Do You Have a Manager’s Mindset?

Julie Long, a senior developer at a software company, was identified by her manager as a high performer. When she was asked to coordinate a team of three junior developers on a project, Julie was excited about the opportunity to finally move into a management role. However she quickly became frustrated. Things that were simple and easy for her were not getting done in a timely way by her team. After just a few weeks in her new role, as she reviewed the code her team members had written, she found herself seriously considering scrapping their contributions and writing it all herself. She knew that if she worked a few extra hours, she could likely match the output of all three of her direct reports.
This scenario is all too common when an individual is asked to make the leap from expert to manager. It's especially common when someone is asked to lead a team of their recent peers. But jumping into the weeds and trying to do everything, even if it works initially, is not a sustainable strategy. Ultimately a manager needs to focus on becoming a successful teacher and mentor in order to help their people develop and grow, and to increase the overall capacity of the team.
But this requires a dramatic change in mindset, and it's this process that is so difficult for many of the recently promoted. Because coaching and coordinating others is not how you spent your days as an individual contributor, it can be hard to discard old habits. Start by tracking the improvement of your direct reports from where they are rather than comparing their output and capabilities to your own. If you assess people individually, their talents will emerge—and their progress will become a measure of your own success.
Here are some other things to keep in mind as you work on shifting your mind-set. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious, but the fundamentals have a way of flying out the window when new responsibilities pile up and the pressure's on
Take the Long View
While individual contributors keep their heads down and focus on getting work done, managers needs to be looking further ahead. Good managers spend much of their time anticipating challenges, negotiating political situations, and creating a road map that pulls together what each team member is working on independently. You also need to think beyond what will happen in the ideal scenario and plan for contingencies.
Seeing the bigger picture involves doing two things well.
First, you should have a solid understanding of the needs and goals of your department, as well as the entire organization. This clarity about the ecosystem in which your team operates will help you anticipate your manager's expectations. Second, you need to understand the capabilities of the individuals on your team. Recognizing your team's capacity will give you the ability to better forecast when your team will be stretched or when it will experience bottlenecks, and to set expectations accordingly.

Ask More Questions

When one of your team members is struggling, it can be tempting to just hand out answers (or do the work yourself, like Julie). After all, you probably know what needs to be done, and quickly providing the solution will get you back to your own work faster. But if you get into the habit of being the answer dispenser, you don't give people the chance to figure it out for themselves.
Asking questions ca
n be a great way to help a team member work through a problem. Have them describe what's frustrating – put it up on a whiteboard if you can – and then talk through all the angles. In many cases a solution will become obvious just through the act of describing the problem. But if it doesn't, your questions can be instrumental in helping your employee look at the obstacle in a new way or uncover alternative possibilities.

Focus on What and When

As an individual contributor, you were rewarded for perfecting the "how" of getting your work done. You might have great ideas about what makes you more productive and allows you to do your best work. But what works for you might not work for others, and further, others might come up with new ideas or techniques that you haven't considered. It's always best when setting goals with your team to focus on what the deliverables are, and when they need to be complete, but to leave the details of how that gets done up to each person.
The exception, of course, is when someone asks for help, or if you observe a team member struggling. At that point you can look at how they are going about the task. But even in these cases you should approach the situation with an open mind, and not simply dictate what should be done.
Another reason to focus on the goals and not the process is to avoid micromanaging. No one enjoys having their manager hang over their shoulder and tell them how to do their job. It's a quick way to frustrate your team, and it won't make the work go any faster.

Trust Your Gut

Stepping into a new role can throw you off balance. You are working hard to learn new ways of thinking and behaving and it can make you feel like you're wrong a lot of the time. But your instincts are still valuable. If you feel like a project is going off the rails, don't wait until it's too late to respond. You may be figuring out how to be a good leader, but your sense of whether the work is being done and done right is likely on target—especially if it's work that you've done yourself in the past.
Many new managers delay confronting a team member who is missing deadlines or struggling in some way because they doubt their instincts or aren't sure how to address the problem productively. But rather than waiting until the situation grows worse, sit down and have a conversation. Make sure you're aware of how people are doing, and check in with them regularly. When you feel like something is off, it probably is.

Be Patient

Shifting your mind-set from the day-to-day responsibilities of an individual contributor to the broader view of a manager and leader takes time. Don't expect these skills to evolve overnight, and don't be discouraged if you have some setbacks as you try to strike a balance between getting things done and coaching your team. Most of us aren't natural-born managers. The mind-set of a manager can be learned and honed with practice.
When times get tough (as they're bound to do) or you're feeling overwhelmed by your new role, pause and ask yourself:
  1. Am I seeing my direct reports' strengths and weaknesses clearly, or comparing them to mine?
  2. Am I taking the long view, anticipating capabilities, challenges, and expectations?
  3. Am I asking questions more often than dispensing answers?
  4. Am I setting clear deadlines and deliverables, but leaving the "how" up to my team?
  5. Am I second-guessing my instincts? (Don't.)
  6. Am I being patient with my own development as a manager?

Katy Tynan is an expert on the future of work. She is the author of the new book Free Agent: The Independent Professional's Guide to Self-Employment Success, from Productivity Press. Katy is a consultant and a founding partner of MindBridge Partners. Follow her on Twitter @KatyTynan.​


Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Management Tool

Ken Thomas and Ralph Kilmann
Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann (August 2015):
"The Joy of Having Created the TKI Assessment!"

Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. The TKI is an online assessment that takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Interpretation and feedback materials help you learn about the most appropriate uses for each conflict-handling mode.
The TKI has been the leader in conflict resolution assessment for more than forty years. This instrument requires no special qualifications for administration. It is used by Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) consultants as a catalyst to open discussions on difficult issues and facilitate learning about how conflict-handling modes affect personal, group, and organizational dynamics. The TKI is also extensively used by mediators, negotiators, and many practitioners in the coaching profession (executive coaches, career coaches, business coaches, life coaches, etc.).
More than 8,000,000 copies of the TKI have been published since 1974. Besides its native English language, the TKI is also available in several other languges: Spanish (European and Latin American), French, Portuguese (Brazilian), Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, German, Italian, and Chinese (traditional and simplified).
TKI Cover
The TKI is designed to measure a person's behavior in conflict situations. "Conflict situations" are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe an individual's behavior along two dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person's concerns.
TKI Conflict Model
These two basic dimensions of behavior define five different modes for responding to conflict situations:
  1. Competing is assertive and uncooperative—an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person's expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which you use whatever power seems appropriate to win your own position—your ability to argue, your rank, or economic sanctions. Competing means "standing up for your rights," defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.
  2. Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of competing. When accommodating, the individual neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another person's order when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another's point of view.
  3. Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative—the person neither pursues his own concerns nor those of the other individual. Thus he does not deal with the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.
  4. Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with others to find some solution that fully satisfies their concerns. It means digging into an issue to pinpoint the underlying needs and wants of the two individuals. Collaborating between two persons might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each other's insights or trying to find a creative solution to an interpersonal problem.
  5. Compromising is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. It falls intermediate between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. In some situations, compromising might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, exchanging concessions, or seeking a quick middle-ground solution.
Each of us is capable of using all five conflict-handling modes. None of us can be characterized as having a single style of dealing with conflict. But certain people use some modes better than others and, therefore, tend to rely on those modes more heavily than others—whether because of temperament or practice.

Your conflict behavior in the workplace is therefore a result of both your personal predispositions and the requirements of the situation in which you find yourself. The TKI is designed to measure this mix of conflict-handling modes.
A sample TKI Report:

Boutique Hotels In Sri Lanka – Wish To Know More About It?

If you wish to spend some time in the exotic and beautiful country of Sri Lanka, then it is quite likely that you will find the next few lines interesting and informative. While there are many wonderful places to visit in Sri Lanka it would be interesting to know something more about boutique hotels in Sri Lanka. They certainly are a fantastic option to explore while you are in Sri Lanka. It would therefore be interesting to know more about the various reasons as to why you should choose a good boutique hotel while on a visit to this wonderful country. Here are a few important attributes which set apart these boutique hotels from the rest.  
When you choose the right boutique hotels in this country you can be sure about the individuality. You will never feel that you are into one of those straight jacketed and boring hotels where there is nothing much to get in terms of uniqueness or exoticism. Most of these hotels are individual in their own right and are not run by a chain of hotels as is the case with many four star and five star hotels. Hence, you can be sure that you will enjoy something special and out of the world whichever boutique hotel you may choose.
Theme Based 
Most of the boutique hotels that you choose are based on specific themes. Therefore if you are lover of a specific theme related to wild life, plants and trees, or other such things that are close to your heart, it makes perfect sense for you to spend some time either alone or with your near and dear in these hotels.

Some Bit Of Eccentric Attributes Too
If you are a strict disciplinarian and would like to play by the rule book, then these boutiques may not be the right choice for you. They are truly funky and fun filled. They could be trendy and offbeat too and you could also some unique sense of humor built into it. There could be a few of such hotels which might even deliver you some exotic pets which you might miss in your holidays. Therefore you can well and truly be different from the rest of the crowd. 

They Are Located Exquisitely
When you choose to spend time in these boutique hotels in Sri Lanka, you can be sure about one more thing too. You will certainly be staying in some of the most scenically beautiful locations which complement with the overall theme and style on which the interiors of the hotels rooms are built.  You might stay in any hotel room, but you can be sure that you will have a majestic view of the view outside and it will certainly be memorable. It will linger in your heart for many years to come.

Final Word
All you need to do it is to spend some time on the internet and choose the right boutique hotels because you have some many of them in this beautifully country called Sri Lanka.

Ways to Deal with the Negative People

Ways to Deal with the Negative People

Have you ever been faced with trying to stay positive when others around you are negative? Negative people can be a challenge to be around. They will bring you down and drain your energy. A negative person can throw your best laid plans to be positive right out the window. Whether your child or spouse has an occasional negative day or you deal with a family member, friend or co-worker that is chronically negative, there are things you can do to remain positive in the face of negativity.

Let the Negativity Pass
Whatever you do, do not argue with a negative person. Arguing only adds fuel to the fire. A negative person will feed off any negativity that will strengthen his mood or attitude. I have noticed when my children are in a crabby mood, it is best to avoid trying to convince them to analyze and adjust their attitude. As soon as I take the approach of being in opposition with them, they seize the opportunity to prove to me that life stinks. Their negativity intensifies and the situation gets worse before it gets better. Sometimes the best thing to do is remain silent and let the negativity pass.

Negative People Need Love
You know how difficult it can be to give love and positive attention to negative people. Unfortunately, that is often exactly what they need.

Deep inside that mean and critical person is a person that is usually afraid he or she is unlovable. It is our challenge to rise above the negative attitude and love the injured person inside. How do you show love when someone is negative? You must listen to what she is trying to tell you. Acknowledge the feelings she has by saying something like, "You sound very angry right now." Even if you don't quite understand the person's feelings, know that your reality is different from someone else's. Ask how you might help the negative person. This shows legitimate interest in her happiness. Offer a hug even if you get rejected. Remember not to take a rejection of your love personally. A negative person often has difficulty receiving love from others.

Focus on the Positive
If you try really hard, there is always something positive to be found in any situation. Pretend you are on a treasure hunt and search for any gold or jewels you can emphasize. Even a negative person has positive qualities. When a person is drowning in negativity, it can be difficult for them to see the positive. So often my clients focus on the negative aspects of themselves. They forget about all the great things they are doing. I admit that sometimes a negative person doesn't want to see the positive. This might require her to shift her outlook. Negativity can become a habit and habits are hard to break. Be patient and gently remind your grumpy friend or family member to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Hopefully, in her down time, she will begin to reflect on what you have said.

Ask Negative People to Elaborate
You may hear a negative person say things like: "Women are fickle." "You can't trust doctors." "My husband makes me miserable." These kinds of statements are a type of cognitive distortion referred to as generalizations. To help a person sort through her distorted thinking, ask for more specifics. Questions like "Which women are fickle?" or "What specifically about your husband is making you miserable?" forces a person to evaluate what he or she is really trying to say. A negative person will give up because either it takes too much effort to explain himself, or he or she will get to the bottom of the issue.

Detach and Avoid Trying to Change the Negative Person
Learning to detach emotionally from a negative person can greatly benefit you and the other person. A negative person will fight you if you try to change them. If you want, you can try a little reverse psychology and agree with everything she says. I once read a great article about a mother who was exasperated with her son's negative mood. Everything she tried to soothe him and make him feel better backfired. She finally gave up and started agreeing with everything he said. When her son told her his friends were mean, she agreed with him. When he complained that his teacher didn't know anything, she couldn't agree more. After several minutes of this kind of dialogue with her son, his mood suddenly shifted. He declared that he was tired and he went to bed with a smile on his face.

Stay Away from Negative People
If you have negative people in your life that are critically affecting your mental and physical health, you need to evaluate whether or not you want these people in your life. Some people are so chronically negative that you have no other choice but to remove them from your life. It's possible to do that with friends. You can find another job if your boss or other co-workers are bringing you down. Other people, such as children and spouses, are difficult to remove from your life. In this instance, professional counseling may be the answer. To protect your well being, you need to enforce very strong boundaries with negative people.

Keep Your Own Negative Thoughts in check
If you do nothing else but focus on managing your own negative thoughts and behavior, you will come a long way toward remaining positive. A negative attitude is contagious, but a positive attitude is infectious as well. Hang out with positive people that encourage you to be your best self. Use positive affirmations to overcome negative self-talk. Express your gratitude for all the positive things in your life. Take the time every day to watch all the beautiful things going on around you. Read inspirational material and listen to joyful music. Take care of yourself spiritually. Do whatever you have to do to remain positive and happy despite the negativity you face. The world will be a better place because of you and your attitude. And you never know, you just might help a negative person make a change to a better way of living.

About the Author: Lori Radun, CEC - certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE mini eCourse on eliminating guilt, her FREE newsletter for moms, and the special report "155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children", go to

Persuading, Influencing and Negotiating Skills

persuading-skillsPersuading, Influencing and Negotiating Skills


PERSUADING involves being able to convince others to take appropriate action. NEGOTIATING involves being able to discuss and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
INFLUENCING encompasses both of these.



These skills are important in many jobs, especially areas such as marketing, sales, advertising and buying, but are also valuable in everyday life. You will often find competency-based questions on these skills on application forms and at interview, where you will be required to give evidence that you have developed these skills.


One scenario where persuading skills can be important is the job interview, but the following tips are valuable in many other settings.
  • Focus on the needs of the other party. Take time to listen to them carefully and find out about their interests and expectations. This shows that you are really interested in them and they are then more likely to trust and respect you. It will also make it easier for you to outline the benefits of your proposal in terms they understand.
  • Argue your case with logic. Do careful research on your ideas and those of your competitors (if there are any) and make sure that any claims you make can be verified.
  • The more hesitant language you use such as "isn't it", "you know", "um mm" and "I mean" the less people are likely to believe your argument. (Journal of Applied Psychology)
  • Use positive rather than negative language: instead of saying "You're wrong about this", say "That's true, however ...", "That's an excellent idea, but if we look more deeply ....." or "I agree with what you say but have you considered ....".
  • Subtly compliment the other party. For example: "I see that you've done some really excellent research into this". Even though they may realise this is being done, evidence shows that they will still warm to you and be more open to your proposals.
  • Mirroring the other person's mannerisms (e.g. hand and body movements). A study at INSEAD Business School found that 67% of sellers who used mirroring achieved a sale compared to 12% who did not. People you mirror subconsciously feel more empathy with you. However, it can be very embarrassing if the other person detects conscious mirroring so it must be very subtle. You need to leave a delay of between two and four seconds before the mirroring action. See our body language quiz for more on this.
  • Try to remember the names of everyone you meet. It shows that you are treating them as an individual.

Negotiating to win

This involves pursuing your own interests to the exclusion of others: I win: you lose! Persuading someone to do what you want them to do and ignoring their interests: "keeping your cards hidden". Pressure selling techniques involve this.
Whilst you might get short term gain, you will build up long term resentment which can be very disruptive if you ever need to work with these people again.
Jennifer Chatman (University of California, Berkeley) developed experiments in which she tried to find a point at which flattery became ineffective. She found out that there wasn’t one!
Of course, flattery based on round the positive attributes and deeds of other people is much more likely to be helpful and effective, and you will feel better about it too!

Negotiating jointly

  • This involves coming to an agreement where everyone gets what they want,
    reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement: win-win
  • You need to establish mutual trust, so it requires honesty and integrity from both parties.
  • Both sides work together to come up with a compromise solution to suit everyone's best interests.
  • Each party tries to see things from the other's perspective.
  • Assertiveness is the best way here: being passive or aggressive doesn't help.

A strategy for successful negotiations

  • Listen carefully to the arguments of the other party and assess the logic of their reasoning
  • Clarify issues you are not clear about by asking how, why, where, when and what questions.
  • List all the issues which are important to both sides and identify the key issues. Identify any personal agendas. Question generalisations and challenge assumptions.
  • Identify any areas of common ground.
  • Understand any outside forces that may be affecting the problem.
  • Keep calm and use assertive rather than aggressive behaviour. Use tact and diplomacy to diffuse tensions.
  • Remember :NO is a little word with big power!

    How not to negotiate

    When deciding how many battleships were required by the UK, Winston Churchill wryly noted: "The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight." 
  • Use both verbal and non-verbal persuasion skills. Use open, encouraging body language such as mirroring, not defensive or closed.
  • Know when to compromise. Offer concessions where necessary, but minor ones at first.
    Distinguish between needs: important points on which you can't compromise
    and interests where you can concede ground.
    Allow the other party to save face if necessary via small concessions.
  • Make sure there is an agreed deadline for resolution
  • Decide on a course of action and come to an agreement.
  • The final agreement needs to be summarised and written down at the conclusion of the negotiations.
  • Plan for alternative outcomes if you can't reach agreement.
It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (former President of India)

Use ideas persuasively

  • Keep the attention of others.
  • Explain the benefits of your argument.
  • Develop a line of reasoned argument
  • Put your points across clearly and concisely
  • Understand the concerns and needs of the person you are dealing with.

Gain support

  • Emphasise how costs and problems can be minimised
  • Handle objections.
  • Challenge the points of view expressed by others.
  • Get other people to support your views.

Develop strategies.

  • Use a range of approaches and strategies to gain support for ideas.
  • Give an example of when your idea has been used successfully in some other context.
  • Make concessions when required to reach agreement: work for a win-win situation.
  • Form long term relationships.


  • Negotiating to win (see above)
  • Gain power by undermining the position of others.
  • Don't show respect for others views. Put down their ideas.
  • Impose your own views rather than reasoning with others.

Do you know the 6 "C"s of quality?

Do you know the 6 "C"s of quality?

by admin
Quality is never a one trick pony. One can not simply “Be quality” or “do quality”, as much as engaging in a series of actions that lead to the overall quality of your process and your products. While Quality Process and Quality Control can seem daunting at times, remembering your six “C”‘s of quality helps keep the process in perspective.
The 6 “C”‘s of quality are:
  • Comprehension – Do you comprehend your process? Do you understand all of the steps needed to be successful? Do you know how something is built or why something functions the way it does? Comprehension is key to success in a quality process.
  • Commitment – Are you committed to finishing your work on time and in full? Are you committed to the quality process and producing exceptional products in a timely manner? Are you committed to being a champion for the cause of quality in your department? If yes, then you are committed to Quality.
  • Competence – Are you competent to do your job and live up to the standards of quality set before you? Are you proficient at performing the tasks that are essential to your quality process?
  • Communication – Are you able to communicate your quality needs to supervisors, coworkers and customers? Are you able to relay the proper information for exact results? Are you able to break down complicated tasks and ideas into an understandable language that everyone can understand? If so, you are communicating with Quality.
  • Correction – Do you fix errors as they come up? Do you find new ways to avoid errors in the future? Do you help others in making corrections that will improve a product, service or process? If so, you have a hand in the correction of quality.
  • Continuance – Are you dedicated to continuing on the path to Quality? Are you taking steps to make the next day better than the last? If so, you have a continued outlook toward Quality!
We’ve developed a poster to recognize these states of Quality Improvement. Hang these posters anywhere in your facility where a reminder of quality will help.

10 Easy Changes To Help You Lose Weight

According to the CDC, being overweight can lead to many potential health issues:

Learn to Connect with Yourself in a World Full of Distractions!

calm your mind

calm your mind