podcasts

Politics 101 - Chapter 3 - The Myth Of The Just World (Part 1)

This guidance recommends professionals abandon their belief in the myth of a just world and "play politics".

This guidance probably should have been Chapter 1 of our Politics 101 series. Its foundational. Its a HUGE problem for many professionals, particularly young and dare we say it, nave professionals. So many young people say, I dont play politics. The more savvy folks around them think, thats good, because this isnt a game you can play.


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The Collaborative Manager - Chapter 1 - More Ideas

This guidance helps managers be more collaborative by getting more input from their team members.

At Manager Tools, we love collaborating, but we hate everybody always saying how collaborative they are. Lots of people talk about collaboration, but it's not much more than a buzzword to put into their ill-advised summary section of their resume. How can managers collaborate more? What can we DO to work better with our teams and others? In this cast, we're focusing on things you can do before meetings to increase collaboration during meetings.


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First Meeting With A New Direct - Ask Questions

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What guidance should I give new hires
  • How and when do I communicate with new hires?
  • How do I teach new hires about the culture/behavior I expect?

This guidance continues our recommendations about topics to cover with new directs, encouraging them to ask questions about everything they don't understand.

In earlier guidance we recommended managers have a "First Meeting" with their new team member. We encouraged you to recommend to your directs some always applicable guidance: be honest, be kind, and achieve results. We also recommended that you make this meeting the first of several weekly meetings, where you could regularly communicate about important issues. This guidance continues our recommendations.


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Project Management Basics - Now And Later Tasks

This guidance describes how to quickly assign tasks in a project without getting bogged down in details.

At the start of a project, there are usually discussions about who is going to do what by when. Those discussions turn to what are the tasks and in what order do we do them and what are their exact order. This is ineffective. It's better to start with some rough estimates, and then refine details once you start.

[Ed Note: This guidance references principles in our earlier guidance, "Horstman's Law of Project Management." It's not necessary to read/listen to it, but we encourage the reader to do so when time permits. -H]


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Lists And Agendas In One On Ones

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is the agenda for a One on One?
  • Can my direct bring a list to their One on One?
  • Can I send my direct my list for their One on One?

This guidance describes if and how to use lists and agendas during your One on Ones.

We get questions all the time about lists and agendas during One on Ones. Here are the answers.


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Diffusing Disagreements

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I say when I'm disagreeing with someone?
  • How do I say it?
  • How do I resolve disagreements?

This guidance recommends a straightforward way to diffuse tension around, and overcome, objections others have to your ideas.

What do you do when someone - particularly a direct - disagrees with an idea you've shared, or a suggestion you've made? It's actually a good idea to agree with them. A little.


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Email Three Times A Day - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I manage my email?
  • How do I get to inbox zero?
  • What do I do when I get pushback?

The conclusion of our guidance recommending doing email three times a day. ONLY three times a day.

Our first podcast on email, in 2005, should have been a 10-part series. We talked about far too much. And, in the interest of time, we left a lot out. Email hasn't gotten any easier. Time to revisit, expand, and update our core guidance.


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Email Three Times A Day - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I manage my email?
  • How do I get to inbox zero?
  • What do I do when I get pushback?

This guidance recommends doing email three times a day. ONLY three times a day.

Our first podcast on email, in 2005, should have been a 10-part series. We talked about far too much. And, in the interest of time, we left a lot out. Email hasn't gotten any easier. Time to revisit, expand, and update our core guidance.


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Never Step Out Of The Middle

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do if my boss wants to speak to my direct?
  • What do I do if my boss insists?
  • How do I help my direct in this situation?

This guidance recommends managers never willingly allow their boss to talk to a skip directly.

What do you do if your boss suggests he or she talk to one of your directs directly? You intercede and say no, you'll do it.


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Dealing With Vague Feedback - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do when I get feedback?
  • Should I ask for more detail when I get feedback?
  • Should I follow up when I get feedback?

This guidance completes our discussion on how to respond to vague feedback from your boss or others.

Many managers who say they give feedback to their people really don't. They give vague guidance like, "you need to open up more," or, "sometimes you're abrasive," or, "you need to be a leader." None of these is very helpful. What can we do when we get this kind of guidance from our boss?

[Note: this cast also applies to individual contributors, but it happens plenty to managers too, because for some directors, it's hard to be specific about managerial roles.]


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