Manager Tools Forums This feed displays the latest comments and Topics from the Manager Tools Forums Manager Tools Forums (mauzenne) Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:26:46 +0000 Manager Tools Website Recovery All, The Manager Tools website encountered a database issue earlier today. Although we were able to restore the database from the daily backups, any forum/comment activity from earlier today was lost. I apologize for the inconvenience. We're taking actions to ensure we don't have a recurrence of the issue. Regards, Mike (kwdowicz) Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:41:50 +0000 Re: Licensee Call - Spring 2014 - awesome content <p>&nbsp;How do I find the details of the future licensee calls? I can find recording of the past calls on the site, but not the future ones.</p> (alexswan) Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:41:44 +0000 Re: How to track when directs will be out-of-office <p>Hello,</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Instead of using SharePoint calendar for your purposes, you may use some resource scheduling software to plan your team members according to their calendar. You can assign individual calendar to each member and can book them according to your requirements.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">You can also make any non-working day as working day and can define holiday exceptions also.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">24 hour calendar can also be defined. Booking Chart follows the concept of Gantt chart and can make leave booking. It also provides many others important features which may help for your management purpose.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">One of the most appropriate scheduling software which I have worked upon is &lsquo;eResource Scheduler&rsquo; as it provides all these required features and many more. Hope this suggestion may help you.<o:p></o:p></span></p> (rgwierman) Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:56:22 +0000 Re: Managing Managers - where to start with the podcasts? <p>&nbsp;If you go to the podcasts link above and click on 'All Podcasts&quot; it will take you to a page that has a drop down menu with more podcasts with different tags. There are tags for coaching and many other subjects. This will help you find casts beyond what is in the basics section. &nbsp;</p> (altadel) Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:50:43 +0000 Re: Private and public postings under the combined license <p>Use one account for content and the non-anonymous posting and use the other account for anonymous posting? I'm unclear why you are tying access to content and posting. Those seem like separate items that need not be tied to each other.</p> <p>Scott Delinger</p> <p>DiSC: 5137</p> (mauzenne) Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:47:18 +0000 Private and public postings under the combined license <p>I am on the fence about the new combined license.&nbsp; Paying less is nice.<br /> <br /> When I had two - essentially a personal (career) and work (manager) separated licenses it made it easy to manage a public and private profile.&nbsp; For instance, if I'm asking in the forums about something that might be construed as a situation at work, I would prefer to be anonymous - for I am increasingly telling my directs where &quot;all these crazy ideas&quot; are coming from.<br /> <br /> So I still have two logins/profiles, but now to choose which pays - or pay twice and effectively pay more - I can justify that work pays, but then the private login will not get to all the content.&nbsp; What have folks done in this situation? Am I missing something obvious?</p> <p>Cheers,</p> <p>Marinna</p> (mfprysl) Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:22:42 +0000 Being fired because of being sick: how to talk about it during an interview <p>Hi,</p> <p>I was recently fired only because I was on a sick leave longer than a month. Now I am looking at how to talk about it in an interview.</p> <p>I have read Wendi's and Mark's advice here on the forum to keep quiet on health issues but as this was the only cause of my termination I have to tell something.</p> <p>Some details:</p> <p>* It was a legitimate sick-leave (it's merit was even investigated and OKed by governmental public health insurance institution that actually pays it)</p> <p>* My health problems were of a temporary nature and they are gone</p> <p>* Yes, my termination was illegal, immoral and #?&amp;</p> <p>* But I follow Mark's advice of not trying to change an evil boss and not trying to retaliate in an &quot;exit interview&quot;</p> <p>I want to move on and I have to have something to say in an interview when asked &quot;Why have you left company A?&quot;</p> (cruss) Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:39:12 +0000 Re: Rolling out feedback and adding new team member at the same time <p>You are correct, I am not the Manager. I am responsible for the performance of the team and the productivity of each team member. I have spoken in general terms with our Manager about 'communicating with the team about their performance' and she was fine with the idea. I'm also confident that she would support me if there were any push back as long as I wasn't being unreasonable. I'll go back through the casts and see if I can find the one you are referring to. Thank you for the caution.</p> <p>Unfortunately, due to a combination of sick days, vacations, and production issues we haven't had a team meeting with full attendance since my original post so I haven't been able to roll out the feedback model to the team yet. I'm just waiting for the right time and continuing to listen to the casts and prepare for our new hire to start this Tuesday.</p> <p>Thanks as always for all the great replies.</p> <p>Canyon R</p> (leanne) Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:30:22 +0000 Re: Mired Down in Detail <p>One thing that may not be obvious as a step to take is this:</p> <p>Tell your people that they're *allowed* to make decisions on their own.</p> <p>Tell your people they're *allowed* to handle certain details without telling you about them.</p> <p>Depending on how their previous managers have been with them, they may think they're required to tell you certain things. I've had that happen on teams I've been on, where we told our managers where we were going when we were heading for a meeting. We got a new manager in and after a couple times of this he looked at us and said 'you don't have to tell me that. I&nbsp;trust you; you're professionals; I know if you're not here you're probably at a meeting if it's not your usual lunchtime.'</p> <p>That seems like a small thing, and you'd be surprised at how much it can mean. You can't assume they *know* they're allowed to do certain things, or that they *believe* they're allowed to do certain things, without consulting you. And the idea that you trust them to be professional (assuming you do, of course) can be an astonishing message that makes them want to live up to that trust.</p> (steven_d) Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:01:27 +0000 Re: Closing an interview when it is a panel <p>&nbsp;I have the same question. So far as an entry level engineer I have only had group interviews and I would like to close but I don't know how to address the group/panel.</p> <p>Someone with experience please help!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (donm) Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:47:57 +0000 Re: The role of "Assistant to..". Is it a real role? <p>Just ask the MD&nbsp;to change the role title to Assistant Managing Director. This way, she will have the authority as well as the responsibility. She can work out with the MD what to do in certain situations, as well as restrictions on her authority. For example, she may not be allowed to give new direction to managers who report directly to the MD, but in his absence, she will act as the MD&nbsp;in normal decisions. It is then up to her to determine the immediate course of action, which might include, &quot;Wait until the MD&nbsp;returns to make this decision.&quot;</p> <p>This is why we have Mayors pro tempore, Vice Presidents, and Lieutenants. Someone still has to be in charge, even when the boss is gone, with my apologies to Alexander Haig. What I&nbsp;would not allow or accept would be a &quot;dotted line relationship&quot; to the side, which would be all of the responsibility without the authority.</p> (bradp) Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:40:45 +0000 Re: Inheriting an under performing direct <p>&nbsp;Perfect thank you.</p> <p>Regards</p> <p>Brad Parker</p> (donm) Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:34:49 +0000 Re: Employee Push Back <p>In the oil patch, the &quot;no facial hair&quot; issue comes up fairly often. I'm in the Middle East, and some South Asians insist that facial hair is part of their religious observations. I have short-circuited this argument with the statement before I hire that they will sometimes need to shave, be drug tested, purchase additional safety equipment (which we'll reimburse), and other such inconveniences due to site-based safety requirements. At the time if hire, they are told that safety regulations are inviolate and they will comply or face termination.</p> <p>As you could probably tell from the above statements, I'd have little sympathy for your employee. I would tell him directly, &quot;Following safety regulations is not optional. Disagreement with company policy does not give you additional options.&quot;</p> <p>Safety is an area where I do not compromise. My safety record speaks for itself, perhaps because of my draconian attitude. Would you prefer to let this continue, only to have a gas leak and his death next week due to a bad fit with his mask? Seal-testing is done during a calm scenario. Fire, explosions, and toxic gasses tend to have folks less-than-calm.</p> <p>The next time he shows up unshaven, I would hand him a copy of the written policy, and immediately send him home to shave or hand him a razor. Willful failure to comply with company policy is a termination offense. How long would you allow someone to violate the sexual harassment policy? How long are people allowed to violate hazardous area entry policies? How many welds can someone do without his vest and visor? Why should the facial hair policy be less inviolable than other workplace rules? </p> <p>Eventually, I'd say, &quot;Shave, quit, or be fired. This subject is not open to debate or disagreement.&quot; That's better than saying, &quot;He'd still be alive it I had only enforced the shaving rule.&quot;</p> (scm2423) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:24:28 +0000 Re: How to track when directs will be out-of-office <p>We have a number of teams that use SharePoint calendars for this. &nbsp; The nice thing is that if you set it up correctly the users just sends a meeting invite to the SharePoint Calendar. &nbsp;They do not have to go to the site so mark when they will be out of the office, they can do it from their calendar.</p> <p>From the Outlook client you can view a SharePoint Calendar beside or over-layed with your calendar. &nbsp;The one piece I have not figured out is how to view the SharePoint calendar from my iPhone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (JWasong) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:10:58 +0000 Re: Inheriting an under performing direct <p>These might be what you're looking for, Brad.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (DT_FED) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:48:03 +0000 How to track when directs will be out-of-office <p>New manager-select, podcast listener, and first-time poster here.</p> <p>I'm looking for a better way to be aware of my directs' current and future out-of-office status. &nbsp;My entire team should know if any other team member will be out. &nbsp;My former manager (now my peer) does this by asking everyone to send an Outlook &quot;all-day&quot; meeting request to the team's distribution list. &nbsp;We were to do this for any day on which we were going to take leave, be off-site for a class, or otherwise not be available for work assignments. &nbsp;This worked ok, but I think it clutters the calendar too much, and it skews everyone's availability status when the &quot;meeting organizer&quot; sets the meeting status to &quot;out of office.&quot; &nbsp;The person on leave could set the group meeting status to &quot;available,&quot; but then they have to enter a *second* meeting or appointment that marks them as &quot;out of office.&quot;</p> <p>My new team lead suggested that we use our team's Sharepoint calendar feature as a &quot;leave calendar.&quot; &nbsp;That has advantages, but it doesn't have the &quot;at a glance&quot; immediate accessibility as my Outlook calendar.</p> <p>I'm thinking of asking everyone to just share their calendar with everyone else, but I know that will be met with resistance. &nbsp;I'm in a federal government union shop, and there are constant objections and refusals to just about every kind of request that is not on someone's job description.</p> <p>What works well for you?</p> (Smacquarrie) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:47:51 +0000 Re: Employee Push Back GTDHelps, I have had to deal with this same issue both in the military and as a civilian. The regulations are clear. Even though it does not affect his normal work, and his exposure to safety issues are limited, the company is exposed should anything go wrong. I hope that you are having 1:1's with this person and have a relationship where you can sit down and explain that it is nothing personal. He needs to comply with the requirements. If you are able to move them to a remote location, where the risks are not present then do so. If not....... Let him know that this is a safety related issue and that it is NOT negotiable for his safety and the safety of others. If he goes down somewhere, because his respirator failed due to facial hair, someone will need to go in and rescue/recover them. This puts that operator at risk. I have had to terminate employees for their inability to comply with federal regulations before. My background: I am the HSE&F manager for my facility and oversee all safety related items for the site. I have had to counsel employees for not wearing proper safety gear, proper clothing for the environment they are working in, and not following safety protocols when performing their job functions. Any of these found by an auditor could potentially cost the company thousands of dollars and could lead to a more intensive inspection/audit. Federal regulations are often pretty grey but many companies begin to make them more black & white to ensure that there is no deviation that may cost them productivity or money. Mac DiSC 7121 (GTDHelps) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:28:55 +0000 Employee Push Back <p>I had an incident with one of my directs this week that I would like to get some input on.&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> Our work site requires that employees report to work clean-shaven.&nbsp; This is based on a safety requirement as stated by our government OH&amp;S organization.&nbsp; In the past we have been negligent on enforcing this requirement but recently our management team has stated that this needs to be addressed.</p> <p><br /> I have one employee who for a number of years has had facial hair. He keeps it trimmed and when fit-tested for respirator the fit-tests have passed.&nbsp; I spoke to my direct about this and told him he needs to shave off the facial hair.&nbsp; He pushed back with a number of arguments:<br /> 1) why now<br /> 2) why are we located on an industrial site, why not in a remote office<br /> 3) can we use a different type of respirator <br /> 4) this does not affect his performance</p> <p><br /> I agreed that this is not a performance issue and repeated that we have not negligent in complying with regulation and have been to do address this now.&nbsp; I said that I would follow up with our safety group about a different type of respirator.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>A number of times my direct indicated that if we pushed this, he would start looking for work elsewhere.&nbsp; I did not respond to that directly.&nbsp; I do not know if this was meant as a threat or just being said to illustrate how strongly he feels about this.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>I followed up with my safety rep and he said the regulation is clear.&nbsp; At this time there are no exclusions or other options.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>I reviewed this with my manager.&nbsp; He agrees that the regulation is clear but does not want to lose stay employee over this.&nbsp; He is following up with HR and Safety to see if we can make an exception for workers that are not out in the field.&nbsp; My group is office based but the offices are located in the middle of a multi-acre industrial complex and we have a number of gases used in our process that are dangerous.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>I do not feel that any accommodation is necessary and see it as eroding our management rights.&nbsp; What is going to happen when he disagrees with our change management or expense management policies do we grant exclusions then.&nbsp; I would support an exception if complying with the regulation posed a real hardship or if there were cultural or religious issues.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>He is at work today and continues to have facial hair.&nbsp; I will talk to him today to let him know that I check with our safety rep and the regulation is clear.&nbsp;&nbsp; I am hoping that after thinking about it he will understand that this is for his own safety and that while we both have been negligent this needs to be addressed.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>I am looking for suggestions on how to proceed both with the employee and with management on this.</p> (bradp) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:34:23 +0000 Inheriting an under performing direct <p>Folks,</p> <p>I know there's a podcast on managing an inherited under performing direct. I seem to recall it mentions line in the sand and starting the trinity with them as a new member of the team. I don't think this is Dani's &quot;special person&quot; series.</p> <p>Anyone know the title of the podcast in question?</p> <p>Regards, Brad</p> (MrPl0d) Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:15:46 +0000 The role of "Assistant to..". Is it a real role? <p>Hi,</p> <p>A colleague has asked me if she should accept the role of &quot;Assistant to the Managing Director&quot;. This is not to be his Executive Assistant, he already has one of those. This is an additional role where she would research specific issues for him, attend meetings on his behalf, represent him when he couldn't be two places at once. It is being sold as a stellar role to launch her career. I see it as a non-role where she does a heap of donkey work and becomes universally hated and sucked up to by the rest of the organisation because she carries the MD's role power without being the MD.</p> <p>Does anyone have experience of this sort of role; do you use an Assistant to... or have you been one? What would your advice be?</p> <p>Cheers</p> <p>Stephen</p> (croses) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:19:29 +0000 Re: Resume Help: One hit wonder. <p>&nbsp;When you create &quot;boring steady growth&quot; you must do something right.</p> <p>What are these smaller things that you accomplish? Create a time log. Mark did describe it in the cast &quot;job transparency for development&quot;.</p> <p>Last time I did it i found a lot of things that made me think. I am sure you will identify things that you do regularly. The outcome of these smaller tasks are your smaller accomplishments. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regards&nbsp;</p> <p>Chris</p> <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 18.000000pt; font-family: 'TrebuchetMS'">&nbsp;<br /> </span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> (djpadilla) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:16:07 +0000 Re: Can I discuss salary expectations/goals with current manager <p>Thank you very much for taking the time to highlight the different areas I should consider before engaging in this conversation.&nbsp; You make a great point that this all depends on the manager, the tone, the approach, and the percentage of increase.</p> <p>I'll take all of this into consideration before I approach my manager with this.&nbsp; I'll follow up with the outcome, regardless of whether I move forward with this conversation or not.</p> <p>Once again, the detail and content of your reply is greatly appreciated!</p> <p>DJ</p> (pushbuttonmax) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:28:46 +0000 Re: Rolling out feedback and adding new team member at the same time <p>Just to be clear, you are&nbsp;NOT your teams designated Manager, correct?&nbsp; The team does not have to work with you for their employment reviews and you are not able to fire them, right? I copied your original post below:</p> <p>&quot;We are explicitly not 'managers' but we are responsible for all of the functional components of managing the teams. We assign work, represent our team in projects and meetings, report status and issues to the director, and I am currently leading the effort to hire another member for my team.&quot;&nbsp; Submitted by cruss on Tue, 07/29/2014</p> <p>There is a big difference in being a team lead that is accountable for the team performance and a manager who is responsible for the employees.&nbsp; If so, you may be heading into some conflict with your peer team members who are&nbsp;as you mentioned that you are at the same job level as they are.</p> <p>I don't remeber which cast it was, but I&nbsp;believe in the cast&nbsp;was a caution about using the feedback model vs peer feedback.</p> (Deanerdub) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:47:24 +0000 Re: Bullying and Interpersonal Issues Between Directs <p>&nbsp;This is a good thread and a tough situation.&nbsp;</p> <p>This thread came up when did a google search of Mananger Tools: bully. The other results of that search might be useful to glance at.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am reading this thinking about the Documentation cast. How we are to record our observations but not our characterizations of behaviours. &nbsp;Exact words, tone, volume, facial expressions, interrupting, use of hands, are all examples of things to document. For me, when I started following that I was empowered because now I can present facts that allow the listener to make their own conclusion. So much more effective than saying rude, bullying, mean and so on.&nbsp;</p> <p>I think girls vs women vs men is a thoughtful question and shot across the bow might also be appropriate. &nbsp;And reinforce the good behaviour. &nbsp;</p> <p>You will solve this because it's important to you. They will see that.&nbsp;</p> <p>Good luck&nbsp;</p> (conor_m) Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:52:44 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? I just wanted to leave a note to say how amicably you handled this situation. Your compassion and care should make both yourself and your organisation proud. Conor (mattpalmer) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:45:39 +0000 Re: How to keep technical skills up-to-date (IT) <p>If you want to be a really good manager, I think you need to let go of the tech. &nbsp;Half-knowing the tech is more dangerous than not knowing it, because you'll be tempted to think &quot;I know best&quot;, and you won't, because you're not living in the tech every day. &nbsp;Your people will know the tech far better than you, and it should be them making the decisions, for that very reason.</p> <p>You need to start relying on your people, and their judgment, (and your judgment of their judgment). &nbsp;If you can't rely on your people, get better people. &nbsp;They will have far more skin in the game than you, and having their ideas pre-empted by &quot;the boss&quot; will just annoy and demotivate them.</p> <p>I say all this as someone who <em>didn't</em> do these things, and let's just say it all ended <em>very</em> badly. &nbsp;Learn from my mistakes, and focus on the people. &nbsp;That's your job now, not the technology.</p> (mattpalmer) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:39:51 +0000 Re: Can I discuss salary expectations/goals with current manager <p>With the right manager, and the right way of approaching the topic, I think it could be done. &nbsp;But it's an area fraught with peril. &nbsp;If what your manager takes from the conversation is &quot;gimme more money or I'm outta here&quot;, you've just shot yourself in the foot. &nbsp;Whether that happens depends on both how you raise the issue, and your manager's preconceptions. &nbsp;Some managers, with a morbid fear of talking about money, would never be able to discuss the issue with equanimity -- in that case, don't do it. &nbsp;Other managers... if you phrased it in the way you have here, &quot;my goal is X, what can I do to reach that?&quot;, you could do it.</p> <p>In judging your manager, consider how previous money-related conversations have gone. &nbsp;Has your manager given you a raise, or discussed salary (say, at an annual review) in the past? &nbsp;If so, how did that conversation go? &nbsp;Did it feel like your manager was uncomfortable, trying to get it over with quickly and move on to something more palatable? &nbsp;That's a bad sign for a proactive salary discussion, because your manager will likely be uncomfortable, and likely immediately on the defensive.</p> <p>If you do decide to go ahead with it, one word of caution -- don't blind side your manager with this conversation. &nbsp;An MT cast I listened to recently (sorry, don't remember which one) mentioned that you should always tell people what a requested meeting is about. &nbsp;I might mention it in passing in my O3, and then ask to schedule a separate meeting to discuss just that issue. &nbsp;Something like, &quot;Hey Jane, I don't want to take up our entire O3 with this, I'd like to have a separate meeting some time to discuss my long-term salary goals. &nbsp;I've long held a financial stability goal that I'd be making $X by the time I was 35. &nbsp;Given that's coming up in the next few years, it's time to focus on achieving that goal. &nbsp;Can we spend 30 minutes some time discussing how I can achieve that goal here?&quot;.</p> <p>This might also be a useful way of judging whether your manager is fearful of salary conversations, if you've never had to have one before. &nbsp;If your manager reacts positively and comfortably to the above sort of request, you'll probably do OK. &nbsp;If they look like a deer in headlights, it might be best to drop it.</p> <p>Another couple of things to consider: how big a jump is $X? &nbsp;If it's twice your current salary, you're likely screwed, and will look like you're out of touch with reality. &nbsp;If it's 5% more, then you're in a reasonable position. &nbsp;Also, consider whether your current firm likely has the sort of upward salary mobility you're looking for. &nbsp;If you're in, say, the top half of your company already, moving up sufficiently to get an extra 25% on top of your current salary would be a lot harder than if you're still at a &quot;relatively junior&quot; level.</p> <p>Finally, be very, <em>very</em> careful about making your request sound like &quot;I want a raise!&quot;. &nbsp;It might even be worth prefacing your request with, &quot;I want to say up-front that I'm not looking for a raise in my current position&quot;, to try and mitigate some of that inevitable feeling on the part of your manager.</p> <p>Best of luck!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (BariTony) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:41:22 +0000 Re: Managing a 1 person team with 1 manager <p>BLUF: I took the wrong approach.</p> <p>Long story short, it led to organizational confusion and a near disaster. The skip level direct ended up trying to manipulate the situation by complaining with 3 levels of management, eventually getting the CEO involved. I decided to terminate my O3s with them immediately. I separated out the weekly department meetings into 2 separate meetings, and had the manager take the lead for their team, and made the manager an optional invitee to my other team's weekly meetings (I still manage that team directly.)&nbsp;</p> <p>The direct came to me and accused me of taking away all of their support, then started complaining about their boss, crying, and ultimately threatening to quit. I told them I wasn't their manager, their direct supervisor was. If there was a problem, I expected them to bring it up with their boss. I also told them that our ideal solution was that they stay and close their skills gap. (the manager has been meeting with this person every single day for at least 30 minutes to go over their work, provide feedback, and give basic instruction.) But, if they decided to leave, that was their decision. We've done everything we can.</p> <p>The end result has been less complaining. Their attitude is more positive. Their manager says that their skills have improved significantly over the past few weeks and they've received positive feedback from 360 evaluations on their performance. However, we're not out of the woods yet. This person has told us that they're actively looking for a new job and intend to move on as soon as they receive an offer. But from where I'm standing, we've given this person every chance we could and if they leave, it'll be their decision. Not ours.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (NLewis) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:49:31 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>Just to follow up - talking to her was the right thing to do, though initiating contact was risky.</p> <p>Immediately following my last post my direct failed to show up for work or call. &nbsp;At this point I did contact his wife just to make sure he was okay. &nbsp;She told me that he had left that morning with his lunch and had told her he was coming in to work. &nbsp;I thought maybe my worst fears would be realized but under the circumstances didn't know what else to do. &nbsp;</p> <p>She was able to track him down. &nbsp;He called me and claimed he'd been in to work and left a note on my desk (no such note has been found to date and no one I talked to had seen him). &nbsp;He seemed very confused and repeated himself frequently during the conversation. &nbsp;I told him that if he did not show up in the next two days he would be relieved of his position (not fired necessarily but removed from my department)&nbsp;and that I really needed to talk to him. &nbsp;At that point I didn't feel comfortable getting into the details because frankly he came across as extremely intoxicated. &nbsp;He promised he would.</p> <p>I had no contact over the next two days despite calling and leaving multiple messages and sending multiple cautionary e-mails. &nbsp;I started the process of removing him. &nbsp;His wife called me in tears and told me that he was going into rehab and wanted to know if he'd been fired. &nbsp;I told her I had planned to push for rehab if he had admitted alcohol was behind his absences. &nbsp;I reassured her that I would hold his position open for the two weeks he would be in treatment plus an additional week on top of that. &nbsp;I also re-assured her I would treat the issue with the strictest confidentiality I could manage. &nbsp;I then approached the company for some financial support for her since he'd exhausted all his personal and vacation time.</p> <p>Of course that means I will be carrying his workload and he will be on strict probation on his return. &nbsp;However in the end talking to her was the right thing to do. &nbsp;We now have a rapport now that can be used to help him as he recovers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you all again for taking the time to respond, for the advice, and for the resources.</p> <p>NFL</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (hnut_2000) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:00:25 +0000 Re: Disrespect from direct report <p>Matt made a great suggestion regarding direct, open and honest feedback. What did you say to your direct and how did he react to it?</p> <p>My initial reaction in reading your post is that my staff meetings can get pretty animated. That is the culture that I have cultivated and it sounds like you have done the same thing and sometimes the passions run over a bit. When this happens, sometimes I diffuse the situation with a joke or just by simply commenting aloud on the passion. e.g. &quot;Wow! Clearly there is some passion in the room on this. We're trying to solve X. Let's stay there and not let this conversation get out of hand.&quot;</p> <p>You post focused a lot on emotions. I would suggest trying to focus on the physical behaviors versus the state of mind. The state of mind can always be refuted/misinterpreted. However, you can't argue with something like, &quot;When you leave the meeting in the middle of a conversation you demonstrate a lack of professionalism to the team. This behavior reflects poorly on you and the organization and makes it far less likely for me to put you in meetings with other teams/groups. In the end, it limits your growth and it is disrespectful to everyone in attendance. Can you change this in the future?&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>That's basically the feedback model. All you need to do is ask if you can provide some feedback and you are there. You can also pile on some of the other items Matt mentioned, if this continues you are off the team, you're setting a bad example for your peers, etc.</p> <p>The one mistake I think you made was by correcting the behavior publicly. I wasn't there but I know when I've been in similar situations, I've made this same mistake a bunch. If it's bad enough, I try to simply excuse everyone from the room and talk to the IC alone. Or, I wait until the end of the meeting and make a point of asking the IC to stay. People in the room will know what is going on, but it helps give a bit of privacy to the feedback.</p> <p>-Dan</p> (pminer) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:05:02 +0000 Meeting Presentation, thank you Thank you SO much for the meeting podcasts! Today was my first opportunity to present at a significant meeting. I am a new manager (still in training). I have listened to nearly 200 of the podcasts since May and WOW! They have keep me from feeling like I am in over my head. I recall you (M/M) saying something along the line of 'the best you can hope for is all the decision makers to just say "good job."' I verified how much time I had, I pre-wired the information to my managers, I practiced in the room, and I had an action plan already set out to move forward with. The impact of my action plan is in the upper 6-digits. But thanks to the meeting podcasts I owned it, and have been put in charge of leading the entire project. Thanks again! (Drusty87) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:34:21 +0000 Projects for a staff accountant <p>I&nbsp;recently had a mid-year review and one of the things I&nbsp;put down is that most of my work comes from month-end close activities and I'd like to start doing more project-based worked. My manager and I talked yesterday and she tasked me with figuring out my own special projects outside of month-end close. This is great news because I get to choose what I do. However, I don't know what to's not the first time I've thought about this, but it's hard for me to figure out a project to work on. Does anyone have a resource they can send my way?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Background of finance department: We have FP&amp;A, Tax, and Accounting. We also have treasury (2ppl). I am on accounting as the general ledger/staff accountant. There are two more of me, a more senior accountant, a manager, a technical manager, consolidations guy, equity guy, a couple payroll, and controller.</p> (donm) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:45:04 +0000 Re: Bringing in outsiders <p>I would talk to the boss. I would say something along the lines of &quot;If you have already made the decision to hire him, then there is no need for me to interview him. If you have not yet made the decision, I&nbsp;will give you my honest opinion after the interview, as I&nbsp;would with any candidate. Does this meet your needs?&quot;</p> <p>I have found that actually saying things that are bothering me or worrying me tends to resolve them 95% of the time.</p> (donm) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:05:02 +0000 Happy Birthday <p>I might be a day off, as I'm overseas, but...</p> <p>Happy Birthday, Mark.</p> (ilkhan) Wed, 27 Aug 2014 03:28:30 +0000 Letter of Interest? <p>Is a letter of interest treated differently than a cover letter?</p> <p>tia!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (jespasac) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:12:04 +0000 How to keep technical skills up-to-date (IT) <p>Hi all,</p> <p>I got promoted to a manager almost two years ago in my company (IT industry). Since then, the process to get hands off the technical stuff has been gradual and step by step. Recently I just deleted all my accounts and access to the systems: even if I would like to, I cannot get hands on anymore.</p> <p>At some extend I think that's good and it helps me out to get 100% focus on management and leadership only. On the other hand, I'm loosing knowledge and touch with technology.</p> <p>I won't pretend to be a manager and an engineer at same time, but keeping in touch with technology (especially if you're in a rapid change industry as IT&nbsp;is) is an advantatge more than a backside. Right?</p> <p>How would you do that? And, if not... why?</p> <p>Thanks a lot.</p> (happytree87) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:41:00 +0000 Re: how to describe language skills on resume? This is a great question that I recently asked myself while I was trying to update my resume. Here's what I did. I added it after the education section. I guess it depends on how much room you have left on your resume and how relevant it is for the position you're applying for. Language skills German - fluent in speech, writing and reading Spanish - proficient in speech and writing, high level of comprehension ability Please correct me if I'm wrong. I have found that the more specific you are the better. Just writing "Advanced" doesn't really give anyone an idea of how well you can speak or understand the language. (NFPmanager) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:44:01 +0000 Re: Any Simple Tools for Tracking/Managing Multiple Projects? <p>I find SmartSheet (online tool) very versatile, intuitive and powerful. It's not specific to project management. It's like a super-awesome online excel. We use it for project management, workplans, budgets, to run registrations, etc. You can sign up for a trial. The help videos are a good way to get an overview. We switched from Basecamp to SmartSheet a few years ago and we don't regret it. It does do Gantt charts.</p> (VPfreedude) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:46:27 +0000 Re: Resume Help: One hit wonder. <p>In my opinion, &quot;steady [boring] growth&quot; is an impressive accomplishment too.</p> <p>Quote your growth metrics and how many months/quarters/years you have been profitable and that would make a great accomplishment bullet.</p> <p>Cheers</p> <p>V</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (mattjd) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:53:40 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> (Kevin1) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:37:41 +0000 Extra responsibilities on Resume <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>How do I add secondary role responsibilities into my resume?</p> <p>I'm a manager with a substantial main role in service delivery which I've been doing for several years.&nbsp; I've been asked to lead an internal operational team as a secondary duty.&nbsp;&nbsp;This would be considered a completely separate role and it could have been filled by a new hire.</p> <p>Do I put both on my resume separately?&nbsp; Or list them as concurrent?&nbsp; Would I start a new section from the time I took on the second role or would I just add it as a responsibility under the first role?</p> <p>for example.&nbsp; Imagine you are a warehouse shift manager and you are asked to run the Lean Six Sigma team as a secondary role.&nbsp; How would you put the two together?</p> <p>Thanks for your thoughts</p> <p>K&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (Kevin1) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:16:29 +0000 Bringing in outsiders <p>Do I give an honest appraisal of my boss's friend after interviewing him or defer to politics and just go along with it?</p> <p>My boss wants to bring someone into our team that she worked with before.&nbsp; I have been asked to interview him although I am sure my boss has already decided and she wants him in our team.</p> <p>Do I just play politics and go along with the interview and raise no objections even if I see some?&nbsp; Or do I document my objections even if I'm certain they will be ignored and may cause tension between my boss and I?</p> <p>Thoughts?</p> <p>K</p> (alexswan) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:49:19 +0000 Re: Need a project management tool? <p>&nbsp;Hello David,</p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"><br /> </span><font face="Arial, sans-serif" size="2">Give a try to &quot;<strong>eResource Scheduler</strong>&quot; for free. It will manage your organizational resources in real-time. It allows a bit of project management services also. Its graphical reports allow you to keep an eagle's eye on the work. You can compare resource requirements and allocations at project level. &nbsp;</font></p> <p>Try out its accustomed features and benefits for free or you can opt for a personal web demo.</p> <p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"><br /> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (alexswan) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:28:32 +0000 Re: Any Simple Tools for Tracking/Managing Multiple Projects? <p>&nbsp;You should try eResource Scheduler for managing your resources in real-time, it allows you to perform a bit of project management also. Due to its multi-user login feature, data can be shared against users in real-time. If you have to take my opinion, evaluate its features for free. You can import project tasks from mpp (MS Project) and export Gantt Chart in MS Excel.</p> <p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (djpadilla) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:59:55 +0000 Can I discuss salary expectations/goals with current manager <p>Is it taboo to review your general salary goals with your current manager?&nbsp; As an example, I've always had a financial goal of making $X by the time I was 35.&nbsp; I have 3 years to get there.&nbsp; Can I tell my manager my goal so that I can determine what criteria I'd have to meet in order to attain that goal?</p> (mrreliable) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:18:46 +0000 Re: People management <p>&nbsp;1. My biggest problem is balancing my desire to heap on praise and give credit for company success with the reality that complacency is the mortal enemy of any successful team. In my experience saying, &quot;Fantastic job of achieving success with that crucial, difficult project&quot; has the same effect as if I'd said, &quot;You've succeeded, time to rest on your laurels, you're on cruise control from here on out. You've deserved to lay in the hammock as long as you want.&quot; Put another way, a tinge of fear over whether a person is meeting standards feeds a movitational flame, which will get snuffed out by too much praise. It's a difficult balance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. What have I tried that hasn't worked?&nbsp;Assuming the definition of success is the same for my directs as it is for me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. Magic wand? I don't think I'd want one. I've seen too many &quot;Be careful what you wish for&quot; catastrophes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. The biggest question I have when managing people is whether I'm up to the task. There are times I feel as if I have no business being in the position I am with so many other people counting on me to drive the success of this organization. I'll say that to my wife and she says, &quot;That's why you're successful. Duh!&quot; Same as #1, I've always felt a bit overwhelmed, never complacent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (joshyeager) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:35:30 +0000 Re: How to delegate when directs' work is as important as mine? Thanks, all. This is helpful. I am a high S/C (3157). I definitely struggle to push my directs to be more productive, but I think I'm getting better at it. I've seen a ~30% increase in output from 2012 to now. I've allocated most of that extra productivity to creating more features for our product. The suggestion to work harder to coach some of my directs to help them grow and take more off my plate is a good one. My coaching to date has been intermittent. I wouldn't say that leadership is asking for more than the team can deliver. Our customers definitely are. It's a good problem to have, but sometimes stressful. We're getting pretty good at making priority decisions with input from customers, leadership, and the team. Josh (mrreliable) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:32:31 +0000 Re: Podcast Testimonials - How I used It <p>&nbsp;Podcast: One on Ones.</p> <p>I started O3's a couple months ago, and they seemed a bit awkward at first (awkward for me, not so much for the directs). Last week I had a chaotic deadline breathing down my neck and I had to cancel the O3's. Just as the podcast had predicted, the response from the directs was disappointment. It was as if the balance of the world had been upset in some way.</p> <p>We started up again today, back to the normal O3 schedule. The directs seem nearly giddy, all coming in with a long list of things they'd like to talk about. I yielded my time to them, so today's template is 20 minutes talking about what they want to talk about, and 10 minutes talking about the future.</p> <p>I knew the directs liked the O3's, but I was surprised at how valuable they consider them. I shouldn't have been surprised. The podcast laid it out clearly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (johnprest) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:57:41 +0000 EMC/ECC in Peru <p>Does anyone have any suggestions for an EMC/ECC-like program offered in Peru?&nbsp; I'd like to send some of my staff (since I don't see Lima on the list of 2015 Manager-Tools conferences).</p> <p>Thanks.</p> (alexswan) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:23:00 +0000 Re: People management <p>&nbsp;Managing a team is always a difficult task. I also have to face lot of frustration while managing my team according to their skills and other factors.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">1). While managing, when size of team increases my frustration also increases in same proportion because managing them according to their skills is always a difficult job.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">2). Managing a team manually is always a hectic task as it decreases my productivity.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">3). The biggest question comes in my mind is that there should be some kind of tool which would really reduce our burden of managing resources and help me to visualize my resources properly.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">But fortunately I have got one such tool after trying lot other waste materials.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">It is eResource Scheduler which really has eased my work and increased my productivity and helps me to manage multiple projects at same time without so much effort.<o:p></o:p></span></p> (alexswan) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:42:20 +0000 Re: What kind of project management tool? <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Project Management was never an easy task. It really requires a professional tool which may help to achieve task. I also suffered from same type of problem so I understand yours as I also deal with project management activities in my day to day life. <o p=""></o></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">In my opinion you should give a try to eResource scheduler. It is a project management tool which is very simple and easy to use and it also provides 14 days of free trial. It has really made my task very simpler by dividing it into small modules and provides every feature which every project manager may want.<o p=""></o></span></p> (alexswan) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:00:21 +0000 Re: Task Tracking (Any ideas for a simple system...) <p>&nbsp;Hello,</p> <p>Task Management is never an easy task to accomplish as I have also faced similar situations in my career. At that time I came to know about a management tool called eResource Scheduler which was very helpful for me to accomplish my task. This is a resource scheduling software which helps managers like us to effectively schedule their employees according to their skills, working capacity and our own requirements.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This software has simple user interface and is user friendly. It also has many other features which also makes my task easier. I tried a 14 day free trial of full version of software and it really met my expectations and I hope it will also benefit you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, I think you should give it a try at least once.</p> (mattpalmer) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:33:35 +0000 Re: How to answer "what do you need from us?" <p>You've got a gold-plated, walk-up opportunity to use the guidance in &quot;Dealing with Vague Feedback&quot; (<a href="">part 1</a>, <a href="">part 2</a>) to extract the essence of what your boss is looking for, and then delivering that.</p> (joeuii) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:05:57 +0000 Re: Mired Down in Detail <p>Thanks to both of you. I'll definitely listen to the podcasts.</p> <p>There is something to the PMs coming to me 'too frequently' but I think I'm the heart of the matter. I need to focus on what the job requires, not what I&nbsp;want it to require. And learn what to push down, what to keep down, and what just doesn't need to be done.</p> <p>I'll post again when I've had a chance to check out those podcasts.</p> <p>And thanks again,</p> <p>Joe U.</p> (thomis) Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:49:32 +0000 Re: resumes for grad students - education at top or bottom? <p>I don't believe the gap is an automatic dismissal. Especially if your graduation date is current. lead with accomplishments and graduating is not an accomplishment per se.&nbsp;</p> (thomis) Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:42:02 +0000 Resume Help: One hit wonder. <p>Bluf: How do I take one big accomplishment and get mileage out of it?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I authored a business case for a new division, was hired to open the new division and get it fully operational in the first 90 days of employment.&nbsp;I was subsequently profitable in the first full year and been so ever since. unfortunately I don't have a lot of other meaningful accomplishments. Just steady [boring] growth. &nbsp;I know one bullet, one line is critical for success but not sure what do with this one. Help?</p> (gary24) Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:26:08 +0000 how to describe language skills on resume? <p>Hi there,&nbsp;</p> <p>I am trying to describe my language skills on my resume and wondered:&nbsp;</p> <p>- are there standard terms used to describe skill level? &nbsp;</p> <p>- where and how should I include this on the resume&nbsp;(assuming it's appropriate to include)?&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks very much for any guidance anyone can offer.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (gary24) Sun, 24 Aug 2014 19:41:19 +0000 resumes for grad students - education at top or bottom? <p>Hello,</p> <p>Can anyone help me with a question about resumes for grad students?&nbsp;</p> <p>I have just returned to school for a two-year master's program after eight years of working.&nbsp;</p> <p>MT says it's best to&nbsp;start resumes with most recent jobs and to end with education.&nbsp;</p> <p>How then should I start my resume - with my master's program, with my entire education (undergrad, a fellowship and a line on language skills) or with my work experience?&nbsp;</p> <p>On the one hand it looks strange to start with education. On the other hand it also looks strange to start with my most recent job which ended in June 2014. The longer I stay in school the longer it will look at first glance like I have been unemployed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks very much for any input on this.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a side note I am a big fan of MT. Thanks to everyone who provides this invaluable resource.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (jennrod12) Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:44:40 +0000 Re: How to answer "what do you need from us?" <p>Perhaps you could do a time study of what you spend your time on during the day and see if there are ways to reprioritize to &nbsp;better accomplish what your boss is looking for. &nbsp;If that looks impossible, perhaps you could ask your boss which of certain tasks should be deprioritized in favor of the tasks he's evaluating you on. &nbsp;He may not be fully aware of everything on your plate.</p> <p>Jenn</p> (MarkMT) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:48:07 +0000 Re: Video Resumes <p>UNPRO, I've got one word for why a video resume will fail:&nbsp; TIME.</p> <p>If you think hiring managers are going to sit down and watch your little short film instead of scanning a one page document, you're kidding yourself.</p> <p>There are exceptions - professions where that happens (and they're all in media production) - but otherwise, you're just making a hiring manager work harder and they are unlikely to do that for you unless they think you're already awesome.</p> <p>Also - why are you introducing more uncontrollable variables into the hiring equation?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most people can't handle putting together a tight one page word document - that's just text.&nbsp;&nbsp; When I think of all the things that can go &quot;wrong&quot; in the video production process - all the things that can put people off when watching video - well, why would you introduce more opportunities for a manager to say &quot;No thanks&quot;?</p> <p>Stick with Wendy &amp; Mark's original guidance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (sverdloff) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:54:30 +0000 Re: My first manager position <p>&nbsp;Dear Chris,</p> <p>Thank you so much for your reply a few months ago. Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying sooner.. Can't make up excuses just very pre-occupied with the job.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>the job itself is going well thanks. Been over a year now and things are humming along nicely.</p> <p>i have slowly been building my sphere of responsibility and delivering some great projects. Although I can't claim it has all been smooth sailing, not by a long shot. But this being the first managerial position, I have not killed anyone yet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>your offer of being a mentor is extremely kind and I am very grateful indeed. I would certain like to take you up on that offer.</p> <p>I shall send you a little message introducing myself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>kind regards</p> <p>Matthew</p> (sverdloff) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:54:16 +0000 Re: My first manager position <p>&nbsp;Dear Chris,</p> <p>Thank you so much for your reply a few months ago. Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying sooner.. Can't make up excuses just very pre-occupied with the job.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>the job itself is going well thanks. Been over a year now and things are humming along nicely.</p> <p>i have slowly been building my sphere of responsibility and delivering some great projects. Although I can't claim it has all been smooth sailing, not by a long shot. But this being the first managerial position, I have not killed anyone yet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>your offer of being a mentor is extremely kind and I am very grateful indeed. I would certain like to take you up on that offer.</p> <p>I shall send you a little message introducing myself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>kind regards</p> <p>Matthew</p> (sverdloff) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:53:12 +0000 Re: My first manager position <p>&nbsp;Dear Chris,</p> <p>Thank you so much for your reply a few months ago. Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying sooner.. Can't make up excuses just very pre-occupied with the job.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>the job itself is going well thanks. Been over a year now and things are humming along nicely.</p> <p>i have slowly been building my sphere of responsibility and delivering some great projects. Although I can't claim it has all been smooth sailing, not by a long shot. But this being the first managerial position, I have not killed anyone yet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>your offer of being a mentor is extremely kind and I am very grateful indeed. I would certain like to take you up on that offer.</p> <p>I shall send you a little message introducing myself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>kind regards</p> <p>Matthew</p> (gnewby) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 11:15:41 +0000 Re: Presentations @ interviews? <p>&nbsp;That is a good idea! Since it's a Jr consulting style job. I also thought project management may be important. He could present on Hotstmans laws of project management.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>thank you for the idea.</p> (stingraycbs) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:14:11 +0000 Working with Remote Directs - The TGIF Meeting as helping tool <p>&nbsp;Dear Managers,</p> <p>Two weeks ago I started something against the normal &quot;manager-tools&quot; approach.</p> <p>I remember one cast on managing remote directs and the difficulties arising from it. In my case, I have two directs where one is located about 3000 km from me and the other one about 200m away. I am regularely on travel, which makes it a little bit more demaning to keep in touch. 101s, skype, telephones etc. do a great job and I have a good relationship to both of them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now one thing on the team spirit. Some things can only happen effectively in a face to face communication. Going out for lunch in the canteen is extremely valuable. I supports the relationship. But what about this element for remote teams? For me being a high D; I can live with it ;-); while having a High I and A high S as coleguages I needed a new channel of communication beside of bi-annual or quarterly face to face mreetings.</p> <p>We installed the TGIF Meeting. One hour on friday afternoon on Skype. Each member comes with a cup of coffee or tea to their computer and we chat on skype &quot;videoconference&quot;. No Agenda - except have fun. No meeting minutes. Only starting on time and finishing on time.</p> <p>The feedback is great so far. It helps the team communication and to strengthen the relationship.</p> <p>Did you make similar experiences?</p> <p>Looking forward to hear fom you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Christopher</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (donm) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 05:10:33 +0000 Re: How to answer "what do you need from us?" <p>You said you don't know what they mean by &quot;commercial awareness?&quot; Why not say, &quot;One thing you could do would be to give me concrete examples of 'commercial awareness' as I'm not certain what you mean when you say I&nbsp;need to have it?&quot;</p> (JWasong) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 04:13:20 +0000 Re: Presentations @ interviews? <p>It sounds as though the hiring manager believes presentation skills are important for the target position. This option probably sounds funny and it might be crazy enough to work. Could the presentation topic be how to give effective presentations per MT guidance?</p> <p>He/she will want to know those casts thoroughly anyway. The candidate can demonstrate both knowledge and practical application of effective presentation skills. Considering that's an important part of the job, seems like a win.</p> (JWasong) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 03:41:05 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>A manager can inform a direct about support services. Providing those options can be very helpful when communicated in a way that demonstrates caring instead of judgement. Easier said than done sometimes if there's not a strong relationship in place. A manager cannot (at least in the US) force a direct or others to use those resources.</p> <p>The manager's and company's span of control is largely limited to the workplace and employment. Exceptions outside of work include extremes like safety, legal, etc. Those types of exceptions need to go through HR or Legal unless there's an imminent danger of some kind. It's a matter for security, the police, or medical services at that point.</p> <p>Contacting the family is a difficult decision and must be done with caution. Strongly recommend working with HR if that's an option for you. I've experienced things very similar to your case. I've also contacted direct's family members in emergency situations. It's not a desirable option if you can work directly with the employee. The perception and/or necessity of going around the employee can do a lot of harm, regardless of good intentions and positive outcomes.</p> <p>The well being of others is a shared concern for everyone. One of the manager's added responsibilities is performance and effectiveness. A direct who's not working cannot perform and the frequent absences are also affecting the performance of the whole team. You can pair that cause with a corresponding effect, based on the direct's DiSC profile. For example, a high s might care about the impact to the team. The high d might care that nothing's getting done. Every direct also cares about the manager's perception.</p> <p>You may be able to have a more open discussion if the direct is willing to admit alcohol is a root cause of the absences. That makes the problem a given rather than the elephant in the room. The rest of the conversation can be about your concern, your expectations, what support the direct has, and what you can do to help. The discussion and a few open, non-probing questions might even make a call to the family undesirable or unnecessary.&nbsp;</p> (gnewby) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 02:43:46 +0000 Presentations @ interviews? <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Hi MTers,</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">One of my younger colleagues is coming off the rotation program at our company and is interviewing for full time positions within the company. &nbsp;I've been coaching him on using the manager tools/career tools guidance for interviews, but he had a question that stumped me: One of his interview opportunities would like for him to give a presentation on a topic of his choice, then &nbsp;A &quot;normal&quot; interview will follow after that.<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">What would you recommend are good topics for such a presentation?<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">The role he is applying for is a process optimization consultant role ... here is an excerpt of some of the requirements:<o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; color:#333333">THE</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">&nbsp;GROUP</span><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; color:#333333">&nbsp;focuses on process optimization projects throughout the product lifecycle including but not limited to R&amp;D, product development, engineering and product management with the objective of enhancing the commercial success of the various &nbsp;business units.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; color:#333333"><br /> &nbsp;responsibilities:<br /> &bull; Analysis, evaluation and optimization of complex business processes primarily in research, development and engineering areas<span class="apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><br /> &bull; Leads small projects independently, requires minimal guidance for larger projects and supports execution of complex projects<br /> &bull; Seeks opportunities for further improvement beyond the project scope and turns opportunities into proposals for projects<br /> &bull; Actively seeks guidance and input from other consultants<br /> &bull; Supports execution of optimization consulting projects<br /> &bull; Moderates workshops, coaches change management projects and supports management in activities across businesses<br /> &bull; Creation of business cases and develop cost/benefit analyses for consulting projects<br /> &bull; Utilizes knowledge in the support of investment decisions, support and implementation of product development roadmaps<br /> &bull; Supports communities and work groups in the RDE areas and grows best practice sharing</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> (unprofessionalhandle) Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:33:12 +0000 Re: Video Resumes <p>I&nbsp;realize this is a very old post but I&nbsp;think Mark probably has excellent reasoning for his recommendation and I'm interested in finding out that reasoning.</p> <p>I&nbsp;agree with Mark that just because I&nbsp;can does not mean I&nbsp;should. That being said, I&nbsp;think it would be an absolute advantage to the person who made the best video resume.</p> <p>I'm curious to why Mark says not to do a video resume? I think it's possible that Mark is saying not to do it because most people are bad at that sort of thing and shouldn't go out of their way to make a video that would perform worse than a printed resume.</p> <p>What would Mark say about someone who has exceptional skills producing video content and is confident they would produce a notably good video highlighting one or two of the most significant accomplishments on their resume?</p> (chrispb) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:10:32 +0000 New Project <p>&nbsp;I have been assigned to lead a project that includes the creation of a department within our facility. &nbsp;</p> <p>Can anyone direct me to resources that could help with this process? &nbsp;For example, I would like to establish a work group to gather input from stakeholders. &nbsp;I searched the casts, but didn't see anything specific. &nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks,</p> <p>Chris</p> <p>7422</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (donm) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:41:08 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>Why don't you insist the direct and his wife attend an accredited family counseling service? He could do it through his church, as you stated earlier that he has church-related activities. Your requirement would be to ask to meet with the counselor periodically, and that you insist that he allow the counselor to inform you of his attendance at the counseling sessions, NOT the content of them. During the meetings with the counselor, I'd probably ask two questions: &quot;Is he attending regularly?&quot; and &quot;Is there anything we should be doing at work to help him?&quot;</p> <p>This seems to me to meet all of the boss' requirements of addressing the root cause, without crossing any boundaries.</p> (donm) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:29:22 +0000 Re: Get it in Writing <p>There are two ways to qualify for the foreign earned income tax credit. You stated the time requirement. The second way is the bona fide residency requirement. I have a residence visa in Dubai, so I can reasonably remain in the US&nbsp;for over 30 days each year without incurring additional taxes. </p> <p>If you have a bank account overseas and it contains more than $10,000 for even one second during the year, you must complete a form call the FBAR (Foreign Bank and Asset Report). This is a totalized figure. You cannot obviate the need for the report by splitting your assets across multiple banks or accounts. Also, the account need not be in your name. If you have signature authority over the account, it must be reported. It includes retirement accounts held overseas, as well. Americans married to other-than-Americans are giving up their citizenship because they are co-owners of the spouse's account, and therefore they must report it. The law is intended to target those who are shielding assets overseas, but it is a draconian law that is forcing people to do drastic things to avoid forfeiture of their money and jail time.</p> <p>If you work while in the US, you must pay taxes on the money earned while there, as well. I suggest you find a tax professional who deals with overseas Americans and the US&nbsp;Tax code. I can assure you it is money well spent.</p> (mrreliable) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:59:22 +0000 Re: Question: Business Cards with Thank you notes? <p>&nbsp;You aren't really wondering whether you should send a business card along with a thank you note to your wife, are you?</p> <p>I'm sure you're not, I'm just trying to make a point. You already have criteria for deciding when to include a card.</p> <p>If it's a personal relationship and they'll know who you are and already have your phone number, don't send a card. For everyone else, I think it's fine toi include a business card. I don't think anyone is going to take it the wrong way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (mike_bruns_99) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:04:20 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>Not an easy one. &nbsp;A few thoughts:</p> <p>1) &nbsp;As Jonathan suggested, look for an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or other &quot;confidential&quot; resource that he can use. Some are available at relatively low costs for small businesses. &nbsp;</p> <p>2) &nbsp;I would NOT contact his spouse at this time. &nbsp;Something is going on in personal life, something that you don't know about, something that is having a drastic effect on his work effectiveness. &nbsp;It is NOT your role or responsibility to fix his issue or even know what his issue is. &nbsp;It IS your role and responsibility to encourage him to get the help he needs so that his issue doesn't affect his work. &nbsp; His issue could very well be marriage related, and talking to his spouse could make a situation worse. &nbsp;</p> <p>3) &nbsp;From a DISC perspective, I feel this problem requires a high-I approach and not a high-C approach. There is a time for detailed documentation, formal progressive disciplinary processes, 32% time off, final sudden-death warnings, etc. This isn't it. &nbsp;This is a time to sit down with him and say &quot;Dude, you and I both know the last 3 months have not gone well. It can't continue. I don't need to know the reasons, but we need to get your performance to where it was 6 month ago. I would encourage but won't force you to take advantage of the EAP. &nbsp;Owner and I care about you and want you to succeed. Other than the EAP, what can we all do to move forward?&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Something is going on that you don't know about. &nbsp;It may be the alcohol, it may be far deeper. &nbsp;You don't need to know the underlying cause and shouldn't force the direct to tell you. &nbsp;If they want to tell you, that's fine. &nbsp;You do need to work with them to fix the negative effect the problem is having at work.&nbsp;</p> (MichaelBoyko) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:58:25 +0000 Question: Business Cards with Thank you notes? <p>Hey Everyone,&nbsp;</p> <p>Should I include a business card with my thank you notes?</p> <p>I don't want the receiver to be unable to identify me by my thank you note or be unable respond by email if they choose to. In most cases, that isn't an issue because the impact they have had on me, and the fact I send the notes out once a week, is often enough for people to remember who I am (if I am not all ready an acquaintance.)</p> <p>I am afraid that by sending a business card the perception will be that I am doing this as a means of drumming up business. I would be interested in other's opinions in this regard. I don't want the sincerity of my notes to be undermined by including a business card. I suspect, however, that sending a business card isn't a faux pas, and that I am being overly sensitive to the emotions of the receivers.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p>I have been mailing out 5 thank you notes every week for years. I started this after hearing it mentioned on a manager-tools podcast. I love it. Every Friday, I write cards for the 5 most important things I can think of during the week. I am not afraid to recognize even mundane things, if I can't think of anything better. My rule is 5 per week, no matter what. Sometimes this means sending a note to a particularly cheerful gas attendant or to my wife for covering my night to cook dinner. Usually, I can thank a vendor for making a special delivery or the program chair at my university for seeing me without an appointment.&nbsp;</p> <p>Truth be told, I like weeks where I only have minor reasons to send a thank you card. It makes me feel good knowing that people are receiving a note for little things of positive intent that they do.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you for any suggestions you can offer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Michael Boyko</p> <p>DISC: 5732, in case anyone was curious.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (MichaelBoyko) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:57:57 +0000 Question: Business Cards with Thank you notes? <p>Hey Everyone,&nbsp;</p> <p>Should I include a business card with my thank you notes?</p> <p>I don't want the receiver to be unable to identify me by my thank you note or be unable respond by email if they choose to. In most cases, that isn't an issue because the impact they have had on me, and the fact I send the notes out once a week, is often enough for people to remember who I am (if I am not all ready an acquaintance.)</p> <p>I am afraid that by sending a business card the perception will be that I am doing this as a means of drumming up business. I would be interested in other's opinions in this regard. I don't want the sincerity of my notes to be undermined by including a business card. I suspect, however, that sending a business card isn't a faux pas, and that I am being overly sensitive to the emotions of the receivers.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p>I have been mailing out 5 thank you notes every week for years. I started this after hearing it mentioned on a manager-tools podcast. I love it. Every Friday, I write cards for the 5 most important things I can think of during the week. I am not afraid to recognize even mundane things, if I can't think of anything better. My rule is 5 per week, no matter what. Sometimes this means sending a note to a particularly cheerful gas attendant or to my wife for covering my night to cook dinner. Usually, I can thank a vendor for making a special delivery or the program chair at my university for seeing me without an appointment.&nbsp;</p> <p>Truth be told, I like weeks where I only have minor reasons to send a thank you card. It makes me feel good knowing that people are receiving a note for little things of positive intent that they do.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thank you for any suggestions you can offer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Michael Boyko</p> <p>DISC: 5732, in case anyone was curious.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (NLewis) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:43:08 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">Thank you both for your response. &nbsp;It really helped me work through what I'm going to do.</span>&nbsp; You've hit the nail on the head - How would I feel if my boss called my wife about my work performance? &nbsp;I'm guessing not good.</p> <p>I've been working directly with him on this issue, and plan to keep doing so in the future. &nbsp;My hope is to set up a 6 month evaluation period with coaching to determine if he is medically able to continue to perform his duties. &nbsp;To date none of his doctors want to do surgery - the injury is slowing him but I don't get the impression it's extremely serious. &nbsp;He is very conscientious and tends to take on a lot of things in his personal life for his church, family, etc. &nbsp;I suspect the real reason he's slipped back into drinking is personal and work pressures. &nbsp;This is a high-stress position with a lot of demands he hasn't faced before. &nbsp;He may simply not be able to handle the stresses of the job. &nbsp;If that is in fact the case &nbsp;- it's not worth his life to keep him in my department and he should be transferred back to his old position.</p> <p>One of the things I'm hoping to offer him is help identifying a treatment program, including financial support.</p> <p>My owner is hoping to build a rapport with his wife in order to help him. &nbsp;I get that. &nbsp;It would be a lot different if she contacted me rather than the other way around. &nbsp;At the very least I want to talk to my direct FIRST and find out if he's interested in recovery. &nbsp;Depending on his reaction I'll follow up with a phone call to her offering my general support and letting her know I'm here if his family needs anything. &nbsp;No&nbsp;reference to work. &nbsp;I'll do it on my phone and probably outside of company time - person to person, not boss to spouse.</p> <p>Thanks again.</p> <p>NFL</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (Gk26) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:25:28 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>&nbsp;I suspect his family is aware of his alcohol issues</p> (svibanez) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:19:47 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>If he's admitted that alcohol was involved in the injury that has made him unable to work, you may have to treat the alcohol abuse as the root cause of his performance issues.&nbsp; Not that he's missing work, or even lying about why he's missing work.</p> <p>You may have an obligation to help him with his alcohol issue.&nbsp; I don't believe that means you tolerate his substance abuse and blindly accept the results of that abuse.&nbsp; I believe it does mean you give him the opportunity to get the help he needs and give him a reasonable amount of time to show improvement.</p> <p>You may want to check with an HR professional or a labor lawyer on whether it's permissible to contact the spouse about the problem.&nbsp; You need to protect yourself and the company while you try to help the employee.</p> <p>I would personally be hesitant to reach out to the spouse even if it were completely legal.&nbsp; You could end up losing the employee's trust - and where would that put you if he does get the help and his performance improves?</p> <p>Steve</p> (svibanez) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:40:10 +0000 Re: Get it in Writing <p>Make sure you understand all the terms used in the policy.&nbsp; A term like &quot;tax equalization&quot; can (apparently) mean different things to different people.</p> <p>Here's a real-life example of the kind of things to look out for.&nbsp; If you're paid in the local currency, make sure there is a written provision for how, and how often, the exchange rate is recalculated.&nbsp; It seems pretty mundane - until you get hit with a 20% decrease in your purchasing power because the exchange rate has changed to your disadvantage.</p> <p>My company sent me overseas with no expat policy in place and I was naive enough to go on the promise from the VP of HR that things would all be worked out.&nbsp; We (I wasn't alone on this assignment) were in the other country for nearly a year before the policy was established.&nbsp; The policy was very favorable to the company and had little in it to the employees' benefit.&nbsp; And there were a number of terms that could be interpreted a few different ways.</p> <p>Oh, and like Matt said, be tactful.&nbsp; I wasn't, and it cost me a very good opportunity with my company upon return to my home country.</p> <p>Steve</p> (JonathanGiglio) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:45:40 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>&nbsp;Does your owner have a relationship with this employee or his wife?</p> <p>Have you addressed this directly with the employee or let him know that there is concern from the owner?</p> <p>I hate how risk adverse our society and on the surface I have respect for your owner willing to take a risk to help a fellow human being.</p> <p>This isn't easy on you I'm sure and I don't think there's an easy answer. To be honest, I'd revert back to how I'd want to be treated.</p> <p>How are your one-on-ones? What's your feedback been like?</p> <p>This employee obviously needs help. Some people need to hit rock bottom first and some people can be saved before hand. To be fair to his wife, it's going to be harder to get help without an income and she's definitely being impacted by the potential for termination.</p> <p>Do you work for a sufficiently large company with Employee Mental Health Services? Are there state or small business resources you might qualify for? Perhaps engaging a third party with the correct training can help you get this employee the help they need.</p> <p>I hope this goes well for you.</p> <p>Regards,</p> <p>Jonathan</p> (NLewis) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:06:31 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>&nbsp;Thank you for the response. &nbsp;I completely agree. &nbsp;But there is a big difference between working with him and contacting a family member. &nbsp;Credit reporting companies aren't allowed to contact family members about debt due to privacy concerns. &nbsp;I would think respecting a person's right to privacy concerning health issues would fall under the same umbrella.<br /> <br /> I have every intention of working with my direct to get through this. &nbsp;I am certain there are more than a few managers who would have drawn up termination papers by now. &nbsp;I feel I've been pretty patient in allowing someone to miss nearly a third of their time. It's put a terrific strain on me, my other directs, and the company as a whole.<br /> <br /> My concern with going around him to his wife is that my actions may later be interpreted as gathering intel on his condition, particularly if I have to let him go. &nbsp;Plus I don't know how much she knows at this point. &nbsp;If he's been missing work and not telling her I could make things a lot worse. &nbsp;Furthermore I'm completely uncertain of what the legalities of sharing medical information with her are.<br /> &nbsp;</p> (JonathanGiglio) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:02:22 +0000 Re: Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>Many people go through struggles in their life and a little understanding can go a long way.</p> <p>I think that is what your owner is trying to convey. No one is perfect. The owner himself may have struggled with demons.</p> <p>Companies help employees go through rehab consistently. In fact, I believe alcoholism can be treated as an illness and not treating it as such can also open you to litigation.</p> <p>This is not a means to excuse his behavior, but how to get him better so he can continue to be &quot;near-perfect&quot; for your organization. If he doesn't want to get better, there's nothing you can do. As a manager though, you've signed up to be a people person and this is a part of the job.</p> <p>Work on treating this person as you would want to be treated during the trying in times in your life. If nothing else, you're paying it forward.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (macfarmw) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:57:39 +0000 Re: Screening candidates on whether they read books <p>@<span style="color: rgb(92, 92, 92); font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif; font-size: 10px; line-height: 9.75px; text-transform: uppercase;">&nbsp;</span><a href="" title="View user profile." style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 10px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(92, 92, 92); line-height: 9.75px; text-transform: uppercase;">CSCHARENBERG</a></p> <p>Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I have not heard of STAR method for interviews but I will look it up. I'm always looking for ways to improve the hiring process and get the right people for the job. It's never an exact science but at least we can improve our odds with some extra care and effort.</p> <p>I see you are a new member. Welcome and thanks for contributing!</p> <p>Regards,</p> <p><strong>Matthew MacFarland</strong><br /> Manager of Software Development<br /> Dril-Quip, Inc. Houston, Texas</p> (cscharenberg) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:05:15 +0000 Re: Screening candidates on whether they read books <p>I am a manager at a large software company that takes great pride in its interviewing system. This idea of asking what books a person has read would never get asked. Unless the person's job is reading books.&nbsp;</p> <p>The other responses got the first part of the problem: &quot;books&quot; is very limited in a media sense. I myself don't read many books. But I devour a number of blogs and meta-blog sites. I code in my spare time, but again that's not something we care about. Some of our best people code 8-5 then walk away and don't code outside work.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the second problem is what are you really trying to find out? Trying to find out how they keep abreast of their industry and craft...ask that. They may attend local meetups or listen to podcasts. Books is an indirect measure of professional interest in their craft.&nbsp;</p> <p>As for how we interview (and we are really good at it, I think) we use the STAR method. Give me an example where you &quot;Had to deal with multiple high-priority tasks?&quot;. And then use follow-up questions to understand how the interviewee thinks and talks. Can they lay out the situation, the action they took, and the result? Is it coherent, does it make sense? I have seen no better way to elicit a person's ability to comprehend and solve problems which may or may not be code-related.</p> <p>But back to my original assertion: You have chosen an indirect measure for something else. I presume you don't actually care about whether you and the employee like the same books and that you actually want to know something else. I personally would be annoyed to be asked what I consider a trivial thing but that the interviewer apparently cares about.</p> <p>&nbsp;----</p> <p>My concrete suggestion: Keep asking yourself &quot;why would I want to know that?&quot; until you get to the root question you care about, and try asking that. It will likely lead to better answers and more interesting conversation between you and the interviewee.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (JFidelL) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:25:32 +0000 Re: Is there a use for the "2nd place" candidate? <p>Thanks for the replies. I&nbsp;actually did not want to reply at first, because I&nbsp;was not too pleased with the answers (because I&nbsp;was asking in reference to myself, having&nbsp;not received an offer to a job that I&nbsp;had more experience with&nbsp;than the winning candidate). Later, I&nbsp;realized that&nbsp;my frustration was&nbsp;because I&nbsp;didn't provide enough context.</p> <p>To make a long story short, I&nbsp;was contacted two months later by the company I&nbsp;had interviewed with. They had another opening, and a policy that allowed them to use results from previous interviews (up to 6 months previous) for similar positions. They ended up giving me an offer. I&nbsp;was, in fact, 2nd place!</p> <p>Thanks again for the replies. I&nbsp;was actually&nbsp;trying to vent my frustrations through questions (without blatently complaining or whining), but replies about benefitting my network (and how the employer can benefit)&nbsp;are much more helpful than running my mouth (or fingers)!</p> (cscharenberg) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:09:25 +0000 Re: How to delegate when directs' work is as important as mine? <p>It sounds like leadership is planning more work than the team can deliver. The leadership above you may not be aware they are causing problems. I would suggest you present them with current constraints and the priorities you have already put in place. Discuss the impact that coming work will have: it will delay release, cause higher rate of defects, etc.</p> <p>If you present your current efforts to prioritize and handle the work and the capacity problems, it forces them to act. Your managers should have a larger view of how the priorities should be arranged they can apply and then they can shift or axe things. But no amount of team optimization can cope with a work overload of equal priorities. Right now you are feeling the pain, but the problem is at a higher level and must be solved there.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you start cutting work without involvement from your boss you will get blamed for any decision they disagree with (taking charge like that can work, but it's very risky). Bringing the problem to their attention in a way that prompts a decision can win you respect and also deal with the actual issue.</p> (cscharenberg) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:54:25 +0000 Re: Using a leather business card holder... <p>&nbsp;I agree with flexiblefine: keep these separate. You don't want to pull out and fumble with your wallet. It can get lost or spill things out.</p> <p>Use a separate business card case. Think of it as a way to show some personal style as well: metal, wood or plastic? color? branded or with a neat texture or plain? fancy or plain? bulky or minimalistic? It's another way to show something about yourself.</p> <p>Always keep an emergency business card in your wallet, but use a case for your main supply. It has a classier feel, even if you go with an otherwise unexceptional case.</p> (NLewis) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:14:16 +0000 Contacting a Direct's Family? <p>&nbsp;I have just been given an order to contact the wife of one of my directs. &nbsp;The order came from the owner of the company (my manager). &nbsp;I'm not so sure it's a good idea and am considering refusing the order.<br /> <br /> This direct is very good when he's here. &nbsp;He's borderline perfect. &nbsp;However he has a history of alcoholism. &nbsp;He worked for another department for over a year with only one small instance of absenteeism. &nbsp;When this position came open his manager (one of my peers) suggested him for the job. &nbsp;During the interview I stressed to him that this was a high-pressure position. &nbsp;He was confident he could handle it. &nbsp;For the first 6 months he well exceeded expectations.<br /> <br /> Over the past three months however he has deteriorated rapidly. &nbsp;To date he has missed 32% of his working hours. &nbsp;Most of this was without warning or accompanied by promises he would be in &quot;the next day.&quot; &nbsp;He has claimed illness or injury to his shoulder. &nbsp;However he has missed the last 2 full weeks and admitted to me privately that alcohol was involved with the injury to his shoulder being the trigger.</p> <p>As of now I am no longer confident he is medically able to perform the duties required by the position. &nbsp;I have documentation as to his absences and am planning on placing him on 6 months probation with coaching. &nbsp;If improvement does not occur he will be given an additional 90-day &quot;sudden death&quot; probation.</p> <p>The owner feels that reaching out to his family is the right thing to do. &nbsp;He is concerned for my direct on a personal level and does not want to lose him as an asset. &nbsp;I concur with him on both points. &nbsp;However given that I am his supervisor and I have the &quot;I AM YOUR&nbsp;BOSS AND I CAN FIRE YOU&quot; sign squarely over my head (particularly now), I feel there is very little good that can come of me calling her directly. &nbsp;Anything I say is open to misinterpretation&nbsp;and it may even open us up to legal ramifications. &nbsp;When I pointed this out the owner told me he was willing to take the risk.<br /> <br /> I continue to feel it is a VERY bad idea and can't bring myself to do it. &nbsp;I'd like some feedback on whether or not I'm wrong on this before proceeding. &nbsp;What do you think?</p> (joshyeager) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:41:12 +0000 Re: Any Simple Tools for Tracking/Managing Multiple Projects? If your projects are traditional pre-planned projects with clear milestones, select a tool like MS Project, Excel, or Proofhub. Those tools will manage your plan for you, but you have to trust your team to follow the plan. If your work is more task-based, those tools don't work very well. Small ad-hoc tasks are too cumbersome to track in a project planning tool. Tasks that follow a consistent process repeatedly are even worse. If you have a single team and simple ad-hoc tasks, use a tool like Basecamp, Trello, or Wrike. They are excellent and easy to use. But those tools aren't very customizable, don't have multi-team access control, and can't define processes that tasks should follow. If you need any of those things, look for a "lean business process management" tool like Clarizen, Jira, or JobTraQ. Josh Disclaimer: I'm the product manager for JobTraQ. In my opinion, it is the best product on the market for its purpose. (phale) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:56 +0000 Re: Disrespect from direct report <p>&nbsp;Thanks Matt,</p> <p>I'm glad you put it the way you did. &nbsp;I agree. &nbsp;The direct was absent yesterday and I intend to address him today. &nbsp;In all honesty I won't threaten termination. &nbsp;The workplace can be a very casual place at times and I want to make very certain that he understands that casual being ok doesn't mean unprofessional is ok, before taking action. &nbsp;However, I intend to be very direct in telling them what the consequences will be going forward, namely a written disciplinary followed by termination.</p> <p>Sincerely appreciate the input.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (phale) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:50 +0000 Re: Disrespect from direct report <p>&nbsp;Thanks Matt,</p> <p>I'm glad you put it the way you did. &nbsp;I agree. &nbsp;The direct was absent yesterday and I intend to address him today. &nbsp;In all honesty I won't threaten termination. &nbsp;The workplace can be a very casual place at times and I want to make very certain that he understands that casual being ok doesn't mean unprofessional is ok, before taking action. &nbsp;However, I intend to be very direct in telling them what the consequences will be going forward, namely a written disciplinary followed by termination.</p> <p>Sincerely appreciate the input.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (davidbrown0128) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:31:57 +0000 Re: Any Simple Tools for Tracking/Managing Multiple Projects? <p>&nbsp;You can try these tools&nbsp;</p> <p>1. <a href="">Proofhub</a></p> <p>2. <a href="">Basecamp</a></p> <p>3. <a href="">Wrike</a></p> <p>4. Trello</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (mattpalmer) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:14:40 +0000 Re: Get it in Writing <p>Putting something in writing should <em>never</em> be a problem for someone who is intending to act honestly. &nbsp;On the other hand, many people feel as though you're saying, &quot;I don't trust you&quot; when you ask to get something in writing, so it's an unpleasant thing to have to ask, and requires a lot of tact. &nbsp;It doesn't sound like you were particularly out of line in the way you asked. &nbsp;It's always a good idea to frame it around wanting to be clear in your own mind rather than about getting something you can hold over the company.</p> (mattpalmer) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:10:07 +0000 Re: Disrespect from direct report <p>You told the direct, &quot;This is not professional behaviour&quot; in front of the team. &nbsp;That is enough of a signal to everyone that you don't condone the behaviour at issue. &nbsp;If you get any signals that other people may not have gotten that message, you can address that in the moment. &nbsp;But think about it if you were on the other side -- if you saw one of your colleagues act the same way in your boss' staff meeting, and your boss said, &quot;This is not professional behaviour&quot;, would you think, &quot;gee, I guess that means there aren't consequences for acting like a child&quot;, or would you think &quot;that person's acting like a child and the boss doesn't like it&quot;? &nbsp;Your directs are no less perceptive than you are.</p> <p>As far as a forced apology, as GK26 suggests -- I'm not in favour of the notion. &nbsp;It feels too much like telling a little kid to &quot;say sorry&quot;, and they say it, but they don't mean it and nothing productive results from it. &nbsp;You'll make the problem direct feel like a child, and have the rest of the team see them as a child. &nbsp;Not good for building cohesion amongst the team.</p> <p>Incidentally, given that this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, and it is so egregious, I would be having The Talk with this direct, saying basically &quot;this is absolutely unacceptable behaviour, and if it happens again I will fire you immediately.&quot; &nbsp;Don't mince words, because that's too easy to misinterpret. &nbsp;Use the words &quot;I will fire you&quot; so that there can be absolutely no doubt of the consequences of this direct's behaviour.</p> (mfculbert) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:10:47 +0000 Re: How to delegate when directs' work is as important as mine? <p>Josh,</p> <p>Do you know your DiSC profile? &nbsp;I would suspect you are high on S like I am. I have to work really hard to push my directs for more productivity. Protecting the team is a natural weakness for us S types. It is also a strength if used properly.</p> <p>My directs would laugh at me if they read this by the way.&nbsp;</p> (phale) Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:29:17 +0000 Re: How to delegate when directs' work is as important as mine? <p>&nbsp;Josh,</p> <p>Your post grabbed my attention as I'm in a direct care services field and a lot of my direct's directs do work that can't be dropped. &nbsp;Dropping their work would mean our customers go uncared for.</p> <p>i have no perfect solution for you but I have found that helping your directs think about how to condense their work load can help them. &nbsp;If you ever find yourself thinking, &quot;I could do this 10x faster&quot; ask yourself why that is. &nbsp;What resources, processes, or skills do you have that they do not. &nbsp;Can you help them acquire them and in doing so, increase your team's efficiency</p> (sadicarnot) Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:42:43 +0000 Get it in Writing <p>I am in an overseas assignment for my company. It is to the point where I will be in the other country for enough of the year where taxes will kick in. I am heading back to the US before that for some vacation. My company presently does not have a policy and is in the process of writing one. I am not a tax professional and my back of the envelope calculations say worse case scenario my liability will be $25K plus the US taxes since I will not be out of the country for greater than 332 days for the exemptions to kick in.</p> <p>The vice president of my department has said that we 'will be kept whole' and there 'will be no negative financial consequences.' I have asked for this in writing and more information on the logistics of paying the tax in the other country. When the vice president was here, we talked about this issue and he stated that he did not understand why I needed something in writing. He also stated that if I wanted it in writing he could give it to me to which I said 'ok lets do that' and he replied that he wanted to see what the tax people came up with first.</p> <p>Am I out of line for wanting more than 'it'll be fine?' I did not want to bring it up to the VP, I have first hand experience of him promising benefits to others and then not following thru on them.</p> <p>I think they are going to take me off the project because of this, after getting a very good review last month. Since this issue is up in the air I have not purchased tickets to return to the foreign country. My director wrote me an email claiming i don't want to return to the foreign country, when in my email to her I wrote:</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">'I understand the tax department is formulating a policy. I still have some questions as to the logistics. The cost is too great to return to other country without knowing more details.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> (Gk26) Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:41:44 +0000 Re: Disrespect from direct report <p>&nbsp;I think the direct report needs to apologize to the whole team in person.</p>