How do you go about managing a business project that requires managing the personalities, quirks, character issues and emotional pendulums of others?
Business management is about more than just telling underlings what to do and when to do it. It is about more than asking co-workers to politely get back in the game instead of furtively tweeting away about whatever life event took place the night before. These business management tips essentially boil down to getting you to look at how you manage yourself as a means of learning to manage others.
Morning person or night owl? Which type are you? Managing life at 10:30 in the morning may be a breeze for you, while you have trouble remembering if you kissed the kid goodnight or not by 10:30 at night. Take a serious look at how well you manage your life through different periods of the day to get a better understanding of the reality that everybody's biological clock is set to a different time zone. Managing others will become easier and more effective if you make the effort to find out when the people you are counting on to do their best work...do their best work. For instance, if you've got two people who do their best work early in the day and two people who do their best work in the afternoon, project management begins by assigning the introductory elements to the morning people and the secondary elements to those who are just coming into their own after lunch.
The value of setting goals that are strictly defined cannot be overestimated when it comes to managing workers. Do you set goals for yourself? You're running a business, right? So, yeah, of course you do. If you have been made a manage in the first, the answer is set: you set goals and know the value of goals. If you manage goals for yourself effectively, then you intuitively know that effective management of others is based on ensuring that everybody is aware of the strictly defined overall goal as well as the strictly defined goal for their individual part in the process. A good way to do this, if possible, is by comparing the goal to an economic process: if you get the job done, you get this much of a bonus; if the project comes in behind schedule you lose this much of a bonus. The bonus need not be real, but if you can organize a bonus for the project, your organizational abilities will skyrocket.
Think about the way you manage your personal life. You clearly set goals for yourself, right? When you achieve those goals, you make a point of not rewarding yourself, right? Of course not! Who does that? But what you probably don't do is reward yourself monetarily every time you achieve a goal. Setting rewards for accomplishing strictly defined goals doesn't have to mean actual cash payment. Managing groups of people based on a carrot held out in front of them can mean the carrot ranges from anything from a new desk chair where all the wheels work to a day off from work to tickets for a ballgame to getting off early to attend a child's ballgame. Be creative in organizing your reward system and you will find that managing other people becomes much easier. There is more to life than money. More business owners need to understand this.
You know what? You hate meetings. The people you manage hate meetings. Everybody hates meetings. That is one of the two absolute truths in America. Unfortunately, you can't manage a business of more than one person without holding meetings. What you can do is take a tip from the way you manage your life away from the office. Do you hold a meeting to discuss who will take out the garbage? Do you hold a meeting to discuss what to have for dinner? Maybe, but probably not. The point being that you don't need to call an official meeting when you can just easily provide all the particular information in the form of a report or e-mail or conference call or just, you know, dropping in on people and talking. People pay more attention to their e-mails than they do at meetings. This is second absolute truth in America.
When it comes to business management tips, maybe you've been looking in the wrong places. Just find the nearest mirror and look at your own life. The way you manage it probably says a lot about how you should manage others.