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Management Tips

Managers need to know Basic Management concepts and Key roles which they have to play in their organization. Keeping this need of Managers in view, we have placed useful Management Concepts & Tips for junior as well as Senior Managers.    

What is Management?

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Management is a universal phenomenon. It is a very popular and widely used term. All organizations - business, political, cultural or social are involved in management because it is the management which helps and directs the various efforts towards a definite purpose. According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals and can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”. According to F.W. Taylor, “Management is an art of knowing what to do, when to do and see that it is done in the best and cheapest way”.

Management is a purposive activity. It is something that directs group efforts towards the attainment of certain pre - determined goals. It is the process of working with and through others to effectively achieve the goals of the organization, by efficiently using limited resources in the changing world. Of course, these goals may vary from one enterprise to another. E.g.: For one enterprise it may be launching of new products by conducting market surveys and for other it may be profit maximization by minimizing cost.

 

Management involves creating an internal environment: - It is the management which puts into use the various factors of productivity. Therefore, it is the responsibility of management to create such conditions which are conducive to maximum efforts so that people are able to perform their task efficiently and effectively. It includes ensuring availability of resources, determination of wages and salaries, formulation of rules & regulations etc.

Therefore, we can say that good management includes both being effective and efficient. Being effective means doing the appropriate task i.e, fitting the square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes. Being efficient means doing the task correctly, at least possible cost with minimum wastage of resources.

 

 

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Levels of Management

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

The term "Levels of Management" refers to a line of demarcation between various managerial positions in an organization. The number of levels in management increases when the size of the business and work force increases and vice versa. The level of management determines a chain of command, the amount of authority & status enjoyed by any managerial position. The levels of management can be classified in three broad categories: -

  1. Top level / Administrative level
  2. Middle level / Executory
  3. Low level / Supervisory / Operative / First-line managers

Managers at all these levels perform different functions. The role of managers at all the three levels is discussed below:

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Importance of Management

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

  • It helps in Achieving Group Goals - It arranges the factors of production, assembles and organizes the resources, integrates the resources in effective manner to achieve goals. It directs group efforts towards achievement of pre-determined goals. By defining objective of organization clearly there would be no wastage of time, money and effort. Management converts disorganized resources of men, machines, money etc. into useful enterprise. These resources are coordinated, directed and controlled in such a manner that enterprise work towards attainment of goals.
  • Optimum Utilization of Resources - Management utilizes all the physical & human resources productively. This leads to efficacy in management. Management provides maximum utilization of scarce resources by selecting its best possible alternate use in industry from out of various uses. It makes use of experts, professional and these services leads to use of their skills, knowledge, and proper utilization and avoids wastage. If employees and machines are producing its maximum there is no under employment of any resources.
  • Reduces Costs - It gets maximum results through minimum input by proper planning and by using minimum input & getting maximum output. Management uses physical, human and financial resources in such a manner which results in best combination. This helps in cost reduction.
  • Establishes Sound Organization - No overlapping of efforts (smooth and coordinated functions). To establish sound organizational structure is one of the objective of management which is in tune with objective of organization and for fulfillment of this, it establishes effective authority & responsibility relationship i.e. who is accountable to whom, who can give instructions to whom, who are superiors & who are subordinates. Management fills up various positions with right persons, having right skills, training and qualification. All jobs should be cleared to everyone.
  • Establishes Equilibrium - It enables the organization to survive in changing environment. It keeps in touch with the changing environment. With the change is external environment, the initial co-ordination of organization must be changed. So it adapts organization to changing demand of market / changing needs of societies. It is responsible for growth and survival of organization.
  • Essentials for Prosperity of Society - Efficient management leads to better economical production which helps in turn to increase the welfare of people. Good management makes a difficult task easier by avoiding wastage of scarce resource. It improves standard of living. It increases the profit which is beneficial to business and society will get maximum output at minimum cost by creating employment opportunities which generate income in hands. Organization comes with new products and researches beneficial for society.

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Functions of Management

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Functions of management given by KOONTZ and O’DONNEL i.e. Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling.

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Principles of Management

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

There are 14 Principles of Management described by Henri Fayol.

1. Division of Labor

  • Henry Fayol has stressed on the specialization of jobs.
  • He recommended that work of all kinds must be divided & subdivided and allotted to various persons according to their expertise in a particular area.
  • Subdivision of work makes it simpler and results in efficiency.
  • It also helps the individual in acquiring speed, accuracy in his performance.
  • Specialization leads to efficiency & economy in spheres of business.

2. Party of Authority & Responsibility

  • Authority & responsibility are co-existing.
  • If authority is given to a person, he should also be made responsible.
  • In a same way, if anyone is made responsible for any job, he should also have concerned authority.
  • Authority refers to the right of superiors to get exactness from their sub-ordinates whereas responsibility means obligation for the performance of the job assigned.
  • There should be a balance between the two i.e. they must go hand in hand.
  • Authority without responsibility leads to irresponsible behavior whereas responsibility without authority makes the person ineffective.

3. Principle of One Boss

  • A sub-ordinate should receive orders and be accountable to one and only one boss at a time.
  • In other words, a sub-ordinate should not receive instructions from more than one person because -

-  It undermines authority

-  Weakens discipline

-  Divides loyalty

-  Creates confusion

-  Delays and chaos

-  Escaping responsibilities

-  Duplication of work

-  Overlapping of efforts

  • Therefore, dual sub-ordination should be avoided unless and until it is absolutely essential.
  • Unity of command provides the enterprise a disciplined, stable & orderly existence.
  • It creates harmonious relationship between superiors and sub-ordinates.

4. Unity of Direction

  • Fayol advocates one head one plan which means that there should be one plan for a group of activities having similar objectives.
  • Related activities should be grouped together. There should be one plan of action for them and they should be under the charge of a particular manager.
  • According to this principle, efforts of all the members of the organization should be directed towards common goal.
  • Without unity of direction, unity of action cannot be achieved.
  • In fact, unity of command is not possible without unity of direction.

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Features of Principles of Management

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

1. Principles of Management are Universal

  • Management principles are applicable to all kinds of organizations - business & non business.
  • They are applicable to all levels of management.
  • Every organization must make best possible use by the use of management principles.
  • Therefore, they are universal or all pervasive.

2. Principles of Management are Flexible

  • Management principles are dynamic guidelines and not static rules.
  • There is sufficient room for managerial discretion i.e. they can be modified as per the requirements of the situation.
  • Modification & improvement is a continuous phenomenon in case of principles of management.

3. Principles of Management have a Cause & Effect Relationship

  • Principles of management indicate cause and effect relationship between related variables.
  • They indicate what will be the consequence or result of certain actions. Therefore, if one is known, the other can be traced.

5. Principles of Management - Aims at Influencing Human Behavior

  • Human behavior is complex and unpredictable.
  • Management principles are directed towards regulating human behavior so that people can give their best to the organization.
  • Management is concerned with integrating efforts and harmonizing them towards a goal.
  • But in certain situations even these principles fail to understand human behavior.

5. Principles of Management are of Equal Importance

  • All management principles are equally important.
  • No particular principle has greater importance than the other.
  • They are all required together for the achievement of organizational goals.

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What is Motivation?

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behaviour can be -

  • Desire for money
  • Success
  • Recognition
  • Job-satisfaction
  • Team work, etc

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:-

  • A felt need or drive
  • A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
  • When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

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Maslow's Need Hierarchy Model

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Human behavior is goal-directed. Motivation cause goal-directed behaviour. It is through motivation that needs can be handled and tackled purposely. This can be understood by understanding the hierarchy of needs by manager. The needs of individual serves as a driving force in human behaviour. Therefore, a manager must understand the “Hierarchy of needs”. Maslow has proposed “The Need Hierarchy Model”.

 

  Self-actualization Needs

  Esteem Needs  

  Social Needs  

  Security Needs  

Physiological Needs  

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Model

The needs have been classified into the following in order:

  • Physiological needs - These are the basic needs of an individual which includes food, clothing, shelter, air, water, etc. These needs relate to the survival and maintenance of human life.
  • Safety needs - These needs are also important for human beings. Everybody wants job security, protection against danger, safety of property, etc.
  • Social needs - These needs emerge from society. Man is a social animal. These needs become important. For example- love, affection, belongingness, friendship, conversation, etc.
  • Esteem needs - These needs relate to desire for self-respect, recognition and respect from others.
  • Self-actualization needs - These are the needs of the highest order and these needs are found in those person whose previous four needs are satisfied. This will include need for social service, meditation.

 

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Motivation Incentives - Incentives to Motivate Employees

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Incentive is an act or promise for greater action. It is also called as a stimulus to greater action. Incentives are something which are given in addition to wagers. It means additional remuneration or benefit to an employee in recognition of achievement or better work. Incentives provide a spur or zeal in the employees for better performance. It is a natural thing that nobody acts without a purpose behind. Therefore, a hope for a reward is a powerful incentive to motivate employees. Besides monetary incentive, there are some other stimuli which can drive a person to better. This will include job satisfaction, job security, job promotion, and pride for accomplishment. Therefore, incentives really can sometimes work to accomplish the goals of a concern. The need of incentives can be many:-

  • To increase productivity,
  • To drive or arouse a stimulus work,
  • To enhance commitment in work performance,
  • To psychologically satisfy a person which leads to job satisfaction,
  • To shape the behavior or outlook of subordinate towards work,
  • To inculcate zeal and enthusiasm towards work,
  • To get the maximum of their capabilities so that they are exploited and utilized maximally.

Therefore, management has to offer the following two categories of incentives to motivate employees:-

1. Monetary Incentives - Those incentives which satisfy the subordinates by providing them rewards in terms of rupees. Money has been recognized as a chief source of satisfying the needs of people. Money is also helpful to satisfy the social needs by possessing various material items. Therefore, money not only satisfies psychological needs but also the security and social needs. Therefore, in many factories, various wage plans and bonus schemes are introduced to motivate and stimulate the people to work.

2. Non-Monetary Incentives - Besides the monetary incentives, there are certain non-financial incentives which can satisfy the ego and self- actualization needs of employees. The incentives which cannot be measured in terms of money are under the category of “Non- monetary incentives”. Whenever a manager has to satisfy the psychological needs of the subordinates, he makes use of non-financial incentives. Non- financial incentives can be of the following types:-

  • Security of Service - Job security is an incentive which provides great motivation to employees. If his job is secured, he will put maximum efforts to achieve the objectives of the enterprise. This also helps since he is very far off from mental tension and he can give his best to the enterprise.
  • Praise or Recognition - The praise or recognition is another non- financial incentive which satisfies the ego needs of the employees. Sometimes praise becomes more effective than any other incentive. The employees will respond more to praise and try to give the best of their abilities to a concern.
  • Suggestion Scheme - The organization should look forward to taking suggestions and inviting suggestion schemes from the subordinates. This inculcates a spirit of participation in the employees. This can be done by publishing various articles written by employees to improve the work environment which can be published in various magazines of the company. This also is helpful to motivate the employees to feel important and they can also be in search for innovative methods which can be applied for better work methods. This ultimately helps in growing a concern and adapting new methods of operations.
  • Job Enrichment - Job enrichment is another non- monetary incentive in which the job of a worker can be enriched. This can be done by increasing his responsibilities, giving him an important designation, increasing the content and nature of the work. This way efficient worker can get challenging jobs in which they can prove their worth. This also helps in the greatest motivation of the efficient employees.
  • Promotion Opportunities - Promotion is an effective tool to increase the spirit to work in a concern. If the employees are provided opportunities for the advancement and growth, they feel satisfied and contented and they become more committed to the organization.

The above non - financial tools can be framed effectively by giving due concentration to the role of employees. A combination of financial and non- financial incentives help together in bringing motivation and zeal to work in a concern.

Positive Incentives

Positive incentives are those incentives which provide a positive assurance for fulfilling the needs and wants. Positive incentives generally have an optimistic attitude behind and they are generally given to satisfy the psychological requirements of employees. For example-promotion, praise, recognition, perks and allowances, etc. It is positive by nature.

Negative Incentives

Negative incentives are those whose purpose is to correct the mistakes or defaults of employees. The purpose is to rectify mistakes in order to get effective results. Negative incentive is generally resorted to when positive incentive does not works and a psychological set back has to be given to employees. It is negative by nature. For example- demotion, transfer, fines, penalties.

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Importance of Motivation

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Motivation is a very important for an organization because of the following benefits it provides:-

1. Puts human resources into action

Every concern requires physical, financial and human resources to accomplish the goals. It is through motivation that the human resources can be utilized by making full use of it. This can be done by building willingness in employees to work. This will help the enterprise in securing best possible utilization of resources.

2. Improves level of efficiency of employees

The level of a subordinate or a employee does not only depend upon his qualifications and abilities. For getting best of his work performance, the gap between ability and willingness has to be filled which helps in improving the level of performance of subordinates. This will result into-

  • Increase in productivity,
  • Reducing cost of operations, and
  • Improving overall efficiency.

3. Leads to achievement of organizational goals

  • The goals of an enterprise can be achieved only when the following factors take place :-
  • There is best possible utilization of resources,
  • There is a co-operative work environment,
  • The employees are goal-directed and they act in a purposive manner,
  • Goals can be achieved if co-ordination and co-operation takes place simultaneously which can be effectively done through motivation.

4. Builds friendly relationship

Motivation is an important factor which brings employees satisfaction. This can be done by keeping into mind and framing an incentive plan for the benefit of the employees. This could initiate the following things:

  • Monetary and non-monetary incentives,
  • Promotion opportunities for employees,
  • Disincentives for inefficient employees.

In order to build a cordial, friendly atmosphere in a concern, the above steps should be taken by a manager. This would help in:

  • Effective co-operation which brings stability,
  • Industrial dispute and unrest in employees will reduce,
  • The employees will be adaptable to the changes and there will be no resistance to the change,
  • This will help in providing a smooth and sound concern in which individual interests will coincide with the organizational interests,
  • This will result in profit maximization through increased productivity.

5. Leads to stability of work force

Stability of workforce is very important from the point of view of reputation and goodwill of a concern. The employees can remain loyal to the enterprise only when they have a feeling of participation in the management. The skills and efficiency of employees will always be of advantage to employees as well as employees. This will lead to a good public image in the market which will attract competent and qualified people into a concern. As it is said, “Old is gold” which suffices with the role of motivation here, the older the people, more the experience and their adjustment into a concern which can be of benefit to the enterprise.

Motivation is an internal feeling which can be understood only by manager since he is in close contact with the employees. Needs, wants and desires are inter-related and they are the driving force to act. These needs can be understood by the manager and he can frame motivation plans accordingly. We can say that motivation therefore is a continuous process since motivation process is based on needs which are unlimited. The process has to be continued throughout.

Motivation is important both to an individual and a business. Motivation is important to an individual as:

  • Motivation will help him achieve his personal goals.
  • If an individual is motivated, he will have job satisfaction.
  • Motivation will help in self-development of individual.
  • An individual would always gain by working with a dynamic team.

Similarly, motivation is important to a business as:

  • The more motivated the employees are, the more empowered the team is.
  • The more is the team work and individual employee contribution, more profitable and successful is the business.
  • During period of amendments, there will be more adaptability and creativity.
  • Motivation will lead to an optimistic and challenging attitude at work place.

 

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Leadership Basics

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

What is Leadership

Leadership is a process by which an executive can direct, guide and influence the behavior and work of others towards accomplishment of specific goals in a given situation. Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence and zeal.

Leadership is the potential to influence behaviour of others. It is also defined as the capacity to influence a group towards the realization of a goal. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organizational members to want to achieve the visions.

According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.”

Characteristics of Leadership

  • It is a inter-personal process in which a manager is into influencing and guiding workers towards attainment of goals.
  • It denotes a few qualities to be present in a person which includes intelligence, maturity and personality.
  • It is a group process. It involves two or more people interacting with each other.
  • A leader is involved in shaping and moulding the behaviour of the group towards accomplishment of organizational goals.
  • Leadership is situation bound. There is no best style of leadership. It all depends upon tackling with the situations.

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Role of a Leader

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Following are the main roles of a leader in an organization :

  • Required at all Levels - Leadership is a function which is important at all levels of management. In the top level, it is important for getting co-operation in formulation of plans and policies. In the middle and lower level, it is required for interpretation and execution of plans and programmes framed by the top management. Leadership can be exercised through guidance and counseling of the subordinates at the time of execution of plans.
  • Representative of the Organization - A leader, i.e., a manager is said to be the representative of the enterprise. He has to represent the concern at seminars, conferences, general meetings, etc. His role is to communicate the rationale of the enterprise to outside public. He is also representative of the own department which he leads.
  • Integrates and reconciles the Personal Goals with Organizational Goals - A leader through leadership traits helps in reconciling/ integrating the personal goals of the employees with the organizational goals. He is trying to co-ordinate the efforts of people towards a common purpose and thereby achieves objectives. This can be done only if he can influence and get willing co-operation and urge to accomplish the objectives.
  • He Solicits Support - A leader is a manager and besides that he is a person who entertains and invites support and co- operation of subordinates. This he can do by his personality, intelligence, maturity and experience which can provide him positive result. In this regard, a leader has to invite suggestions and if possible implement them into plans and programmes of enterprise. This way, he can solicit full support of employees which results in willingness to work and thereby effectiveness in running of a concern.
  • As a Friend, Philosopher and Guide - A leader must possess the three dimensional traits in him. He can be a friend by sharing the feelings, opinions and desires with the employees. He can be a philosopher by utilizing his intelligence and experience and thereby guiding the employees as and when time requires. He can be a guide by supervising and communicating the employees the plans and policies of top management and secure their co-operation to achieve the goals of a concern. At times he can also play the role of a counselor by counseling and a problem-solving approach. He can listen to the problems of the employees and try to solve them.

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Qualities of a Leader

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

A Leader has got multidimensional traits in him which makes him appealing and effective in behavior. The following are the requisites to be present in a good leader:

  • Physical Appearance - A leader must have a pleasing appearance. Physique and health are very important for a good leader.
  • Vision and Foresight- A leader cannot maintain influence unless he exhibits that he is forward looking. He has to visualize situations and thereby has to frame logical programmes.
  • Intelligence- A leader should be intelligent enough to examine problems and difficult situations. He should be analytical who weighs pros and cons and then summarizes the situation. Therefore, a positive bent of mind and mature outlook is very important.
  • Communicative skills- A leader must be able to communicate the policies and procedures clearly, precisely and effectively. This can be helpful in persuasion and stimulation.
  • Objective- A leader has to be having a fair outlook which is free from bias and which does not reflects his willingness towards a particular individual. He should develop his own opinion and should base his judgement on facts and logic.
  • Knowledge of Work- A leader should be very precisely knowing the nature of work of his subordinates because it is then he can win the trust and confidence of his subordinates.
  • Sense of Responsibility- Responsibility and accountability towards an individual’s work is very important to bring a sense of influence. A leader must have a sense of responsibility towards organizational goals because only then he can get maximum of capabilities exploited in a real sense. For this, he has to motivate himself and arouse and urge to give best of his abilities. Only then he can motivate the subordinates to the best.
  • Self-Confidence and Will-Power - Confidence in himself is important to earn the confidence of the subordinates. He should be trustworthy and should handle the situations with full will power. 
  • Humanist -This trait to be present in a leader is essential because he deals with human beings and is in personal contact with them. He has to handle the personal problems of his subordinates with great care and attention. Therefore, treating the human beings on humanitarian grounds is essential for building a congenial environment.
  • Empathy - It is an old adage “Stepping into the shoes of others”. This is very important because fair judgement and objectivity comes only then. A leader should understand the problems and complaints of employees and should also have a complete view of the needs and aspirations of the employees. This helps in improving human relations and personal contacts with the employees.

From the above qualities present in a leader, one can understand the scope of leadership and it’s importance for scope of business. A leader cannot have all traits at one time. But a few of them helps in achieving effective results.

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Leader versus Manager

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Leadership and managership are two synonymous terms” is an incorrect statement. Leadership doesn’t require any managerial position to act as a leader. On the other hand, a manager can be a true manager only if he has got the traits of leader in him. By virtue of his position, manager has to provide leadership to his group. A manager has to perform all five functions to achieve goals, i.e., Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, and Controlling. Leadership is a part of these functions. Leadership as a general term is not related to managership. A person can be a leader by virtue of qualities in him. For example: leader of a club, class, welfare association, social organization, etc. Therefore, it is true to say that, “All managers are leaders, but all leaders are not managers.”

A leader is one who influences the behavior and work of others in group efforts towards achievement of specified goals in a given situation. On the other hand, manager can be a true manager only if he has got traits of leader in him. Manager at all levels are expected to be the leaders of work groups so that subordinates willingly carry instructions and accept their guidance. A person can be a leader by virtue of all qualities in him.

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What is Decision Making?

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Definition of Decision Making

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the term decision making means - The process of deciding about something important, especially in a group of people or in an organization.

Trewatha & Newport defines decision making process as follows:, “Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem”.

As evidenced by the foregone definitions, decision making process is a consultative affair done by a comity of professionals to drive better functioning of any organization. Thereby, it is a continuous and dynamic activity that pervades all other activities pertaining to the organization. Since it is an ongoing activity, decision making process plays vital importance in the functioning of an organization. Since intellectual minds are involved in the process of decision making, it requires solid scientific knowledge coupled with skills and experience in addition to mental maturity.

Further, decision making process can be regarded as check and balance system that keeps the organisation growing both in vertical and linear directions. It means that decision making process seeks a goal. The goals are pre-set business objectives, company missions and its vision. To achieve these goals, company may face lot of obstacles in administrative, operational, marketing wings and operational domains. Such problems are sorted out through comprehensive decision making process. No decision comes as end in itself, since in may evolve new problems to solve. When one problem is solved another arises and so on, such that decision making process, as said earlier, is a continuous and dynamic.

A lot of time is consumed while decisions are taken. In a management setting, decision cannot be taken abruptly. It should follow the steps such as

  • Defining the problem
  • Gathering information and collecting data
  • Developing and weighing the options
  • Choosing best possible option
  • Plan and execute
  • Take follow up action

Since decision making process follows the above sequential steps, a lot of time is spent in this process. This is the case with every decision taken to solve management and administrative problems in a business setting. Though the whole process is time consuming, the result of such process in a professional organization is magnanimous.

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How to Win at Workplace Politics

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Workplace Politics

Irrational behavior of an individual against his colleague to tarnish his image and spoil his reputation at the workplace refers to politics.

Office Politics is something which is inevitable. In every organization you would definitely find someone or the other indulged in politics to make his position secure at the workplace.

Employees are involved in politics to:

  • Gain attention and win appreciation from seniors.
  • Be in the limelight without working hard.
  • Save his job.
  • Earn respect at the workplace.
  • Achieve something beyond one’s control and power.

Frequently changing jobs due to politics is no solution. An individual must know how to deal with politics at the workplace.

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Ways to Reduce Politics at the Workplace

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Employees indulge in politics to win appreciation from the superiors and tarnish the reputation of the fellow workers. Individuals who do not believe in working hard depend on nasty politics at the workplace simply to save their own job.

Changing jobs frequently is no solution to politics. One must try to avoid politics for a healthy and positive ambience at the workplace.

Following are the ways to reduce politics at the workplace:

1. Job Satisfaction

  • Job mismatch leads to politics at the workplace. Responsibilities must be delegated as per the interests, specialization and educational qualification of the employees.
  • Task must not be imposed on anyone.
  • Individuals must enjoy their work for them to stay loyal towards the organization. Employees indulge in politics when they have ample free time and nothing innovative to do.
  • Employees must be clear with their KRA’s and duties. They should know what they are supposed to do in the organization.

2. Transparency

  • Transparency must be maintained at all levels to reduce politics.
  • Employees must be aware of the goals and objectives of the organization and strive hard to achieve the same.
  • Company policies should be same for everyone.

3. Team Work

  • Promote team work at the workplace to strengthen the bond amongst the employees. Individuals should be made to work in teams so that they come closer and develop a liking for each other.
  • Celebrate various festivals at the workplace.
  • Once in a while take your employees out for informal get together and picnics. Such initiatives go a long way in reducing misunderstandings amongst the employees.

4. Discussions

  • Issues must be discussed on an open forum and everyone related to the matter must be allowed to participate in the same. Problems arise when matters are discussed in closed cabins and employees do not get a common picture.
  • Employees should be able to express their views and grievances in front of their superiors.
  • Hierarchies must be well defined to reduce politics.
  • The subordinates must have an easy access to the boss’s cabin at the time of queries.

5. Communication

  • Effective communication reduces the chances of politics at the workplace.
  • Employees should not play with words and pass on the information in its desired form.
  • Information must not be manipulated at any cost.
  • Individuals should prefer written modes of communication to avoid confusions.
  • Communicate through emails and do keep your boss in the loop. This way the superiors are aware of what is happening around and no employee can cook up stories against anyone.

6. Maintain the Decorum of the Workplace

  • Politics never benefits anyone in the long run. Employees must concentrate on their own work rather than interfering in their colleague’s work.
  • Remember your organization pays you for your hard work and not for finding faults in others.
  • Avoid backstabbing or making fun of others.
  • Don’t spread unnecessary rumours about anyone at the workplace.

7. Partiality

  • The management must not be partial to anyone. Don’t blindly support any of the employees.
  • Don’t take action against anyone just because one of his team members has said something negative against him.
  • Don’t believe anything unless and until there is a proof.

8. Positive Frame of Mind

  • Employees must enter office with calm and a positive frame of mind.
  • Don’t think of doing harm to others. Remember bad deeds will fall back on you as well.
  • Don’t take things to heart. Avoid overreacting at the workplace.
  • Being overfriendly with everyone also creates problems.
  • Don’t let others know all your secrets.
  • An individual should know where to draw the line. Don’t take undue favours from anyone at the workplace.
  • Never ever use derogatory words against your boss in front of any of your fellow workers.

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Negotiation Skills - How to Negotiate Effectively

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

What is Negotiation?

Negotiation is defined as a discussion among individuals, each one trying to present his best idea to come to a conclusion benefiting all. An individual gains nothing out of conflict and misunderstanding; instead it leads to stress and anxiety. It is always advisable to compromise to the best extent possible and try to find out an alternative which satisfies all.An individual needs to adopt certain skills for a successful negotiation. 

An individual before starting with the negotiation must be very clear with the agenda (topic) of the negotiation. Ask yourself - why this negotiation? What is the objective of the negotiation? One must be well informed. Try to find out more about the competitor’s products or services.

Let us suppose you want to buy a Parker pen for your friend’s birthday. Before purchasing, it is always better if you check out the prices of other brands as well for instance Mont Blanc. Also check out its features; it will help you in better negotiation with the store owner. Don’t go blank; the other party might fool you.

Before any important deal, do make it a habit to go through as many details as you can. The second party might ask you anything, you must be well prepared to clear all their doubts and convince them. If you yourself are confused, he would never bother to listen to you.

  • React Sensibly  - A good negotiator must react sensibly. He should never lose his temper or over react. If you are unhappy with the deal, show your displeasure. Don’t keep things to yourself or assume that the others will understand it on their own. One has to voice his opinions. Make the other person realize that you are not satisfied with the deal and it must be revised. Show your unhappiness to others.If your boss assigns you a project you are not very comfortable with, show your displeasure to your boss in a polite way and ask for something else. But make sure you are not rude; otherwise your job might be at risk.
  • Patience - One needs to be patient enough for a good negotiation. It is not always that the other person will accept your suggestions in the first attempt itself. You need to convince him and it needs patience. Never be in a hurry to close the deal.
  • Confident - One needs to be confident enough for an effective negotiation. You might need something but never show your desperation to anyone. They will take undue advantage of your helplessness. Take care of your facial expressions. Never be nervous in front of the second party. Don’t start sweating.

Mr. ABC was offered a job with a leading advertising agency. He was really very happy as he was jobless for quite some time now. The HR quoted a figure to Mr. ABC, which did not impress him much. Mr. ABC tried his level best to negotiate with the HR, but unfortunately the HR had already found that Mr. ABC was in dire need of the job. He refused to negotiate further. Poor Mr. ABC had no option than to accept it.

Where did Mr. ABC go wrong ?

The only mistake he did was he made it very obvious that there was no way he could afford to miss this opportunity.

  • Be Dignified - One should maintain the decorum of the place and should not stoop to any level for getting the best deal. Present your ideas in a dignified way. Remember it is just a discussion, not a battle field. Avoid shouting or using derogatory statements against anyone. If you are not satisfied with the deal, its better to quit rather than fighting and using abusive languages.
  • Be very Clear in your Communication - Stay firm on your quotes and do not change statements quite often. Don’t play with words or try to confuse others. One needs to be straightforward from the very beginning.
  • Be a Good Listener - Don’t jump to conclusions; instead listen to what the other party offers. Understand his situation well. It’s okay to think about your personal interests but don’t be mad for it. If the deal is not benefiting the other party, he will obviously not accept it, don’t be after his life. If you don’t listen to others, they would obviously not respond to you.

When a customer goes to purchase something, he must not forget that the store owner also has to earn his profits. The store owner should also understand the customer’s needs and pocket. Negotiation depends on mutual understanding.

  • Be Reasonable - Don’t quote anything just for the sake of it. Be reasonable. Don’t quote imaginary or unusually high figures. Don’t ask for anything you yourself know is not possible. It will just be wastage of time and no one would benefit out of it.

No body is born with good negotiation skills; you need time to acquire them. Be tactful and patient. Understand the second party well - his needs, expectations and find out a solution beneficial to both the parties.

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Tips for Professionals for a Successful Negotiation

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Tips for Professionals for a Successful Negotiation are

  • Preparation - It is essential that an individual prepares well for negotiation. Remember if your company has chosen you for the negotiation with an external party; they must have noticed some spark in you. No way you can let them down and must try hard to live up to the expectations of your superiors as well as your organization. Accept the challenge willingly; don’t accept anything out of fear. You will never be able to do anything great. Go through all the relevant details carefully. If you are not clear with anything, do clarify with your superiors beforehand rather than going for a negotiation with a doubt in your mind. If you yourself are not clear with the details and facts, you would never be able to convince the other party.
  • Stay Alert - Keep your eyes and ears open during negotiation. Remember the other party would try hard to convince you and impose their decisions on you. You don’t have to fall a prey to the other party. If you are not in a mood to negotiate, it is always better to postpone it rather than messing up things.
  • Confidence - Confidence is the key to an effective negotiation. A professional needs to be confident enough to make his points clear in front of the other party. The other person can ask you anything and you can’t afford to be nervous in front of him. Be intelligent enough to answer all his questions. A confident person always leaves his impression on others and people look up to him.
  • Be Cautious - Be very careful with your paper work. Study the papers carefully and do take all the necessary documents along with you when you are going for any negotiation. Prepare the necessary agreements and contracts well in advance and leave space for the terms and conditions as well as signatures of both the parties. These formalities ought to be done once the negotiation is complete.
  • Avoid Delays - One should always reach for business meetings on time. Don’t keep the other party waiting. If the time for the negotiation is 10 am make sure that you are there at 9.45 am. Time is precious for everyone and one should make the best use of it.
  • Understand the other Person Well - For an effective negotiation, it is important that you understand the needs and expectations of the other person as well. It is natural to be more concerned for one’s own things, but one must not also ignore the other person’s interests as well. Remember he has also come for business. It is important that both the parties are involved in a healthy discussion on an open forum and evaluate the pros and cons of the plans carefully to decide something which would be beneficial to all. Never underestimate anyone. Make sure that everyone is happy after the negotiation. No one should complain.
  • Don’t Cheat Anyone - One should be honest during negotiation. One should speak only when he is sure about it. Don’t depend on guess works or assumptions. They don’t work in professional scenarios. It is unethical to fake things or manipulate truth. One should be honest in his dealings for a fair negotiation and to avoid confusions later. You will not gain much out of lies and dishonesty.
  • Always have an Alternate Plan with You - If your plan A fails, make sure you are ready to present your plan B. An option is important. You should not rely on a single plan. You never know which plan would click with others.
  • One must know the Purpose of Negotiation - Why do you think you need the negotiation? One should be clear about his expectations from the negotiation. The agenda of the negotiation must be clear. Make sure you have realistic expectations. Don’t ask for something which would incur a loss to the other party. Please don’t expect impossible things to happen.
  • Don’t get too Involved in the Negotiation - Do learn to keep a control on your emotions. One should not take any decision out of emotion. Don’t tend to ignore things just because you are dealing with your friend. Professional life must be kept separate from your personal interests. Give more priority to your work.
  • Maintain the Decorum of the Place - Don’t use foul words or abusive language against anyone. Never insult anyone. If the second party is not convinced, discuss with him but never stoop to derogatory acts. That is absolutely unacceptable.
  • Be a Good Communicator - Clarity in thoughts is important and ideas must be communicated clearly to the other person. Don’t try to confuse others. Make sure you don’t adopt a casual approach. Use relevant words. Add professional jargons and corporate terminologies in your speech. One should be careful about his pitch and tone as well. Pitch should neither be too high nor too low. It must be audible to everyone.
  • Be Patient - Negotiation needs time and one ought to be patient enough to interact, understand the second party and make his points clear. Don’t try to wind up the negotiation quickly. Never impose your decisions on others or rush for conclusions.
  • Don’t Drag the Conversation too Long - Once the conclusion is reached, it’s better to close the deal. Don’t wait for some more miracles to happen. Make sure you don’t make the negotiation too monotonous otherwise the parties will lose interest in the discussion. The discussion should be interesting and everyone should participate in it.Express your opinions at the time of discussion, rather than cribbing later.
  • One should not Act pricy or pretend Things - Be yourself and try to react in a normal way. Don’t be rude to anyone. Be at ease and things will automatically fall in place. One should be comfortable with the second party for a better negotiation.
  • No one would hang you if you are unable to close the deal, so avoid fighting with anyone unnecessarily. It’s better to ignore minor things. Don’t make issues out of petty things. One should learn to compromise sometimes and strive hard to come to a conclusion.
  • Chose a Proper room for Business Negotiations - A conference room, a meeting room or probably the board room is the ideal choice. Opt for a noise free place. Don’t make the discussion too formal. You can order some snacks as well. Always carry a pen and a notepad to jot down important points for future reference. If you have to deliver any presentation, make sure it is properly downloaded in your laptop. Do check once before going for the negotiation. It might embarrass you in front of others. Dress appropriately for the deal. Prefer formals for the desired impact.

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Managing Conflict in Interpersonal Relationship at Workplace

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Conflict: When two individuals have different opinions and neither of the two is willing to compromise, conflict arises. A state of disagreement among individuals is called as conflict.

Conflict arises at workplace when employees find it difficult to reach to mutually acceptable solutions and fight over petty issues. Differences in attitude, mindsets and perceptions give rise to conflicts at the workplace.

No one ever has gained anything out of conflicts. Conflict must be avoided as it leads to negativity and spoils the ambience of the workplace.

How to manage conflicts in interpersonal relationship at workplace?

Conflicts play an important role in spoiling relationship among employees at the workplace and must be controlled at the initial stages to expect the best out of individuals.

  • For individuals, organization should always come first and all other personal interests must take a backseat. Fighting with fellow workers on petty issues is childish. Be professional. Do not take things to heart at the workplace as no one is working for himself or herself. You might not like someone else’s style of working but remember ultimately the organization must benefit out of it.
  • An individual ought to respect his colleagues. Treat your fellow workers as members of your extended family. Ignoring minor issues helps in avoiding conflicts in interpersonal relationship. Try to understand your colleague’s point of view as well.
  • Avoid lobbying at the workplace. An individual should keep his personal and professional life separate. Do not favour anyone just because you like the individual concerned or you know him personally. At work, every employee irrespective of his family background and relation with the management needs to be treated as one. Ignoring or bad mouthing someone just because you do not like him is simply not acceptable. Such things give rise to unnecessary stress and eventually employees fight and spoil relationships amongst themselves. You need people around who can give you suggestions and help you when required. You can’t work alone.
  • Remember there is a difference between being aggressive and rude. A sense of competition is essential among employees but make sure you adopt healthy means to prove yourself. Jealousy, backbiting, criticism, leg pulling give rise to disagreements among individuals and spoil their relationships.
  • Think before you speak. Do not hurt anyone. There are several other ways to express your displeasure at work. Do not overreact at workplace. Stay calm and composed.
  • Avoid being arrogant. Be polite to everyone. Greet people and do enquire about their well being. A simple smile goes a long way in managing conflicts and strengthening interpersonal relationships at workplace.
  • Evaluate issues carefully. Do not jump to conclusions. It is always better to sort out differences amicably rather than fighting and spoiling relationships. Voice your concerns in an open platform and try to reach to a conclusion mutually acceptable to all. Do not always see your own personal interests
  • Learn to control your emotions.
  • Communicating effectively reduces the chances of errors and eventually manages conflicts amongst employees at the workplace.

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How to Retain Employees

Post By: Hussainz Posted Date: January 1, 2012

Hiring employees is just a start to creating a strong work force. Next, you have to keep them. High employee turnover costs business owners in time and productivity.

Try these tactics to retain your employees.

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