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Submitted by cruss on


How are non-managers using the tools and information they are getting from Manager Tools?

I'm not a Manager. I am the Individual Contributor that Mike and Mark always discuss in the podcasts. When listening to the podcasts I get both a sense of enthusiasm and relief. I feel that when I do become a supervisor or manager I will have a set of skills that I can develop to help me be effective. What I don't have is a good way to start using these skills now. I'm not really in a place to give feedback or conduct coaching of my peers. My supervisor is interested in MT and may implement some of the practices, but I am his only DR.

I really feel that so far the DISC model is the most directly applicable to my position. Communication makes so much more sense now that I can frame the things I say in that context.

What other things are non-managers putting to use from MT, hopefully moving them to getting into that supervisor or manager position.


sklosky's picture


Cast #1 is about a stalled career. I'm pretty sure this applies to you.

I was in a similar situation. I have followed the guidance from this cast and it works.

Here are some of the tools I use:

-Build a group of contacts with whom you touch base with on a regular basis.

-Update your resume quarterly.

-Build a Manager Tools style resume.

-Monitor the accomplishments on your resume. Adjust daily activities and choices based on the accomplishments you want to reflect in the future.

-Do the handshake thing.

-Hit interviews with the Manager Tools guidance system. :)

Worked well (and will continue to work well) for me.


mjpeterson's picture

Here are a couple of things for MT you could be doing.

Use the effective meeting techniques when you organize a meeting. You can also offer to facilitate meeting for you supervisor. By doing this effectively you free his/her time up. You have the opportunity to show your skills to a wider audience and also make your own boss look good.

You can implement one-on-ones with your boss. You can either ask directly to have a weekly sit down, or if that approach won't work, you can just stop by at least once a week to cover what you are doing and confirm your work direction from you manager.

Keep your resume up to date. Follow the steps in the preparing for your review cast, when that time comes up.

Keep a sense of urgency. You may not be able to spread the influence in the way you would as a manager, but if you rely on other member of a project team for data, etc you can make sure you are getting a date and time for when they will delivery their input to you and of course follow up when they do.

These are just a couple of the ways you can apply some MT wisdom until you get to be a manager.

juliahhavener's picture
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You can give feedback if you work with peers. You can work on your OWN performance management, discussing it with your boss.

The other items that have been suggested are good, as well. When the opportunity presents itself for you to put some (ANY) of the new skills to work for yourself and your company. Before I came into this position, I found that once I had demonstrated a knowledge and understanding of how to handle certain situations, people started coming to me for advise/direction...even before I was in a position that said 'manager' of any type. Just because it's not in your job description doesn't mean the opportunity isn't there.

cruss's picture
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Thanks for all the great responses.

sklosky -
Yes, cast #1 was eye opening. I'm already trying to work on building relationships. The new resume is underway.
Where is the Manager Tools system for interviews? I hear them talk about purchasing the set (including cover letters) and can't see it on the site. I assume it's just not out yet.

mjpete -
I wish I could organize a meeting around the MT system but we have very few that I or my supervisor are involved in. None are run with a agenda or time limit. I plan on trying to get One-on-Ones with my supervisor once he gets back from vacation.

Julia -
I am trying to implement as much as I can while starting to actively seek other opportunities. I am planing on using the coaching model myself for some technical certifications I need. I really appreciate your reminder that showing these skills isn't just for management. It just may be how to get into it.


juliahhavener's picture
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Your assumption about the interview series is a good one. Many of us have been eagerly (and with varying degrees of patience) awaiting their release.

WillDuke's picture
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I would love it if one of my directs came to me and explained they wanted to work on their growth, and could they run one of the upcoming meetings. (Assuming it was done with a little humility and respect.)

I would be, if I hadn't been listening to MT, a little put off if they came to me to initiate my implementation of One-on-One meetings. That's a little presumptuous.

But presented like this: "Hey boss, can I get some of your time on a regular basis to help me with my development," would be a whole different experience. I'd be excited to work with that person. I'd also put them on my list of top performers.

sklosky's picture


I was referring to this one.


It's under the registered users podcasts area.


cruss's picture
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My high D side is never patient enough unless my high C has a plan. ;)

Will Duke-
I'm lucky enough to have a supervisor that I can talk to about this stuff openly and he'll be very receptive.

Thanks. I'm only up to May of 06 so I haven't listened to that yet. I will before I go anywhere near an interview.

bflynn's picture

I apply different parts of the tools to different roles that I have in life.

As a consulant, I use the interpersonal and meeting tools to help improve my relationships with customers. As a father, an adult and sunday school assistant, I use feedback to help manage children. I believe all of us make some use of the career tools.

For me, O3s and coaching are not a part of my current job. I did use them a lot in past jobs without knowing it and I believe I will use them again in the future.


rachaelip's picture
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I am a corporate attorney (in-house) with no direct reports and I find some of the tips and tricks mentioned in MT extremely useful. Specifically I have been able to use the information on building relationships with internal customers to improve my client relationships. I also think almost anyone can benefit from the MT ideas about meetings, agendas, and feedback.