Category Archives: Management

Leading by Example

Work life is busy.  You likely spend each day attending meetings, answering phone calls, attending to countless emails, and extensive problem solving.  Keep in mind however, that you are setting THE example for others to follow in everything you do.


What do your team members see and hear when around you? Do they assess you as positive or negative?  Directorial or understanding?  Approachable or unapproachable?  It is imperative that you step outside your own world of “To Do’s” to understand that you are being observed as the model of how to be.  Have you considered onsite management training?  The next level of awareness may catapult you into the next level of success with leading and managing people and management training can help.


It doesn’t take more time to be a great example of ideal professionalism. It takes more self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and managing relationships. You most likely can’t do this transitioning on your own. You don’t have the time nor teaching.  Let Bold New Directions help with this critical piece of reaching your potential as a manager and leader, for others are looking to you for guidance.

Boost Your Management Skills by Walking Around

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all you have to do?  You have a thousand tasks to accomplish. You have too many people to supervise. You have a team that needs attention. Where are you spending your time?

These days of “do more with less” is challenging every manager on the planet. The Adair leadership model shows three interlocking circles representing Task, Team and Individuals. Most managers I’ve asked say they take care of Tasks 80-90% of their day. And yet the definition of a “Manager” is “someone who gets work done through others.” How can you get better at getting work done through your team?

Unless you have a team consisting of 100% Stars, and Stars who also know how to work collaboratively, you are probably getting yourself in trouble by sitting at your computer instead of getting out amongst your people. What are they doing? How well are they doing it? How much are they improvising? What shortcuts are ultimately causing you trouble? And most importantly, what do they think of their relationship with you? These are all important questions to consider as you work on your management skills.

It is time to reconsider how you are spending your time? Time management is not a given for everyone. Go to a Time Management course once every few years to see how you are doing. Do you link every action you take to a goal you have set? Where are you off task? Similarly, consider taking a Management training course to brush up on the fundamentals of management.

Are you delegating well and often? Are you the only one who can possibly do every job you are currently doing? What are your hesitations? Not everything is delegable but probably many more things are than what you’ve delegated to date. How is it hurting some of your team members to not have the opportunity to do things they have potential for but are never asked to do? If you freed up 10% of your management time and spent that time visiting your staff, how would that inform you? What might happen to your management skills and your relationships with staff?

What you don’t know may very well be hurting you. Find ways to get out of the poor habit of answering that next email, telling yourself that only you can do “that” job and plain old laziness. Stand up, walk about, and go see your people.  That is why you are member of the management team.

Learn more about mastering your management skills by visiting our website at or go to our sister site to get free resources.

Jim Hornickel is co-founder of Bold New Directions, a transformational learning company that works with companies to transform people and performance through training solutions including seminars, webinars, coaching and keynote events. Bold New Directions specializes in training solutions that build leadership skills, communication skills and resilience at work. You can learn more about Jim Hornickel and his work at Bold New Directions by visiting or


How Solving Conflict Boosts Management Skill Set – Part 4 of 4

Start building new management skills in conflict management

Self-awareness is one of the most important management skills there is. Self-awareness is the first step to diffusing conflict. Think about your style of managing conflict. Do you avoid? Acquiesce? Compete? Compromise? Collaborate? 

Which one of these styles do you perceive to have the most value? And given that, which one will you begin to practice more and more?

What else can you do to boost your self awareness and in turn your management skill set?  Try reflective activities, talking to open-minded colleagues, and reading books that guide you towards more awareness.

For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at or learn about management training at


Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions



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Is Conflict Management An Essential Management Skill? – Part 3 of 4

This is part 3 of the 4 part series on Conflict Management & how is it an essential management skill.  One of the important steps in conflice management is to Identify the true source of the conflict. 

When you are feeling in a calmer and more objective frame of mind, turn your attention to identifying the source of the conflict. Most of the time you’ll find that the topic of disagreement belongs in one of four main areas:

A. Power struggles based on ego: Some people respond to the demands of their egos by needing to have and exert power. Don’t take it personally. Accept that this is their story and it’s not about you. By disentangling yourself from someone else’s emotional needs, you’ll be able to listen more objectively to what they have to say. You might even feel centered enough to respond to the other person with empathy. While this is not easy to do (and takes practice), responding with acceptance and understanding may encourage the other person to set aside their ego and join with you to solve the conflict. Through management training, participants get the opportunity to learn and practice these types of new responses to conflict.

B. Poor Communication
Communication is deeply influenced by factors like language, gender, culture, age, skills, personal experience, etc. With so many distinctive ways of communicating, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise due to misunderstandings in communication. An essential cornerstone to all our management training seminars is practicing and learning effective communication skills.

To raise the level of your management skills, always be aware of the challenges of communication and how easy it is for us to misunderstand one another. When addressing a disagreement with another party(s), be sure to ask yourself what you would like to get from the discussion. Then ask the other party(s) what they want to get from it. Be aware of your assumptions and check them out. Exercise great curiosity about what the other person wants to communicate. Be that person’s ally and you both will benefit from your good intentions to bridge communication gaps.

C. Personality Differences
How many times have we been miffed at someone because they seemed just too different from us? When personality differences produce conflict it would be worth your while to invest some time and a little money in searching out a personality or behavioral styles assessment. There are many, including the well-known Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. The basic benefit of these inventories is the reminder that people differ in how they approach life. These assessments help people understand their own personality styles and how they can work with co-workers whose personalities and temperaments are naturally different from their own.

D. Differing Needs – (What’s in it for me?)
“What’s in it for me?” is a question that each of us naturally asks ourselves consciously or unconsciously. In our management training seminars we stress that, as managers, we must be aware that there are always needs in the picture or at stake. When there appear to be differing or opposing needs, first look to define what those needs are; what do you or the other/s truly want? Then, look to see what strategy options there are. Brainstorm until you run dry! Be extra creative! And negotiate from an attitude of win-win. Actively look for ways that will bring each of you more of what you want. If it feels like too much of a compromise is going on, step back and look for options that will bring greater mutual satisfaction.

Watch for Part 4 in this series on Management Skills and Conflict Management.  For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at


Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions


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How is Conflict Management An Essential Management Skill? – Part 2 of 4

This is Part 2 of a 4 Part Series on how conflict management is an essential management skill.  If you do not feel confident in your conflict management skills, take heart.  Conflict management can be learned through management skill training courses.  An essential element involves increasing your self awareness as a key step in preventing and decreasing conflict. 

One of the most important managements skills: self-awareness

Many of us become riled up when faced with a conflict. You may already have discovered that when emotion takes over, whatever actually triggered the conflict tends to get lost in the commotion. High Emotion=Low Intelligence! In our management training seminars participants learn that self-awareness is the first step toward de-escalating conflict. If you are facing a conflict, notice if you are beginning to feel emotionally overwhelmed or angry. If so, be honest with yourself about your feelings. Then take the time you need to calm and center yourself.  Make improved self awareness a goal.  Read books, write in a journal, reflect, talk to others – all these tools will grow your self awareness and your conflict management capacity.  And that in turn will enhance your ability as a manager. 

Join us for parts 3 and 4 of this series on Conflict Management  – An essential management skill.

For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at

 Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions

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