20 Rookie Manager Mistakes You Want to Avoid

management mistakes to avoid

  Every manager has that first day on the job.  And no matter how many years of work experience he or she may have, most first-time managers quickly realize they have a lot to take in.  (We’ve all been there!)  As we learn, we are bound to have our screw ups, it’s normal.  The good news is that we can always

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The Recipe for a Great Team: 12 Key Ingredients

what makes a strong team

12 Key Ingredients to High Performing Teams in the Workplace   It’s well understood that good teams get the best results.  Sports provide a great analogy for this: we are all familiar with those underdog teams that pull together when it matters most and make a championship run.  Everyone on the team does his or her part and they motivate each

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Your Leadership Style Defined in 9 Questions

what is leadership style

9 Ways to Evaluate Your Leadership Style   There’s a trendy phrase out there in the management world: ‘leadership style.’  But what is leadership style?  Well, for starters, your leadership style is the collective approach you take when looking across all aspects of being a manager of people.  Further, your style is your style; and it’s part personality, part skill set, part

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6 Great Coaching Conversations to Guide Your Employees’ Careers

career counseling

Helping Employees Make Career Choices As managers, our job is to get results, plan resources, and develop our employees.  In terms of effective employee development, the time we take to coach our staff members is critical to helping each one become a growing force within the organization.  Further, sometimes, we need to mentor them on more than just the day-to-day skills

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Your First 180 Days as a New Manager

things to do as new boss

18 Things To Do As a First Time Supervisor Great job!  You’ve moved up, and now you have entered the world of management!  Your first 6 months as a new boss can be eye-opening, to say the least.  There’s a lot to learn, a lot to do, and you need to set the tone for your new organization early on.  And what about all

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Deciding Who To Layoff: Ask Yourself These 10 Questions

downsizing staff

What to Consider When Downsizing Your Team It might be the most delicate and sensitive topic that you as a manager will face in your career: selecting the names of those people to let go or make redundant.  The context here is reducing the size of the organization to maintain profitability, or improve efficiency, not firing someone due to misconduct.  From

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Justifying More Staff: Avoid These 9 Mistakes

Increasing headcount

  One of our most popular articles here at MRH discusses a basic strategy that we’ve used to justify an increase in staff.  And it’s no surprise: based on our research, 50% of managers say the biggest challenge they face is the size of their staff.  We’ve said it many times, but will mention it again.  Between salaries, benefits, insurance and other

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A Sample RFP Response Format (w/ Commentary)

sample RFP template

  A little while back we posted an article about writing a reply to an RFP (Request for Proposal), which provided a basic outline for responding to potential clients.  Since then, we have received a lot of questions from the MRH community asking for details on formats to use as well as what sort of sections and content to include.  So, we wanted

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Managing Your Customer That Misbehaves in the B2B Space

dealing with bad customers

Isn’t the Customer Always Right? Actually, no, they aren’t!  In the B2B space, we often find ourselves working with clients and customers to develop and sell our products and services.  And yet, sometimes, things do not always go as planned.  I recently paid a visit to one customer who has started to change the rules as they go.  Despite the contractual commitments

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3 Ways To Plan Resource Levels

ways to plan your staff

3 Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs Most businesses and organizations go through an annual headcount planning process for the upcoming year.  We all know that such activities are important to running a productive organization.  And yet, while resource management is critical, doing it well and doing it right is easier said than done. There are a number of methods

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How to Ensure a Remote Employee is Actually Working

remote worker actually working

Working Hard or Hardly Working?   It’s a question we all ask ourselves.  Telecommuting is no longer a “new” thing.  For many companies, large and small, more and more employees work from home, either occasionally, or on a regular basis.  All you need is an internet connection.  But supervising these remote employees presents challenges to you as a manager because, well,

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What is a Skills Matrix And How Do I Create One?

5 Things You Need to Do to Create Your Own Skills Matrix Imagine: a critical assignment comes in, and you need to figure out who to give it to in order to get it done.  You only have one shot to get it right in order to secure that new contract.  Who do you give it to?  Who is the most capable? 

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The Worst Things a Boss Can Ever Say

how to be a bad boss

10 Real Quotes from Bad Bosses   As managers, if it seems like our employees are watching our every move and closely listening to our every word, it’s because they are.  In particular, the words that managers and business leaders say are very important.  It’s not about being politically correct or about being nice, but it is about how a manager’s words and statements are interpreted by their

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What is an Internal Customer?

internal customers definition

The Difference Between Internal and External Customers   Several years ago, I was asked a very simple question: “Who is your customer?”   Perhaps I was naïve, or maybe just ignorant, but I replied to the simple question with an equally simple answer: “The people who pay our company money for our products and services.”  He clearly expected my response, because the

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How to Manage Your Time: 15 REAL Ideas for the Busy Boss

ways to manage your time

15 Ways I Manage My Time As a Boss   It’s just about that time of year when things are at their busiest.  With the end of the year closing in, the pressure is on to meet our numbers.  We’re busy planning our projects and budgets for next year.  People are starting to use up their vacation, making their availability limited. 

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How To Run A Meeting In China and Manage Your Customer

running a meeting in china

15 REAL Tips for Working in China   Having returned from a trip to China earlier this week, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some learnings about how to conduct meetings and work with your customer in the People’s Republic.  Despite some concerns and disagreements before our arrival, my team was made up of several veterans when

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16 Tips for New Project Managers

Dealing with Challenging Projects

When I became a project manager, the first thing I did was print out a bunch of documents, the Statement of Work, some spreadsheets with basic financial information and put it all in a well-organized 3-ring binder.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what I was doing.  So I just got down to work.  That was 20 years ago and since that time, I’ve learned a

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How to Develop Your Employees

How to develop staff

29 Fantastic Ways to Mentor and Develop Your Employees   If there is one thing that sets apart the great managers from the rest of the crowd, it would be their ability to continuously develop employees and to grow the capability of their teams.  Unlike managers who simply focus on results, the leaders who place deliberate emphasis on employee development build morale and

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7 Things I Look For When Interviewing Job Applicants

conducting interviews of applicants

Evaluating A Job Candidate’s Interview Performance   Whether you’re on a hiring spree for your startup or trying to fill a key role in your organization, interviewing job applicants reveals a lot about your candidates.  We recently filled a critical role within our company, and while all three final candidates were internal to our business and knew the organization well,

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10 Signs You’re a Bad Boss

horribe boss characteristics

Horrible Bosses … in Real Life If you’ve ever seen the movie Horrible Bosses, you probably reacted the way most of us did: some of the amazingly inappropriate behavior in the film registered a little close to home.  We’ve all had some sort of run in with a really bad boss in our career, and while the movie makes a

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