Organisation Skills

137For me this is related to time management, which we have already discussed on this site and will summarise shortly.

The difference is that in organisational skills, you are one step back in the process, in that you are yet to define what needs to be done. This involves being aware of what is going on around you in every aspect of your life and your business, and knowing what needs to be done to reach targets . You must take charge of events that are your responsibility, prevent problems arising by defusing situations, and “steer the ship “.

You need to allocate time to being organised, it doesn’t just happen, and it needs to be planned. Once you have defined the tasks, you need to prioritise, delegate and manage the tasks.

Practical tip-organising a department

In practical terms, in my experience of managing a department, a great way to do this is to talk to everyone in the department regularly on an informal basis. You can do this by walking around the department, maybe working your way to the coffee machine and back to your desk. On the way stop to exchange a few words with everyone –“Hi how are you, what have you got on today”. This is a great way to swiftly “take the temperature “and see what needs to be done.

This has a number of advantages-it mean that you get to know each of your staff personally. You can introduce some personal topics-“How is your mother after her operation? ”, “Is your son OK now? “. And you get to hear what they think is priority for today. Sometimes this is exactly what you expect to hear, but other times they may say something that leads you to reset their priorities, or to remind everyone else that they need to do the same thing, and you end up with a good feel for where the department is up to. You will clearly see what needs to be done, who is falling behind, who is thinking ahead. Maybe you need to rebalance priorities, sometimes you need to rethink your own tasks for the day based on what you have heard and discussed

To begin with this may take a long time, but as you establish the pattern a number of things will happen. People will learn to expect you, they will order their thoughts I readiness which means they have to think about their priorities. They will learn to have something to say, and will begin to use the opportunity to feed information to you.

This could be intrusive if people are busy, perhaps on the phone. Just make eye contact, raise your eyebrows in question. They can just nod or wave to indicate everything is fine, or they will come and find you when they are free if they need to speak to you.