If you're new to management, this little book provides a good starting point. Put together by the Chartered Management Institute, it covers everything from managing performance and team-building to coaching and mentoring, as well as managing difficult situations.
This last one is where the novice manager is most likely to come unstuck. Perhaps the hardest thing a manager has to do, for example, is to make someone redundant.
The 'termination interview' is the point at which an employee is given the news. They will have to be told the reasons for the decision, the timescale involved and the redundancy package on offer. To prepare, it is useful to anticipate the employee's likely responses and questions, and to use role-play exercises to rehearse.
When it comes to timing the discussion, avoid Fridays - there might be fewer support mechanisms available to the employee over the weekend. Pick a location that is private, from where the employee can avoid embarrassment by using a different exit. Avoid rushing the interview, losing control, giving conflicting messages or criticising the individual.
Practical and brief, Managing Others is a useful tool for managers to keep in the top drawer of their desk.
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today