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Managing self, Interactions and Achieving Results


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Managing self, Interactions and Achieving Results
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Managing self, Interactions and Achieving Results

Text Box: This chapter includes 

• An exercise on career and life planning issues
• Assertiveness Skills
• An exercise on asserting yourself
• Hints and ways for achieving results
• Negotiation strategies 
• Qualities of successful managers

1 Self in Interaction with Others

Managers often fall into the trap of becoming more conscious of themselves and therefore do not pay enough attention to their interactions with others and the environment in which they perform their tasks. Therefore, for managers to become successful the first step is to accept that they have to get results and in doing so they have to work with others. More importantly, that they differ in terms of their views of the organisation, jobs, how they should be organised and managed from other with whom they work. These differences are due to factors such as different background, physical shape and size, experiences, perceptions, education and many other cultural influences.

Psychologists believe that there are two basic differences between people. These are personality and perception. The debate on personality has been going on for a number of years. The most helpful view is that which is cited in the Encyclopaedia of Psychology (Vol 2, 1975).

“Personality is the relative  stable organisation of a person’s motivational dispositions, arising from the interactions between biological drives and the social and physical environment. The term usually refers chiefly to the affective cognitive traits, sentiments, attitudes, complexes and unconscious mechanisms, interests and ideas, which determines man’s characteristic or distinctive behaviour and thought”.

As shown above, it is suggested that there are a number of influences which determine who we are and these either emerge from ‘inherited’ factors or are previously obtained through learning processes, from our interactions with our environment. Analoui (1993) provides a practical view and suggests that, personality inevitably has been formed and will be continually developed under the influences of both sets of factors identified above. What is important is not so much how the personality is formed but rather, the resultant frames of references; the values. Beliefs and thoughts which form the foundation for managers to deal with issues in the real world. It is the frames of references which provides the basis for our perception of ourselves and others and which determines the quality of our relationship with others and the environment

Personality and Learning in Organisations

Summary of phrases which characterise psychoanalytic and humanistic schools of thought about personality



Focus on the unconscious control of behaviour

Focus on the conscious, the blind-spots, known to others, unknown to self

Behaviour is to be understood

Behaviour is to be incorporated, experienced, developed

Focus on mental life, mind, illnesses, thoughts, dreams

Focus on feelings, behaviours, interactions of total persons

Analysis is an esoteric experience

Therapy is more like a religious group, a gathering, a fellowship of seekers, warm, supportive

Analyst interprets

Helper reflects, observes, shares, tries to pull together

Analyst distant and scientific

Helper reacts, authentic responses, feedback

Go back to the roots of the problem (instincts/early traumas)

Present manifestations of behaviour



Emphasis on analyst and qualifications

Emphasis on client, relationship and experience to discover

Scientific, rational, objective

Heuristic, holistic, involved, dynamic

Fragile holding together of personality which is dangerous under the surface

Robust personality, tough at rejecting unwanted interference, wants to grow and self-actualise under the surface

Reduce tensions

Release forces for growth

Interpersonal Awareness

Johari Window

A framework was developed by two American psychologists, Henry lngham and Joe Luft. This approach to management training helps people to understand the development of differences between their 'self perception and others' perception of them'.

Chart : The Johari Window

Adapted form Luft, J. And Ingham, H. (1955), The Johari Window; A Graphic Model of Interpersonal Awareness, Proceedings of the Western Training laboratory in Group Development (Los Angeles: UCLA Extension Office).

In a social interaction we are aware or unaware of certain facets of our own and others personalities at the same time.

1. The Open Area

Facets of ourselves, our attitudes, behaviour and personality which are known to us and are also apparent to others.

The Blind Area

There are aspects of ourselves that are apparent to others of which we are unaware.

3. The Hidden Area

Some attitudes, feelings, values and beliefs which are private and therefore we do not wish to disclose them to others

4. The Unknown Area

There are aspects of ourselves of which we are unaware and which are also not apparent to others, but they do influence our behaviour; unless we make determined efforts to increase our self knowledge, we are unlikely to understand some of our actions and reactions.

Only be self disclosure and feedback from others can the discrepancies between self perception and perception of self by others be reduced. This process also helps us to understand the expectations we have of others in their relationships to us.





First Social Interactions

Self-disclosure effect

Feedback effect

Self-disclosure and feedback effects

As managers we ought to attempt to integrate the individual aspects of our life with the organisational realities in order to reach a balanced state. Individual development should consist of awareness and knowledge of your needs, your partners needs and requirements, your career and your plans for the future.

It is equally important to consider issues which are related to your job, your employees, their job and their plans for their career development.


Take a piece of paper and answer the questions raised in diagrams (A) and (B). Consider your answers carefully. Can you prepare a life plan? How can these activities be integrated with one another?

Diagram : Career and life planning issues

Action lever:

Assessing Yourself and Goal

Setting for Personal Development


Getting things done as they appear

Setting priorities, areas and concentrating on them.

Three Broad Stages:


Goal Setting

Planning for on going evaluation

Diagram : Relations ships Diagnosis - Goal setting - Action - Evaluation

Diagnosis Diagnosis Diagnosis etc.

Evaluation Goal Evaluation Goal Evaluation Goal

setting setting setting

Action Action Action


What is Assertiveness?

It is being clear about our own position, communicating this to others, and accepting their positions. Essentially it involves taking responsibility for our own feelings and beliefs and not attempting to justify them.

Assertiveness is about creating a balance between avoiding being submissive and not being aggressive towards others

There are a number of ways we attempt to influence others. For example,





vision, and assertiveness

Assertiveness is at the very least an honest statement of your beliefs.

1. Why are we not assertive?

We would not be liked

We would not get on

We might be wrong

We might be made to look foolish

Lack of commitment

When are we assertive?

When we are deeply committed

When we make our position clear

When we persist without being stubborn

When we say 'no' when we mean 'no' and not 'perhaps

Assertiveness Skills

Some techniques are illustrated below. Those of most use will be 'self-expression' and 'acceptance of criticism'. The skills are most valuable where they have been learned to the extent that you can use them without feeling uncomfortable.

Self-expression (Broken Record)

Purpose: A skill that by calm repetition - saying what you want over and over again - teaches persistence without your having to rehearse arguments or angry feelings beforehand, in order to be 'up' while dealing with others. Allows you to feel comfortable in ignoring manipulative verbal side traps, argumentative baiting, irrelevant logic, while sticking to your point.

a) Demands:

I want. I think what I need is It is important to me that

b) Persistence:

I appreciate your position, but I need I understand your feelings, but it is important that I have

I know that you feel .. , but I want I appreciate that you need , but I have to have

c) Workable Compromise:

We could

If I did and you did Between us we could

Acceptance of Criticism (Fogging)

Purpose: A skill that teaches acceptance of manipulative criticism by calmly acknowledging to your critic the possibility that there may be some truth in what he says, yet allows you to remain your own judge of what you do. Allows you to receive criticism comfortably without becoming anxious or defensive, while giving no reward to those using manipulative criticism.

a) Agree with truth:

'You are wearing that shirt today' That is right; I am wearing this shirt'

(rather than 'What is wrong with this shirt'?)

b) Agree with the

'You are not very organised': 'Maybe I am not very organised'

(rather than 'What do you mean, not organised. You should talk!')

c) Agree with logic:

If we bought a new car now, instead of keeping the old banger,we would be a lot safer out on the road, and we would not have these high repair bills'.

'You are right. A new car would have those advantages' (rather than 'There you go, another way to spend my money. Why do you keep' etc.

d) Allow for

'Your dresses do not fit you'

'I am sure they could fit better' (nobody is perfect)

e) Empathy:

‘You are being very unfair’‘ I can see how you feel that I am unfair’

Negative Assertion

Purpose: A skill that teaches acceptance of your errors and faults (without having to apologise) by strongly and sympathetically agreeing with hostile or constructive criticism of your negative qualities.

Allows you to look more comfortably at negatives in your own behaviour or personality without feeling defensive and anxious, or resorting to denial of real errors, while at the same time reducing your critic's anger or hostility. Note the non-verbal components of Negative Assertion. The tone of voice is neither apologetic nor hostile. You are asserting your error, not simply admitting it.

Negative Assertion is similar to fogging, but differs in that:

a)        You actually made the error or possess the fault (rather than a possibility that it happened).

b)        You agree with your critic's value system that your act was negative.

Negative Inquiry

Purpose: A skill that teaches the acting prompting of criticism in order to use the information (if helpful) or exhaust it (if manipulative) while prompting your critic to be more assertive and less dependent on manipulative ploys. Allows you more comfortably to seek out criticism about yourself in close relationships while prompting the other person to express honest negative feelings and improve communication.


a) Turn the spotlight on yourself, not on your critic. 'What is it about me that is wrong'. If you focus on your critic, you will most likely get a defensive reaction that will not facilitate communication.

b) Actively invite the criticism, both verbally and non-verbally. You will elicit feelings from your critic more effectively if you convey the message, 'I am eager to hear this valuable information. I want to know more'.

c) Specify the criticism. Listen closely to the words and help the critic focus on exactly what is wrong.

'You say I am dressed untidily. What is it about the way l am dressed that is untidy'?

'Well, your shoes, for one thing'

'What is it about my shoes that is untidy'?

'Well, just look at them. You have not cleaned them in a month'

'Then it is my shoes not being cleaned that makes me look untidy'

'Yes - that is one thing'

d) Exhaust the criticism

'Is there anything else about my shoes that is wrong'? Or 'Is there anything besides my shoes that makes me look untidy'? Or 'There must be more things about me that are wrong than just my clothing'? Or 'Are you sure there is nothing else that is wrong with me'?

e) Analyse the criticism. 'What is it about that is wrong'?

f) Listen for the 'I' statement. Remember that criticism comes from other people's value systems. They are often unaware that their subjective value systems are operating, but behind every piece of criticism is a statement, 'I do not like it'. Negative inquiry is especially helpful in breaking through feelings. Only then can you make agreements, compromises or conclusions that have a solid basis.

g) Specify what the critic wants. You might make unwarranted assumptions if you do not do this.

'It sounds like you want me to clear things with you before I submit an 'Improvement Needed' evaluation'.

'Yes well, no. Go ahead and make the decision. Just be sure to let me know as soon as possible. It is when I do not know that you have done it that I have problems'.

Free Information

Free information is any information - besides a 'yes' or 'no' answer-that a person gives you about him/herself. It may or may not have anything to do with the question you asked. Listen to the words and comment on them.

If you ask questions that begin with What, When or How, the reply will usually furnish you with more Free Information than questions that can be answered 'yes' or 'no'. E.g., 'What are some things you like most about your work'? will give you more Free Information than 'Do you like your work'?


Purpose: A skill that teaches the acceptance and initiation of discussion of both the positive and negative aspects of your personality, behaviour, lifestyle and intelligence to enhance social communication and reduce manipulation. It allows you comfortably to disclose aspects of yourself and you life that previously caused feelings of ignorance, anxiety, or quilt.

Self-disclosure are 'I' statements. They describe feelings going on inside us at the moment. We take full responsibility for these feelings and do not blame the others for them. Thus, 'You are making me very angry' is not a self-disclosure, but 'I am getting very angry with you' is.

I enjoy being with you.

Our relationship is very..

important to me.

I am confused.

I would like to understand it better.

I do not know.

I do not know the answer to that.

I really like what you said.

I am feeling pressed right now.

I am annoyed.

I would like to think a minute before answering you

I am not comfortable[TT1] 


Exercise: Asserting yourself

Learning areas : Social  Skills : Emotional resilience: Proactivity


In the following questionnaire, you will find 10 sets of three statements, like this:

I'm a person who

(a) has my rights violated;

(b) protects my own rights;

(c) violates the rights of others.

The scoring is based on the notion that we all behave in each of these ways from time to time, although the extent to which we have a tendency for (a), (b) or (c) will vary.

You are therefore asked to allocate points to each of (a), (b), and (c), such that the total adds up to 10. Thus, if you think that you quite often have your rights violated, and quite often protect the rights of others, but rarely violate the rights of others, you might score yourself as a person who:

(a) has my rights violated;

(b) protects my own rights;

(c) violates the rights of others.

On the other hand, if you recognise that you protect your own rights at all costs, even if this quite often involves violating the rights of others, then your score might be that you are a person who:

(a) has my rights violated;

(b) protects my own rights;

(c) violates the rights of others.

Note: This exercise is adapted from Dr. Margarison a professor of Management Development at the MCB University, U.K.

This questionnaire is based on a model that suggests that ASSERTION is the 'happy medium' between two equally undesirable extremes - passivity and aggression. To see where you are; add up all your (a) scores (passivity), (b) scores (ASSERTION), and (c) scores (aggression), and enter them in the diagram below.

I'm a person who;

1. (a) has my rights violated ;

(b) protects my own rights;

(c) violates the rights of others.

(a) does not achieve my goals;

(b) achieves my goals without hurting other people;

(c) achieves my goals at the expense of other people.

3. (a) feels frustrated and unhappy;

(b) feels good about myself;

(c) is defensive and/or belligerent.

4. (a) is inhibited and withdrawn ;

(b) is socially and emotionally expressive ;

(c) is explosive, hostile, angry.

5. (a) feels hurt, anxious ;

(b) is quietly self-confident ;

(c) is brashly confident, boastful.

6. (a) fails to achieve my goals;

(b) tries to find ways so that I can achieve my goals

and others can achieve theirs;

(c) is not concerned about others and their goals.

7. (a) is gullible, easily taken in ;

(b) is open-minded and questioning;

(c) is suspicious, cynical.

8. (a) feels bad about my weaknesses;

(b) is aware of my weaknesses, but don't dislike myself because of them;

(c) is unaware of my weaknesses.

9. (a) allows others to choose for me;

(b) chooses for myself;

(c) intrudes on other people's choices

10. (a) is taken advantage of;

(b) protects my own rights;

(c) takes advantage of others.

This questionnaire is based on a model that suggests that ASSERTION is the 'happy medium' between two equally undesirable extremes - passivity and aggression. To see where you are; add up all your (a) scores (passivity), (b) scores (ASSERTION), and (c) scores (aggression), and enter them in the diagram below.

This way of looking at assertion is very important. While it is easy to distinguish it from the left extreme of passivity, it is quite often mistaken and confused with the right extreme of aggression. In fact, though, as the questionnaire statements show, they are very different.

Learning to be assertive requires a lot of practice. You have taken an important step by getting an idea of your passive/assertive/aggressive profile. (Incidentally, why not get others to fill it out for you - to give you their picture of where your are?) The (b) behaviours give you an idea of what to aim for if you want to become more assertive; these can become the basis of your intentions for actions. Perhaps you can keep a diary of how assertive you have been from time to time; do certain situations or people tend to push you into passivity or aggression? What is there about these? What can you do about them?

Incidentally, this 'happy medium' way of looking at things can be applied to all sorts of aspects of yourself. For example, are you lazy and slothful? Or a narrow-minded workaholic, burning yourself out? Or purposefully committed, balancing work and leisure

Or again

No doubt you can think of some of these 'syntheses' as Roberto Assagioli calls them whereby opposite negative qualities are transformed into positive ones.

Achieving results

It can be said that there are three types of managers: those who make things happen, those who watch things happening, and those who don't know what is happening. Achieving results, getting things done, making things happen. That is what management is all about. Before finding out how to get into the first category, there are three questions to answer:

Is getting things done simply a matter of personality - characteristics like drive, decisiveness, leadership, ambition - which some people have and others haven't?

And if you haven't got the drive, decisiveness and so forth which it takes, is there anything you can do about it?

To what extent is an ability to make things happen a matter of using techniques which can be learnt and developed?

Personality is important. Unless you have willpower and drive nothing will get done. But remember that your personality is a function of both nature and nurture.

We may not be able to change our personality but we can develop and adapt it by consciously learning from our own experience and by observing and analysing other people's behaviour.

Techniques for achieving results, such as planning, organizing, delegating, communicating, motivating and controlling, can be learnt. These are dealt with later in this book. But these techniques ace only as effective as the person who uses them. They must be applied in the right way and in the right circumstances. And you still have to use your experience to select the right technique and your personality to make it work.

To become a person who makes things happen you therefore have to develop skills and capacities by a process of understanding, observation, analysis and learning. The four actions you should take are:

Understand what makes achievers tick - the personality characteristics they display in getting things done.

Observe what achievers do - how they operate, what techniques they use.

Analyse your own behaviour (behaviour, not personality), compare it with that of high achievers, and think how to improve your effectiveness.

Learn as much as you can about the management techniques available.

What makes achievers tick?

David McClelland (34) of Harvard University carried out extensive research into what motivates managers. He interviewed, observed and analysed numbers of managers at their place of work and recorded findings before producing his theory. And before you dismiss anything which comes under the heading of theory, remember what Douglas McGregor (36) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’

Professor McClelland identified three needs which he believes are key factors motivating managers. These are:

The need for achievement

The need for power (having control and influence over people)

The need for affiliation (to be accepted by others).

All effective managers have these needs to a certain degree, but by far the most important one is achievement.

Achievement is what counts and achievers, according to McClelland, have these characteristics:

They set themselves realistic but achievable goals with some `stretch' built in.

They prefer situations, which they themselves can influence rather than those on which chance has a large influence.

They are more concerned with knowing they have done well than with the rewards that success brings.

They get their rewards from their accomplishment rather than from money or praise. This does not mean that high achievers reject money, which does in fact motivate them as long as it is seen as a realistic measure of their performance.

High achievers are most effective in situations where they are allowed to get ahead by their own efforts.

What do achievers do?

High achievers do some, if not all, of these things:

They define to themselves precisely what they want to do.

They set demanding but not unattainable time-scales in which to do it.

They convey clearly what they want done and by when.

They are prepared to discuss how things should be done and will listen to and take advice. But once the course of action has been agreed they stick to it unless events dictate a change of direction.

They are single-minded about getting where they want to go, showing perseverance and determination in the face of adversity.

They demand high performance from themselves and are somewhat callous in expecting equally high performance from everyone else.

They work hard and work well under pressure; in fact, it brings out the best in them.

They tend to be dissatisfied with the status quo.

They are never completely satisfied with their own performance and continually question themselves.

They will take calculated risks.

They snap out of setbacks without being personally shattered and quickly regroup their forces and their ideas.

They are enthusiastic about the task and convey their enthusiasm to others.

They are decisive in the sense that they are able quickly to sum up situations, define alternative courses of action, determine the preferred course, and convey to their subordinates what needs to be done.

They continually monitor their own and their subordinates' performance so that any deviation can be corrected in good time.

How to analyse your own behaviour

It is no good trying to analyse your own behaviour unless you have criteria against which you can measure your performance. You have to set standards for yourself, and if you don't meet them, ask yourself why. The answer should tell you what to do next time.

The basic questions you should ask yourself are:

What did I set out to do?

Did I get it done?

If I did, why and how did I succeed?

If not, why not?

The aim is to make effective use of your experience.

Use the list of things that high achievers do to check your own behaviour and actions. If your performance has not been up to scratch under any of these headings, ask yourself specifically what went wrong and decide how you are going to overcome this difficulty next time. This is not always easy. It is hard to admit to yourself, for example, that you have not been sufficiently enthusiastic. It may be even harder to decide what to do about it. You don't want to enthuse all over the place, indiscriminately. But you can consider whether there are better ways of displaying and conveying your enthusiasm to others in order to carry them with you.


Negotiation is considered the art of creating agreement instead of potential disagreement. Any formal or informal discussion and any interaction with someone in which we want to get an agreement on your point is a negotiation. Take for instance some simple example:

a man wants to get a more important job;

a woman wants to open her own business;

a salesman wants to sell his product;

an employee wants a raise etc.

Considering the image below, ‘A’ may want as much as possible from ‘C’, while ‘B’ wants as much as possible from the same C.




Negotiation means to find the way to get the most satisfactory result for both ‘A’ and ‘B’. Usually each of the two parties may want to win – less important may be whether the other party may lose or win.

Potential result of a negotiation could therefore be:

A win / lose situation or

A win / win situation.

Most of the negotiators are seeking for a win / lose situation as being safer - while in fact only their “win” should be important for them and very rare should they be particularly interested in the other’s party loss.

Specialists recommend that the win / win approach is the most appropriate in all situations and has the important benefit of either create or maintain a long-term relation.

How many chances may be to get the desired agreement? Let’s look at the following two situations, where figures may represent prices, or salary levels.:




Free Place from Negotiation

Negotiation scale




Reduced chances for a deal



Room for





Negotiation scale


Reasonable chances for a deal

As you may see only the second situation may lead to an agreement. Apart from such ‘pre-set’ situations, a thorough preparation before negotiation is helpful in getting the desired agreement and getting a relation as well.

Some important elements of negotiation should be considered:


information exchange


e.g. seller’s market or buyer’s market


focused actions to achieve a goal

Relation type

co - operation - win / win

confrontation - win / lose

In preparing for negotiation you should consider the relation you may have with your partner. That person may be an ‘extrovert’ one, who usually “prefers sorting things out in contact with other people, while an ‘introvert’ might be more inclined to analyse problems alone, drawing on his own resources”.

Elaborate a strategy based on a thorough preparation and think at:

The arguments you have;

What do you think are other’s arguments - “spy” the other part;

Collect available information;

Allocated roles for each negotiator;

Plan the strategy - what techniques are you going to use;

Remember that techniques are the same for different tactics and priorities.

Very important is to have a clear objective for the negotiation: To be clear what you want !

As part of your preparation some other ‘technical’ issues should be considered as well. For instance you should assess in advance what are your strengths in the discussion and what are your partner’s strengths – who seems therefore to have the power.

Try to be realistic in your demands and expectations when setting the maximum/minimum, the target and the offer. Try to predict as well how many bargains will be and how many you can afford. Previous agreements with others (in the same activity or elsewhere) may give you an idea.

Considering a formal negotiation process, there may be identified three stages and some points to be considered for each of them:

The opening session - you should start by being realistic, present your point but also explore the other’s point. Ask questions, listen and very important is to show that you are listening and understanding your partner’s point. If you show understanding you can be better understood - and this is the start of ‘the relation’. Check as frequent as possible if the others understand you as well. Try to face difficulties but do not jeopardise or destroy the relation.

Do not show to be too interested and do not make any initial concessions.

Bargaining session – try to reduce the difference between demand and offer, leading the discussion towards an agreement. Make conditional proposals to help the bargaining but do not give up anything without asking something in exchange. Sometime is better to negotiate a whole package of conditions. Control your emotions. Please consider that you are negotiating with ‘people’ not with ‘organisations/institutions’ – they have feelings, biases and emotions as well. You may take an advantage from this but do not hurt their feelings and avoid anything that may affect the quality your relation. Be flexible in approaching various points in discussion but keep it clear and avoid spontaneous counter-proposals.

Closing session – try to assess the proposals that have been made and how much opposition is still there. The main purpose of the closing meeting is to get the agreement. You maybe forced to give up some conditions, to make some pressure to keep the others. You also could offer alternative that may satisfy both parties and help closing the deal. Making a summary of all arguments and potential alternatives is sometime needed to focus towards the agreement.

A structured approach of the ‘soft’ style versus ‘hard‘ one and some basic principles to be considered for reaching a good deal and a good relation in the same time, are presented in the table below.

Table : Don’t bargain Over Positions


Positional Baragining: Which Game Should You Play?


Change the Name-Negotiate on the Merits




Participants are friends.

The goal is agreement.

Participants are adversaries.

The goal is victory

Participants are problem-solvers

The goal is a wise outcome reached efficiently and amicably.

Make concessions to cultivate relationship

Demand concessions as a conditions of a relationship

Separate the people from the people

Be soft on the people and the problem.

Trust others

Be hard on the problem and the people.

Distrust others.

Be soft on the people, hard on the problem.

Proceed independent of trust.

Change your position easily. Make offers. Disclose your bottom line. Accept one-sided losses to reach agreement. Search for the single answer: the one they will accept.

Insist on agreement.

Try to avoid a contest of will

Dig in to your position.

Makethreats. Mislead as to your bottom line. Demand one-sided gains as the price of agreement. Search for the single answer: the one you will


Insist on your position.

Try to win a contest of will


Focus on interests, not positions.

Explore interests.

Avoid having a bottom line.

Invent options for mutual gain.

Develop multiple options to choose from; decide later.

Insist on objective criteria.

Try to reach a result based on standards independent of will.

Reason and be open to reasons; yield to principle, not pressure

Qualities of successful Managers

Research identifies eleven attributes which were found to be possessed by successful managers. These qualities, abilities and attributes provide the basis for self development.

Command of the basic facts

Relevant professional knowledge

Continuing sensitivity to events

Analytical, problem solving, decision making, judgmental skills

Social skills and abilities

Emotional resilience

Proactivity - Inclination to respond purposefully to events


Mental agility

Balanced learning habits and skills

Self knowledge



There are a number of management techniques that you need to know about. These techniques are discussed in subsequent chapters in this book. The ones you should be particularly interested in are:


Objective and target setting








To summarise the above, it must be noted that this process of observation, analysis and learning will help you to become an achiever. But remember, achieving results is ultimately about making promises - to others and to yourself - and keeping them. Robert Townsend has some excellent advice: `Promises: keep. If asked when you can deliver something ask for time to think. Build in a margin of safety. Name a date. Then deliver earlier than you promised.'

In order to manage yourself work and be an achiever you need to manage your time.


How to Manage your Time

To do their job effectively, managers need to call upon three major resources. All of which should be at their disposal:

their own skill and experience

the goodwill and trust of their staff


Of these resources, it can be said that time is the one which is generally the least considered and worst managed.

Many managers complain that they do not have sufficient time. This may be because they have too much to do. It may be because their job is a highly fragmented one, so that they have few opportunities to catch up with the tasks that require more thought. Or it may be because they do not organise their work properly.

One of the main aims of examining how you use your time is to enable you to gain periods of discretionary time during which you can do the things that are important to you. Too often we spend our time doing things that are of importance to others. We can also build up chunks of time to enable us to work on tasks that need some thought and concentrated effort. For example, writing reports, analysing statistics. developing a plan, etc. Studies have revealed that many managers and supervisors have very little discretionary time - although they still need to carry out jobs which demand such blocks of time. There is obviously plenty of scope for improvement!

Managers seeking to use their time more effectively need to ask themselves questions such as:

Am I doing things that really don't have to be done at all - by me or anyone else?

Am I doing things that could be handled just as well by someone else?

What do other people do to waste my time? What do I do that wastes their time?

Exercise 1:

Personal Time Usage

Complete the personal time usage chart (attached). Be as honest and accurate in your evaluation as possible.


In column (i) of the chart, list the main responsibilities of your current job as determined by your organisation.

Also in column (i), list any other activities in which you are involved during your normal working week (include both work and non-work related activities as appropriate).

In the box at the base of column (ii) enter the number of hours you normally spend at work in a week.

Take a few minutes to consider the following questions:

Look at your time usage chart. How do you feel about what you see?

Do you spend the 'right' amount of your time at work doing the 'right things'?

Can you see ways in which you can improve use of time at work? Be as specific as you can in identifying areas for improvement.

Note: It must be remembered that it is your time you are considering. Only you can really decide how to improve your usage of this critical resource, the management of which determines to a large extent your own effectiveness and that of your staff.

Personal Time Usage Chart

Column (i)

Column (ii)



Primary job responsibilities

Other activities carried out at work

Total hours 

Iin working 


Exercise 2:

Improving your Time Usage

In order to improve your time usage, you must consider the following questions:

What are the major time-related problems?

How problematic are these time-related issues?

How can you turn these problems into opportunities?

What would be the consequence of improving your time usage?

Time usage questions provide a means for working towards this goal.


Complete the attached questionnaire. Make sure you answer all the items.

From your completed questionnaire, identify and list the items that   you marked as 'strongly agree'.





Consider each problem area carefully.

Place the 'strongly agree' items in order of priority for you to deal with.

Now, either by yourself or with the help of a colleague, try to answer the following questions as realistically as possible:-

- What do you need to do to help solve the problem?

- What do others need to do?

Now you are in a position to decide on a strategy to improve your time.

Improving Time Usage

Section A

Individually, complete the following questionnaire, making sure that you answer all of the items.

Place a tick (V) in the appropriate column for each item.


Strongly agree

Slightly agree

Slightly disagree

Strongly disagree

Other people always seem to come to me for advice.

My work tends to pile up.

I never seem to have time to myself.

I spend too much time in meetings.

I always seem to be trying to do too many things at the same time

I tend to put off unpleasent jobs.

I tend to lose or misplay papers, memos, etc.

I never have time to think.

The telefone never seems to stop ringing

I’m always writing letters, memos and reports.

I spend too much time travelling from place to place.

I have to start and stop jobs frenquently

I find it difficult to say ‘No’ to other people’s requests.

I have too much paperwork to deal with.

 [TT1]Insert diagram 1

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