If you have ever worked in a support role, or are currently in one, such as in an Account Management or Ad Trafficking capacity, I’m sure you have heard this question…
(…in some variation & typically from someone in Sales or worse yet, BY THE CLIENT… YIKES!)
“Why wasn’t the issue caught / communicated sooner!?!”
In all honesty, this is a fair question. By improving on these 3 key skills, it will help minimize obstacles and therefore the frequency of these types of questions.
By mastering these 3 key skills – Transparency, Communication and Time Management – you will minimize mishaps costing your organization revenue loss. In the process, you will build stronger Client Relations, internally and externally, developing trust & solidifying your Brand.
Transparency, Communication & Time Management
Have you ever heard the phrase – It’s not what you say, but how you say it! Well, I’ll take it a step further – What you share is just as important as how you share it.
Here are some tips on how to improve your Transparency skills:
Know who the key stakeholders are & who is responsible for tasks in all phases of a campaign’s lifecycle.
- Best Practice: Use a Project Management or Task Management system to keep track of ideas, conversations and files as it is stored in one common area for all to access and reference.
Schedule regular Internal and External kick-off calls to discuss campaign needs. It’s also a great idea to schedule daily scrum meetings between your team & other relevant key stakeholders. These daily meetings should be no more than 15-30 minutes & used to discuss daily priorities and next steps.
- Best Practice: Send Follow-up notes immediately after the meeting to attendees outlining the priorities and next steps discussed. Always add a Task owner to avoid confusion on who is responsible for the action. Either send a status update at the end of the day, or provide a recap during the next daily scrum.
Don’t keep it to yourself! Knowledge Share helps your colleagues understand your role better and appreciate your work more. For example, it’s not enough to just know that a campaign is under-delivery. Knowing what actions will be taken to resolve is what builds trust and understanding.
Nowadays, everyone seems to be working from their mobile phones. So while it’s easy & fast to respond to an email, it’s not always the best form of communication and is often the biggest deterrent from having an in-person conversation.
Try these tips to develop stronger communication skills:
- Minimize emails by having in-person meetings, when possible. Emails should be sent as a follow-up of next steps and status updates.
- Manage up! This is probably the least used method of Communication. Always keep your manager & key stakeholders informed on any challenges you may be experiencing in resolving an issue.
- Best Practice: Don’t spend more than 20 minutes resolving an issue. Ask for help!
- Communicate with ample time when deadlines will be missed. Work with colleagues to re-prioritized and stick to new date.
In a recent Time Management training I conducted, participants shared their most common Time Management issue – Being Reactive, not Proactive. I know I’ve been there! It makes you feel unproductive and not to mention results in poor quality in your work, building mistrust from your colleagues.
Become aware of how you use your time throughout the day – Your are the Keeper of your Time:
- Create a task list to plan out your day: Every morning, carve out 30 – 45 minutes to review your emails and & prioritize your day.
- Best Practice: Bring this list to your daily Scrum to ensure everyone is on the same page. Schedule time for interruptions!
- Block time on your calendar to keep track of your day and stick to deadlines.
- Best Practice: Set time to re-group/think throughout the day. Update and re-prioritize your task list.
- Take assumption out of the equation! Guessing causes duplication of efforts. Don’t take on tasks when you are not clear of the ask – once you take it, you own it!
Incorporating these tips in your daily routine is sure to help you increase your productivity and minimize the issues that plague you and your brand. I recommend trying these for 30 days and reassess then on what changes can make to continue improving.
Please check back in and advise of your progress. I’d love to hear from you!