See, the thing is this. I have been too friendly with my directs. I haven't been proactive enough in goal setting and accountability. I know that I need to check behind my directs on some things (I work in a retail environment, so making sure the shelves are straight at closing, for example). I also know that I need to pursue sales goals with my team. The fact is, I've been a lazy manager frankly. I need to change course soon. Any podcast suggestions? 

donm's picture
Training Badge

All of them.

Start with the O3's and then go on to the feedback podcasts first.

Kevin1's picture

If you need to set goals, then find the cast on MT Goals.

Once you set goals, you can use feedback to let people know how they are doing against those goals.  For longer term goals, you may need the coaching model too.  and O3s are essential.

So for casts, many of them are contained in the 'basics' section.  There are also several on goals, and performance reviews.  Also save yourself some angst in following up all the time and listen to Assign Tasks and Reporting (think that was its name).

Kind regards


aylim14's picture

 The podcast about developing a sense of urgency really helps. Despite being close with your team, that behaviour of asking and following up when you say you'll follow up works really great! 

nathankendrick's picture

It's tough to go from being a part of the team to the leader.  You must get comfortable with the fact that once you take on leadership, you won't be a friend.  That doesn't  mean you can't be friendly, but you won't be a friend.  Most of your directs may still "like" you, but some... those you have to follow-up with frequently and keep on task, won't.  Accept it.

Once you've done that, you're in the place you need to be.  As a high S, I can appreciate how hard that can be.

Aside from podcasts, I recommend a daily routine and checklists to keep yourself on top of them.  Something like, top of the hour, walk the store; or after lunch and an hour before closing, check sales; before opening, brief all-staff daily goals and after closing review meeting.  Keep those brief and pointed.  I've never done retail, so these are straight out of my backdoor... you probably can come up with something realistic.

Lastly, this is straight from Manager Tools and other guidance on feedback, and very important.  When something isn't done right, or isn't done when asked, just state the observation and the standard.  Don't assume a reason, don't accuse them, don't even ask why...

"I asked you to re-fold the pants.  They're still a mess."  That's it. 

Give them a chance to respond, they may have a good reason.  If they have a good reason, leave it at that, unless they need clarification. They may just need an adjustment to their priorities or additional training.

If they don't, but jump on it, let it go, unless it becomes a pattern. 

If it's a will, not a skill or time, issue, or they just blow you off, let them them know that it has consequences:

first, to the team "if you don't get it done, Bob has to do it, and he has his hands full in housewares";

if that doesn't work, to you "otherwise I have to come behind you and do it myself";

and if that still doesn't sink in, consequences to them "if you don't stay on top of your area, I'll have to find someone else who will."

I assume there's a good reason your boss trusted you with this responsibility.  Don't let your boss down.  Don't let your directs down by not helping them stay on task and perform well.


jazzbone1031's picture

OK, I feel like I have a terrible combination going on. I feel like on one hand I'm too friendly with the directs. On the other, I have a tendency to have expectations that even I can't, at times, meet and then fuss when they're not. Essentially, if I know that there are things that I need to change, does anyone think I should tell my team that I know I need to change some things and that I'm working on it (and then of course actually show improvement), or should I just begin implementing the trinity and let them see the changes? (Also, if this question is answered in the casts on rolling out the trinity, I haven't gotten that far in listening to the casts). Thanks so much!

mattpalmer's picture

I'm sure it's mentioned in the trinity casts somewhere, but I know it gets mentioned occasionally in random casts: Never roll out a managerial change without announcing it first.

The reason is simple: if you just start doing something different, it freaks people out.  If you start doing O3s with people, they'll spend far too much energy talking to each other about it: "Is he doing these one-on-one things with you?  What does he think he's doing?  Are we going to get fired?  I'll bet he read an article in a management magazine this morning"... and so on, and so forth.  Feedback's a thousand times worse: the moment you start looking like you're going to talk to someone about their performance, there will be a non-empty set of your directs who will curl up in a ball and shriek "make the bad man go away!", because every other time they've been talked to about their performance, they've been beaten with a (hopefully!) metaphorical stick.

If, on the other hand, you explain what's going on beforehand, what you're doing and more importantly why you're doing it, you'll shut down a lot of chatter and uninformed speculation, and instead start things off on a foundation of trust and understanding.  It's by no means sufficient to ensure success, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

As far as "too friendly" goes, that's a tough one to get right.  I wouldn't beat yourself up about it.  As long as you're not helping them move house (or vice versa), and they're not taking advantage of your friendliness, let it go for now.  You'll get a better sense for what's appropriate later.

Finally, setting expectations is another one of those "it comes with experience" things.  I'd recommend erring (slightly) on the side of "too small", because that makes it easier to succeed (and then you can give positive feedback about their success), and then over time use that basis of success to keep asking for bigger and more ambitious achievements.

jazzbone1031's picture

Great advice there. Thanks again!