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Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to be a Better Boss

Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to be a Better Boss

James Manktelow, Julian Birkinshaw

ISBN: 978-1-119-37437-4

Mar 2018

272 pages



The manager's must-have guide to excelling in all aspects of the job

Mind Tools for Managers helps new and experienced leaders develop the skills they need to be more effective in everything they do. It brings together the 100 most important leadership skills—as voted for by 15,000 managers and professionals worldwide—into a single volume, providing an easy-access solutions manual for people wanting to be the best manager they can be. Each chapter details a related group of skills, providing links to additional resources as needed, plus the tools you need to put ideas into practice. Read beginning-to-end, this guide provides a crash course on the essential skills of any effective manager; used as a reference, its clear organization allows you to find the solution you need quickly and easily.

Success in a leadership position comes from results, and results come from the effective coordination of often competing needs: your organization, your client, your team, and your projects. These all demand time, attention, and energy, and keeping everything running smoothly while making the important decisions is a lot to handle. This book shows you how to manage it all, and manage it well, with practical wisdom and expert guidance.

  • Build your ideal team and keep them motivated
  • Make better decisions and boost your strategy game
  • Manage both time and stress to get more done with less
  • Master effective communication, facilitate innovation, and much more

Managers wear many hats and often operate under a tremendously diverse set of job duties. Delegation, prioritization, strategy, decision making, communication, problem solving, creativity, time management, project management and stress management are all part of your domain. Mind Tools for Managers helps you take control and get the best out of your team, your time, and yourself.

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Acknowledgments xv

Author Biographies xvii

Introduction xix


Chapter 1 Know Yourself 3

1. Understand Your Own Personality and Manage Accordingly (The Big Five Personality Model) 4

2. Understand and Make Better Use of Your Personal Strengths (Personal SWOT Analysis) 6

3. Set Clear Personal Goals, and Show a Strong Sense of Direction (Personal Goal Setting) 7

4. Build Your Self-Confidence 8

5. Be Aware of How Your Actions Impact Others ( Journaling for Self-Development) 10

6. Think Positively and Manage Negative Thoughts (Cognitive Restructuring) 11

7. Adopt a Self-Development Mindset (Dweck’s Fixed and Growth Mindsets) 13

Other Techniques for Knowing Yourself 15

Chapter 2 Plan and Manage Your Time 16

8. Find More Time in Your Day by Eliminating Low-Yield Activities (Activity Logs) 17

9. Prioritize Tasks Effectively for Yourself and Your Team (Action Priority Matrix) 19

10. Use a Structured Approach for Tracking and Prioritizing Many Tasks (Action Programs) 21

11. Schedule Your Time Effectively 22 12. Keep Yourself Focused: Managing

Distractions, Improving Flow 24

13. Beat Procrastination 25

Other Techniques for Planning and Managing Your Time 27

Chapter 3 Cope with Change and Stress 28

14. Develop Personal Resiliency, and Grow from Setbacks 29

15. Analyze and Manage Sources of Stress (Stress Diaries) 31

16. Manage Negative Emotions at Work (The STOP Method for Anger Management) 32

17. Manage the Impact of Pressure on Performance (The Inverted-U Model) 33

18. Overcome Fears of Failure or Success 35

19. Learn from Your Experience in a Systematic Way (Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle) 37

Other Techniques for Coping with Change and Stress 39

Chapter 4 Manage Your Career over Time 40

20. Find a Career That Suits Who You Are (Ibarra’s Identify Transition Process) 41

21. Find a Role That Provides Meaning and Pleasure and Fully Uses Your Strengths (The MPS Process) 44

22. Shape Your Role to Suit Your Strengths and Aspirations ( Job Crafting) 44

23. Thrive at Work (The GREAT DREAM Model) 46

24. Find the Work–Life Balance That’s Best for You (The Wheel of Life®) 48

25. Understand the Types of Behavior That Can Derail Your Career (Hogan Management Derailment) 49

Other Techniques for Managing Your Career 51


Chapter 5 Get Work Done in an Efficient and Focused Way 55

26. Translate the Organization’s Mission into Goals That People Understand (OGSM) 56

27. Align People’s Objectives with Corporate Goals (OKRs) 57

28. Systematically Analyze and Optimize the Work Team Members Do (DILO) 58

29. Use a Structured Approach to Continuous Improvement (PDSA) 60

30. Systematically Identify What Needs to Be Done – Gap Analysis 62

31. Conduct Post-Completion Project Reviews (Retrospectives) 64

32. Manage Projects Using Agile Methodologies (Agile Project Management) 65

Chapter 6 Solve Problems Effectively 68

33. Get Systematically to the Root of a Problem (Root Cause Analysis) 69

34. Identify the Many Possible Causes of a Problem (Cause and Effect Analysis) 71

35. Map Business Processes Clearly (Swim Lane Diagrams) 73

36. Solve Problems by Capitalizing on What’s Going Well (The 5-D Approach to Appreciative Inquiry) 77

37. Bring People Together to Solve Problems (Manage Group Dynamics) 78

Other Useful Problem-Solving Techniques 80

Chapter 7 Make Smart Decisions 81

38. Decide Whether a Decision Makes Financial Sense (Net Present Value Analysis) 82

39. Choose Between Options and Considering Multiple Factors (Decision Matrix Analysis) 84

40. Consider Many Factors, Such as Opportunities, Risks, Reactions, and Ethics in Decision Making (ORAPAPA) 86

41. Analyze Systematically What Could Go Wrong (Risk Analysis and Risk Management) 88

42. Prioritize Risks by Impact and Probability of Occurrence (The Risk Impact/Probability Chart) 90

43. Avoid Psychological Bias in Decision Making 91

Other Useful Decision-Making Techniques 94

Chapter 8 Foster Creativity and Innovation 95

44. Develop New Ideas by Understanding User Needs (Design Thinking) 96

45. Innovate by Studying People’s Day-to-Day Use of Products and Services in Depth (Ethnographic Research) 98

46. Innovate by Making Sense of How the Business World Is Changing (Scenario Planning) 100

47. Innovate in All Areas of Your Business, Not Just with Products and Services (Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation) 102

48. Generate Many Ideas Using Free Association (Brainstorming) 104

Other Techniques for Fostering Creativity and Innovation 106


Chapter 9 Understand and Motivate Other People 109

49. Lead by Example (Being a Good Role Model) 110

50. Listen Carefully and Intensely to Other People (Mindful Listening) 112

51. Understand How to Motivate People (Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory) 113

52. Work Effectively with People from Different Generations (Understand Different Generational Characteristics) 115

53. Develop Emotional Intelligence 117

54. Motivate People to Go above and beyond (Transformational Leadership) 119

Other Techniques for Understanding and Motivating Other People 121

Chapter 10 Get the Best from Members of Your Team 122

55. Delegate Effectively 123

56. Be Clear About Who Is Accountable for What (The RACI Matrix) 125

57. Give Effective Praise and Recognition 126

58. Build Team Members’ Self-Confidence 128

59. Support Your People Effectively (Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention) 129

Other Ways to Get the Best from Members of Your Team 131

Chapter 11 Communicate Effectively 132

60. Understand the Key Principles of Good Communication (The Seven Cs of Communication) 133

61. Speak Well in Public 134

62. Write Effective E-Mails 136

63. Build Good Working Relationships with People at All Levels (Create “High-Quality Connections”) 137

64. Communicate Effectively Across Cultures (Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions) 138

Other Techniques for Communicating Effectively 141

Chapter 12 Hire and Develop Good People 142

65. Design Jobs Effectively (Motivation- Centered Job Descriptions) 143

66. Recruit Effectively (Competency-Based Interviewing) 146

67. Assess Individual Development Needs (Skills Matrices) 148

68. Give Effective Feedback (The SBI Feedback Model) 149

69. Coach People Effectively (The GROW Model) 151

Chapter 13 Build a Great Team 154

70. Formally Define the Team’s Mission, Authority, Resources, and Boundaries (Team Charters) 155

71. Brief Your Team Clearly 157

72. Build Trust in Your Team 159

73. Build Openness and Self-Knowledge within a Team (The Johari Window) 160

74. Find the Specific Motivators That Work Best with Your Team (Understand Team-Specific Motivation) 162

75. Manage Negative Behaviors and Resolve Conflict (Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team) 164

Chapter 14 Deal with Difficult Management Situations Effectively 166

76. Resolve Conflict Effectively (Fisher and Ury’s Principled Negotiation) 167

77. Deal with Bad Behavior at Work 168

78. Deal with Office Politics, and Protect Your Team from Them 170

79. Handle Poor Performance 173

80. Be Tactful 175


Chapter 15 Develop Situational Awareness 179

81. Understand Your Organization’s Mission and Values (Mission Statements) 180

82. Scan for External Changes That May Impact Your Organization (PESTLIED Analysis) 182

83. Understand How Companies Compete in Your Market (Value Curves) 184

84. Understand Your Organization’s Core Competencies 186

85. Organizational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT Analysis) 188

Chapter 16 Get Ahead in the Wider Organization 191

86. Understand and Shape How Others in Your Organization See You (The PVI Model) 192

87. Ask for Feedback (The SKS Technique) 194

88. Build Honest Rapport with Others 195

89. Develop Effective Networking Skills 197

90. Influence Your Peers to Get Things Done (Yukl and Tracey’s Influencers) 199

Chapter 17 Make Change Happen in Your Organization 201

91. Understand Stakeholder Needs, and Bring Stakeholders Along with You (Stakeholder Management and Power/ Interest Grids) 202

92. Understand the Key Steps Needed to Succeed with a Change Process (Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model) 205

93. Anticipate and Manage People’s Emotional Reactions to Change(The Change Curve) 206

94. Persuade and Influence People (Effectively (The Influence Model) 208

95. Lead Change Without Formal Authority (“Stealth Innovation”) 210

Chapter 18 Work Effectively with Customers and External Stakeholders 212

96. Understand Your Customer’s Worldview (Develop Customer Personas) 213

97. Understand and Develop Your Relationship with Your Customer (Customer Experience Mapping) 215

98. Understand How Decisions Are Made in Another Organization (Influence Mapping) 217

99. Decide the Best Approach to a Negotiation (Lewicki and Hiam’s Negotiation Matrix) 219

100. Collaborate to Create Mutually Beneficial Outcomes (Win-Win Negotiation) 222

Appendix: Survey Methodology 225

References 227

Index 235