're trying to help her and hold
her accountable, she will be less likely to push back.
(Adapted from "How to Make Feedback Feel Normal," by
Don't make your stressed-
out colleague more stressed
When you see a co-worker at his limit, it's natural to want
to help. But even when your intentions are good, you can make
things worse. Avoid talking about yourself and past situations
when you've dealt with stress. When someone is at his wit's
end, he doesn't want to hear about your trials; he's too focused
on his own.
Be careful not to minimise your co-worker's situation. Don't
say things like: "Don't worry about it," "You're exaggerating"
or "Get over it." Instead, say, "You can handle this," and offer
an example of a time when he was able to bounce back from
a tough situation. Then ask him, "What would help?" If the
reply is "nothing" or "I don't know," sit quietly for 15 seconds.
This quiet time could help your colleague come up with his
(Adapted from "What Not to Say to a Stressed-Out Colleague,"
by Holly Weeks.)
242: In order to maintain its manufacturing supply chain and
meet demand for its wildly popular products, the tech giant
Apple works with 242 smelters and refineries and about 200
more suppliers around the world.
60%-75%: The Asian middle class and the global 1% have
seen the biggest gains so far from globalisation, with their
real incomes rising between approximately 60% and 75% be-
tween 1988 and 2008, according to a recent study by Christoph
Lakner and Branko Milanovic published in The World Bank
Economic Review. The lower and middle classes in the West
have fared the worst, with their incomes rising at most by a
little less than 10 per cent.
50%: Africa is home to some of the world’s highest rates
of youth unemployment, with rates exceeding 35 per cent in
Tunisia, Mozambique and South Africa. This is bad news for
regional stability: Estimates by the World Bank and Human
Rights Watch suggest that more than 50 per cent of African
youth who join rebel groups do so because of a lack of jobs.
Rise of the managers
90%: In the 1980s, noted management consultant Peter
Drucker predicted that technological advances and new man-
agement techniques would cause the extinction of many office
bureaucracies in the coming decades, as companies drastically
cut managers and managerial layers.
Things didn’t quite turn out as Drucker predicted. Accord-
ing to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number
of managers and supervisors and their support staff grew by
90 per cent in the US between 1983 and 2014.
(Harvard Business Review)
Profitable and positive interventions
21,500 metric tonnes: Employers can use low-cost inter-
ventions to get workers to change their behaviour, according
to recent research on related to tackling climate change. In a
study of 335 captains at Virgin Atlantic who flew some 40,000
flights, it turned out that informing the pilots that their fuel
performance would be monitored led to their making decisions
that improved efficiency.
Over an eight-month period, changes in their behaviour
saved about US$5.4 million in fuel and lowered emissions of
carbon dioxide by 21,500 metric tonnes.
(Harvard Business Review)
More pregnant women working full time
60%: According to data from the US Census Bureau, 60 per
cent of women worked full-time jobs during their first preg-
nancies in 2008, and 82 per cent of those women worked until
they were about a month away from their expected due dates.
This is in sharp contrast to data from the late 1960s, when
only 40 per cent of pregnant American women worked full time.
@2017 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by
the New York Times Syndicate
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