Learming Hub
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Now that the economy is improving, businesses are feeling under a lot of pressure to perform with less resources.

There’s a fear of taking on too many people in case things dis-improve again.  And those we do take on have some learning to do.  We’re afraid to turn away work in case more doesn’t come along so we decide we’ll manage it anyway even though our resources are stretched to their limit. This can put a lot of strain on you as manager. Not only do you have to plan the strategy, cope with the budgets, connect with the customers, you also have to manage and lead limited resources.

So, how are you managing?

Obviously knowing how to do all of these things is going to be critical but you also need to make sure you’re not spending all your time in the office. Taking time for yourself during this phase will be essential.  Time to have fun, get fit, keep healthy.  There is a lot of evidence to show that we operate better when we sleep soundly, exercise enough, eat healthily. Think back to previous managers you’ve had.  If you’ve ever had a manager who is snappy, too busy to listen to you, and dismissive of problems you bring to him or her, you’ll know how it feels. When you fly, the safety demonstration always tells you that if there’s a sudden drop in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you – you’re advised to put your own mask on first before you help anyone else.  This applies equally when you’re managing others.

oxygen mask

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Managers who score high on emotional intelligence are good at three core things:  1. Interpersonal skills 2. Personal management skills 3. Emotional skills. They understand their feelings and emotions, know how they feel at any given time and why.  They are also super aware of the effect those feelings have on the way they operate. They are cognisant of the way their feelings affect others, and understand how their teams and their colleagues feel in different circumstances which helps relationships.  They are also good at managing themselves – their time, health, well-being and their energy.

So how about you?

When did you last stop running on that treadmill long enough to realise you’re in constant fire-fighting mode? Do you take stock regularly to see where your energy levels are at? One useful strategy is to put a regular weekly calendar entry for a meeting with yourself.  Even a half hour per week to see how you’re doing, check to see if you’re doing the planning work that will benefit you and the company long-term and not just doing the day-to-day fire-fighting.  Did you manage to get out of the office at least twice this week by 6.00?  Are you sleeping soundly and exercising at least twice during the week? Are you stepping for lunch every day – even for 20 minutes and getting away from your desk?  If you are answering “no” to these questions – its time to make some changes.

Start managing yourself before you try to manage anything else.

  Lynda Byron is is an accomplished Leadership Development Specialist. Most of her time is spent helping organisations to identify and develop their key talent through innovative and challenging development programmes, as well as individual coaching. Lynda is the Programme Director for the IMI Diploma in Management. [post_title] => Are YOU managing you? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => managing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:49:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:49:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=10454 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47570 [post_author] => 94 [post_date] => 2020-06-29 11:15:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-29 11:15:58 [post_content] => [post_title] => 7 Ways of Improving your Customers' Digital Experience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 7-ways-of-improving-your-customers-digital-experience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-30 12:53:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-30 12:53:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=47570 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 43901 [post_author] => 94 [post_date] => 2020-05-05 11:26:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-05 11:26:50 [post_content] => [post_title] => Building Trust as a Leader [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => building-trust-as-a-leader [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-15 15:00:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-15 15:00:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=43901 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Brian Horgan

Brian Horgan

11th Dec 2020

Brian is an IMI Master of Science Business Graduate and a Customer and Employee Experience Consultant.

Related Articles

Are YOU managing you?
7 Ways of Improving your Customers' Digital Experience
Building Trust as a Leader

Reflections in a Time of Crisis

Over the last year, most of us have learnt something new about ourselves. Many of us have had time to reflect, enabling us to create deeply personal insights from moments in our lives.

One of IMI’s alumni, Brian Horgan had one of these moments this year. During the first lockdown at the start of the year, Brian chose to become a full-time carer to his mother who is suffering from a form of Parkinson’s disease. Brian, whose background is in Customer and Employee Experience Consulting reflects on how learnings from his personal life experience can be applied to how we treat customers and staff in organisations.

Through his experience, Brian says he learnt several important lessons:

  • When providing care to someone, it is important to provide them with choice; no matter how small or simple, so that they feel heard and feel like they have a sense of control over the situation.
  • We often hear that change can be difficult, and this can be particularly challenging when caring for a loved one as routines can become so important for providing a sense of stability. Yet, Brian suggests that change is important when the situation requires it, even if it means taking a step back or becoming more flexible than originally thought.
  • Letting in other perspectives is important and can be illuminating. Talking to other people who know your loved one helps you see them not just as a mother or father but their other roles as a friend, a sister or a confidante. This knowledge allows you to see them in a broader light and meet more of their needs.
  • Finally, learning the importance of self-care is critical. Looking after someone else’s needs can be tiring and emotionally demanding, so building in self-care moments for yourself is critical to “stay the course” Brian says.


Applying Personal Lessons to Customer and Employee Experiences in Organisations

Brian believes that the lessons learnt from the personal experiences we have all had this year can help re-shape the way we now work as leaders and as team members. He believes that by applying these lessons we can help create a fuller connection to customers and employees. His lessons include:


  1. Give choices

Small things matter even if they are the simplest of choices. Provide your customers and staff with choices; it makes them feel they have been listened to and ultimately empowers them. Brainstorm with your team about what choices could be added to the customer journey. As a manager, identify what choices you could provide your team with as part of your leadership style.


  1. Build a fuller picture

Always get other insights on your customers and your staff. Ask for independent views from someone you trust, particularly about your team. They may show you another side of the person you are not seeing and identify needs you did not realise were there.


  1. Repetition causes burnout

Repetitive routines can cause emotional, mental, or physical burnout. Mix things up regularly to keep things fresh and reduce strain.  Change weekly meeting times, change ‘the chairs’ of meetings, shuffle up meeting agendas, change up ownership of tasks etc. Identify what processes are fixed and those causing ‘wear and tear’ within your team.


  1. Build-in flexibility within the journey

Review, redesign, and build agility into your customer journey. This agility enables the customer and the staff member to connect with each other to enable a better experience for both parties. Flexibility also allows for individual preferences to be accommodated for, without losing sight of the end goal.


  1. Take breaks or the wheels come off

When designing your customer journey, look at it from your staff’s point of view; where do they get a break? Where within it is there space for them to refuel? What boundaries are in place to ensure they can switch off? Ask your teams what helps them re-charge, check for patterns and build them into your management practices.