Supervisors Guide to

Personal Effectiveness

The aim of this PDF book

This book is a simple guide to overcoming the problems that get in the way at work. It therefore covers the age-old problem of how to fit all the things we have to do into twenty four hours, how to handle those knotty problems that always crop up, how to work with and through people so that we can get more done when we need to and at the end of the day - how to switch off.

It is not, however, a resource on management theory nor a work of psychology or sociology; while borrowing some ideas from all these fields it is essentially a resource based on everyday experience, written with a minimum of jargon and applying principles of common sense to everyday workplace problems.

Guide to self-evaluation and improved personal efficiency

Who this PDF book is for

This resource is designed for anybody who works in whatever field (and that can mean doing a job, running a voluntary organization, pursuing a hobby etc.). It will be particularly helpful to those people who have to organize a large part of their own work such as managers and supervisors in industry or commerce, people who run their own business or anybody who has to do more than a purely repetitive and mechanical job. Those new to the job market or those desiring to move up the job ladder will find this resource of great benefit.

How to use this PDF book

Each of the eight modules has the same structure. Every module;

  • takes a theme (listed in the contents)
  • outlines the key issues
  • gives examples of how those issues affect work
  • suggests ways of handling the issues, in some cases with examples of what happened when other people used the approach.

Each module is self-contained and can be read by itself, though they do of course relate to one another. Throughout the text you'll find symbols alerting you to key features, all of which are designed to help make your learning as effective - and enjoyable - as possible. The symbols used, and the features they alert you to are as follows:

Get your aim right Objectives

Employee training objectivesIndicates a list of objectives - key activities that you should be able to carry out when you have completed the module. You'll find a reminder at the end of each module to check back over this list.

Develop sound conceptual models Written activities

Self assessment written activtiesReminds you that we are about to ask you to carry out a written activity - either in the text itself or, if you prefer, in a separate notebook. We strongly recommend that you find someone to discuss your answers with - perhaps someone who is also using this book. We'll refer to this person as your adviser. In the workshop you should make full use of the experienced workshop presenter.

Get experience of making things happen To do activities

Self assessment activitiesIndicates that we are asking you to do something. This may simply be to think about an issue or idea, or it may involve you in a practical activity, say, recording your progress at work over several days. The same symbol is also used against checklists, which you may wish to cut out or photocopy and refer to in future.

Become inspired Examples

Examples of other peoples successesIndicates an example - say, of some other persons work methods or of a real-life problem that someone has encountered.

You may not find it easy to discuss your own effectiveness at first - but once you've broken the ice you'll find it well worthwhile.

So try to find someone you already feel at ease with, and aim to keep your discussion as informal as possible. The activity on page 12 in the PDF book will be a good point at which to try out this approach for the first time.

Set your course for success Personal action agenda

Self assessement action agendaSuggests a personal agenda for action - a set of resolutions to put what you have learned into practice. This is a reminder that the book is about practical, attainable changes in working habits. One way of recording your agenda is as an 'action plan'- a list of targets with a date for the attainment of each. Here are some typical entries from one such plan:

  • Reduce overtime costs by 40 per cent by year end.
  • Eliminate stock discrepancies by improving the system of stock control by Christmas break
  • Improve the understanding of their job among my four supervisors by preparing job descriptions with them by Friday
  • Get flow of copy to the composing room on agreed schedules by end of this month

Develop your control loop Achieving objectives

If you decide that you have not achieved what you set out to do:

  • discuss the objectives with someone - preferably your adviser/ workshop presenter. Have you interpreted these correctly? Have you set out to do too much too soon?
  • work through the relevant section of text again, taking particular note of the practical steps we recommend
  • above all, persist: if the objective is one you value the effort you put into achieving, it will be well worthwhile.

In addition, each module ends with:

  • a short 'signpost' list of related material in other chapters.
  • a list of possible sources of help that you might use in your own workplace.