This document is part of the Welcome to Management resource.

Appendix A: Seeking & Receiving Feedback

The following model offers a simple, balanced approach to seeking personal feedback from managers, peers, team members or clients.

Asking for feedback: a model approach
Step Suggested wording
Set the scene ‘I’d like to get feedback on how I’m going with ‘X’. Would you be able to share your thoughts with me on that?’
Ask for feedback on both strengths and weaker areas ‘Lately, I have been trying to involve the team more in decisions that need to be made. I’m wondering how effective my approach has been?’ ‘What have you found to be positive or useful in myapproach?’ ‘Is there anything about my approach that could be changedor improved?’
Explore solutions (new approaches or behaviours) ‘If I were to be more collaborative, how would you like to seeme go about that?’
Set new goals ‘So if I were to … would that be useful?’
Finish on a positive note ‘I appreciate your honest response.’ ‘I’d like to come back and get your feedback again once I’ve put these changes in place.’

Receiving Feedback

If you do hear something that surprises or confuses you, you might like to manage it using simple communication skills like those shown in the model below.

‘So what you’re saying is that I … Is that right?’

Receiving feedback: a model approach
Technique Suggested wording
Make statements or ask questions that invite clarification ‘When you say I make snap decisions, I’m not sure I that understand what you mean.’ ‘Can you give me an example of where I …?’
Paraphrase their responses in your own words, to be sure you understand it ‘So what you’re saying is that I … Is that right?’
Acknowledge valid points ‘You make a good point about ….’ ‘I hadn’t realised I was doing that.’
Take time to reflect on the feedback or ask for specific suggestions for change. ‘I’d like some time to think about this. Can we speak again ask for tomorrow?’ ‘What would you suggest I do?’

Appendix B: Emotional Intelligence

The term ’emotional intelligence’ describes the ability to be aware of, control and manage one’s own emotions, and understand those of other people. The following table summarises the emotional intelligence competency framework.

Definition Competencies
Personal skills How we manage ourselves Self-awareness The ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives and their effect on others. Self-confidence Realistic self-assessment
Self-regulation The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. The tendency to suspend judgement and think before acting. Trustworthiness, integrity Comfort with ambiguity Openness to change
Motivation A passion to work for reasons beyond money or status. A tendency to pursue goals with energy and persistence. Strong drive to achieve Optimism even in the face of failureOrganisational commitment
Social skills How we manage relationships Empathy The ability to understand the emotional make-up of other people. Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions Expertise in developing and retaining talented people Cross-cultural sensitivityService to clients and customers
Social skills Skill in managing relationships and building networks. An ability to find common ground and build rapport. Effectively taking a lead role during change Ability to influenceExpertise in building and taking a lead role in teams

Adapted from Harvard Business Review, ‘What Makes a Leader?’, Nov-Dec 1998, and Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.

Appendix C: Managing Stress

You might find the reason for your stress falls into one of the categories listed in the table below. If so, the suggestions on the right-hand side of the table may help.

Source of stress
Why do I feel stressed? What can I do about it?
I am not confident that I have sufficient skill or knowledge to undertake this particular task. Discuss with your manager/peers. Research training courses/materials that could develop your skills. Consider using a coach or mentor.Create a development plan that anticipates future skills.
I do not have sufficient resources. Discuss with your manager. Prioritise existing resources. Discuss resource sharing with another section/team.
I am not clear what the goal is/what my manager expects me to achieve. Speak to your manager and clarify goals, roles, outputs or tasks.
I can’t seem to motivate my team. Discuss with your manager/peers. Research training courses/materials that could develop your skills. Speak directly with your team or key individuals.
I don’t have enough time in the day to fit everything in. Clarify priorities with your manager. Incorporate priority and time management principles into your practice. Consider delegating tasks to staff.
I am frustrated and angry with organisational decisions/roadblocks. Discuss with your manager. Focus attention on areas you can influence. Treat the process as an opportunity to build skills.
I am in the wrong job/organisation. Discuss with a careers counsellor or EAP (Employee Assistance Program) provider to identify: the source of the ill-fit;how you can address the problem by changing aspects of your environment or your personal approach; and what coping strategies you can use.

Appendix D: Types and Causes of Conflict

Not all conflict is bad. Conflict is always difficult, but it can lead to growth and change, which is good.

Some level of organisational conflict is desirable, as it generally reflects people trying to come up with the best solution from a range of different perspectives. This in turn promotes challenge, heightens individual regard to the issues, and increases effort. This type of conflict is necessary. Without it, organisations can stagnate.

When conflict does occur, the results may be positive or negative, depending upon how those involved choose to approach it. Most of the conflicts you are likely to encounter in the workplace will fall into one of the three areas listed below.

Types of conflict
Interpersonal conflicts Often caused by misperceptions, stereotyping, poor communication, miscommunication or intolerance.
Facts or methods conflicts Caused by lack of or incorrect information, different interpretations of the same information, or different ways of performing the same function.
Goals or interests conflicts Often caused by incompatible needs, or perception that in order to meet one party’s needs the other’s need must be sacrificed.

No matter what form they take, conflicts can be quite intimidating and uncomfortable for new managers. As a manager you can help negotiate and resolve conflicts through the following means:

  • early intervention, helping individuals define their particular interests in order to work collaboratively towards a solution
  • encouraging people to assume responsibility for their problems
  • clarifying issues and separating the people from the issues
  • using workplace goals, principles and values as a guide to resolving complex or people related issues.

If the above approaches do not work, you may need to consider using alternative dispute resolution approaches. Seek the support and resources of your HR representative or line manager if you believe the conflict is escalating.

Appendix E: SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a way to consider the strengths and weaknesses of your team or workgroup within the context of the opportunities and threats of the current or future environment.

Strengths

Internal team factors

What has the team got going for it: knowledge, skills, attitudes?

What are the strengths of the systems and processes that support the team?

What are the strengths in the way the team is structured?

What are the strengths in our leadership?

What are the strengths in the way we deliver outcomes?

Opportunities

External/internal environmental factors

What are the current or impending environmental factors (such as changes in organisational structure, financial resources, new technology, stakeholder needs, political/policy environment) that could provide our team or department with opportunities for change, growth or development, or to influence policy or direction?

Weaknesses

Internal team factors

Consider this question from the perspective of political imperatives, social trends, future trends within your particular field, or current organisational trends.

Consider the above questions from the perspective of weaknesses.

Threats

External/internal environmental factors

Consider the above questions from the perspective of potential threats.

Some Points to Consider When Using SWOT Analysis

  • If using the SWOT to undertake an assessment of your environment, it may be easier to consider opportunities and threats first and then consider the relative strengths and weaknesses of your team or workgroup within that context.
  • If you’re new to your area, a SWOT analysis may provide more in-depth information if you undertake it in collaboration with your team or manager, who will have more experience of your workgroup’s context. The outcomes of this analysis can be converted to goals and action plans.
  • Once you have completed the SWOT analysis you will have a picture of where your team currently stands. From there you can plan the growth, development and productivity of your team, within the context of what may lie ahead.
  • Some of the challenges that emerge from the SWOT may be more extensive than your role as manager can or should be responsible for. Where this is the case, your strategy should include identifying and involving those people who are responsible or who can influence aspects.
  • Keep in mind the broad goals of the workgroup or organisation to help you explain the findings of your SWOT analysis and manage any resistance to subsequent plans.
  • As the new manager in the group it is a good idea to get support for your ideas from a well-chosen source. Depending on the issue or the idea, you will need to decide whether that support needs to come from your manager or from your team and peers.