podcasts

Documentation Basics - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What IS Documentation?
  • What Should I Document?
  • When Should I Document?

How To Document Performance.

What managers have to document, and how they have to do it, is one of the most misunderstood and overhyped topics in management. It's not hard! But it is fraught with misunderstanding. The basics are here, now.


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Writing a Job Description - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I write a job description?
  • What do I include in a job description?
  • What do I do if HR asks me to create a job description?

The conclusion of our series on how to write a simple job description.

What goes into a job description? It's really not that hard. Despite the administrative/time 'hassle' most of us perceive, a good job description is worth having. It makes it easier to communicate recruiting/hiring requirements, and at the end of the cast, we'll tell you how to have your whole team's done...in a week.


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Writing a Job Description - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I write a job description?
  • What do I include in a job description?
  • What do I do if HR asks me to create a job description?

How to write a simple job description.

What goes into a job description? It's really not that hard. Despite the administrative/time 'hassle' most of us perceive, a good job description is worth having. It makes it easier to communicate recruiting/hiring requirements, and at the end of the cast, we'll tell you how to have your whole team's done...in a week.


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Assume Positive Intent

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Why do my directs do things wrong?
  • How can I correct their intentions?
  • How can I spend less time worrying about what my directs are thinking?

Assume positive intent when analyzing the actions of others, especially directs.

Lots of managers spend an awful lot of time worrying about why their directs are doing what they're doing. They figure, if I can understand the rationale, then I can be more persuasive getting them to change. Yeah ... no. It doesn't work. Here's why, and what to do instead.


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Handling Special Emails

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do about emails from my boss?
  • Can I consider emails from my boss urgent?
  • Can I read certain emails outside of scheduled email time?

Certain emails DO justify reading them with some urgency. The key is keeping a very short list.

One of the core bits of our email guidance is to ONLY do email three times a day. Often folks respond negatively, because we've grown used to an email culture, and fear of being not responsive causes us to check obsessively. But those that try our guidance agree - it works beautifully, and transforms their work life. And yet, there's an honest concern: my boss expects immediate replies! What do I do?!?


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Project Status is Never "Fine"

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Why do my directs tell me projects are fine when they're not?
  • How do I get better information about how work is going?
  • What's the right way to find out about project status?

Never ask how a project is going. You'll get information that isn't helpful...and it's your fault. Ask for status, and define what status is.

The average reported status of all projects all the world over is always "fine". That's not to say the projects are actually fine - they're all mostly crap. But we managers have a bad habit of asking the wrong questions of project team members of directs. And directs are smart enough to obfuscate.

Let's get better at asking.


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Flexible Coaching Deadlines

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I set deadlines for my directs' coaching tasks?
  • Can I set longer deadlines than daily or hourly?
  • What do I say when my direct says I'm micromanaging them?

This guidance recommends extending short coaching deadlines when your directs show that they can meet them, and keeping deadlines flexible based on performance.

The biggest pushback we get to the Manager Tools Coaching Model is, "It feels like micromanaging." It isn't, but we understand the sentiment. Most managers aren't used to setting daily deadlines for their directs' work. Here's how to be more flexible in assigning tasks.


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Communicating Lateness

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do if I'm going to be late to an appointment?
  • How do I communicate an impending deadline miss?
  • What do I do when I'm going to be late, either me or my work?

This guidance describes how to communicate lateness for one's responsibilities.

One of the core responsibilities of true professionals is a respect for timeliness. Modern professionals have a special responsibility about time, because there is so much temporal inefficiency created when one works with others. Because others rely on our work being timely, we are obligated to overcommunicate about matters of timeliness, and that means admitting when we know we're going to be late.


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How To Roll Out DiSC To Your Team - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I share my DiSC results with my directs?
  • Should I encourage them to take DiSC?
  • How do I educate them about DiSC?

This guidance concludes our series on how to rollout the DiSC Behavioral Instrument to your team.

We highly recommend the DiSC behavioral instrument. It's the best instrument for focusing on behavior. And behavior is important because individual behavior is the cause of all organizational results. Because managers are responsible for results first, it makes sense to consider a tool that provides a group a common framework for seeing, hearing, discussing, measuring, and changing behavior. DiSC does exactly that.

So, how do we get DiSC started with our team? The first steps are to take it yourself, and then tell your team to do the same.


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How To Roll Out DiSC To Your Team - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I share my DiSC results with my directs?
  • Should I encourage them to take DiSC?
  • How do I educate them about DiSC?

This guidance describes how to rollout the DiSC Behavioral Instrument to your team.

We highly recommend the DiSC behavioral instrument. It's the best instrument for focusing on behavior. And behavior is important because individual behavior is the cause of all organizational results. Because managers are responsible for results first, it makes sense to consider a tool that provides a group a common framework for seeing, hearing, discussing, measuring, and changing behavior. DiSC does exactly that.

So, how do we get DiSC started with our team? The first steps are to take it yourself, and then tell your team to do the same.


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