Hello Team,

MM your pod casts are well explained and you’re eager to explain things better after the pod casts are outstanding. Thanks for the show.

A month ago I was hired in the government sector as a Director in the IT world. I have 15 people in my team, from those we have 2 administrative assistants, 2 general managers, 1 for each office, and the other 11 people are distributed among the two departments.

Last week I started doing one on one with everyone. It was a great experience, most of the people enjoy them, and most also talked over the 30 minutes. Also, it was very good, because we got to know better.

The reason of my post is the following questions. I understand that O3s are not meetings for skips, so what should I do? Should I continue doing O3 with all, for a few weeks and later delegate that to the general managers?

In my initial O3 I talked to team leads that report to my general managers, some are not doing any admin stuff, just technical work, and they are not taking care of their direct reports. Maybe what I am describing is not an O3 problem; I just want to hear some suggestions.

Thanks, Geo

trandell's picture

O3s are for your direct reports only. You want your managers doing O3s with their direct reports, so they gain the skill and confidence and it is their responsibility as managers. My suggestion is that you let your skips know you appreciate the time spent getting to know each other and now it is time for you to honor the direct reporting relationship they have with their managers. Make sure they understand you are not abandoning them, rather you need to let your managers do their jobs and own their responsibilities.

sklosky's picture


I get the sense that you're embracing the Manager-Tools system. I think it's important to communicate this to your direct reports during your one on ones with them. During the coaching portion, I would suggest you set one of their coaching goals to be "learn the manager-tools system".

Follow up consistently with feedback regarding the adoption of the system by your directs.

Also, suggest to them that they attend the conference in Sept.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.


dorian.w's picture
Licensee Badge


I'd also suggest that you can continue your relationship building with your skips using the MT guidance (April 3 & 10 2006 casts). I do mine every 2 months with my skips (for the last 6 months so far) and the coolest thing has been watching them go from total strangers in some cases, to engaging in constructive and meaningful dialogue with each other on work situations.

Good luck!


gakirag's picture

Hello People,

I really appreciate all your good responses. They all helped me very much, I will delegate 1-1 of my skips to my directs, and I will ask them to do the same. If they keep doing them (and I don’t see why not), I will maintain my word that I will not stop doing the 1-1 after we started.

One faster question, my impression is that the current managers don’t feel that they need 1-1 because they have been in the org for years, and they know everybody very much. People will see them, as a radical change in behavior suddenly. I am guessing this is normal and it happens in any big organization like a government agency, am I right?


dorian.w's picture
Licensee Badge

Geo: I asked Mark a similar question last week. He was exactly right when he said that being the 'boss', I've got all the ability to make it happen through the organization (i.e. implement the M-T 1-1, Feedback, Coaching models, etc). Just to make it part of my team's performance objectives and use all the tools available to me to make it happen (1-1s, coaching, feedback, skip meetings, etc)

So, this past weekend, I quickly wrote up outlines of what those objectives would look like, with timelines and measureables. For example, my General Managers have 1-1s with their Managers, but below that it's sketchy. So, my objective for my GMs is to coach their Managers on the effective use of 1-1s. They will: (1) review the M-T model to refresh their memory; (2) review/teach the M-T model with their managers by week 2; (3) have their Managers send out an appropriate email to their team and schedule the 1-1s by week 3; (4) ensure the Mangers conduct about 3 weeks of 1-1s, then review the 1-1 forms from the Managers (GMs & Mgrs), looking for indication of realationship building (wife's name, kids names, hobbies) and format (start/stop time, development goals); (5) at weeks 3 and 7, brief me on the progress of the 1-1s, including sharing the format of the 1-1 forms with me, so I can offer any advise on content, format, etc.

Once I've established clear deliverables from my GMs (coaching the effective use of 1-1s to their staff and down), then I put the agreed upon timeline in thier 1-1 folders so I can follow up at the agreed up on times. Midway through, I may ask how their coming, but am expecting a report on weeks 3 & 7.'s off to the next skill.....

Hope that helps.


trandell's picture

Outstanding advice Dorian! As the boss, you have the opportunity and responsibility to change culture for the better. It is an absolute truth that getting to know people makes for better and stronger relationships. The MT ways of doing this are time-tested and battlefield-proven. If you believe in this material, Mark and Mike, then go all out and get your managers believing.

gakirag's picture

Hello to all,

Thanks Dorian for your advice.

Will it be appropiate to stay with critical people in the org mainly 2, that are not directs, until my Manager get's the O3 pace?

Let me re-phrase in case someone did not understand the question.
There are two people that are critical to the organization, and they have a lot of knowledge (control), one of my objectives is to distribute that knowledge (control) over a few of the team members. They report to one of my managers, will it be wise to keep doing O3s with the Critical ones, until my manager gets into the MT tutorials. I already forward the O3 material.

thanks and again, great forum.


dorian.w's picture
Licensee Badge

Geo: I'd hate to give you any specific thoughts without knowing the circumstances of your situation. You know the dynamics of your organization, and the criticality of maintaining communication links. But if it was me, I'd be inclined to do this:

I would make sure that my direct understood the importance of maintaining the lines of communication between your two critical people and the rest of the organization, and then perhaps make it his responsibility to execute that and report to you on progress in your 1-1s with him. I've found that if you don't honour the chain of command, that you can undercut it.

Having said'll have to weigh your circumstance and see if the above would work for you.

Any other thoughts?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Dorian, nice work here. Thank you.

And, it's okay to keep doing the O3s with the skips for a couple of weeks until your directs get the hang of your O3s and then take over for you. That way, you've built a base of a relationship with your entire group, and it's not too big to preclude that.

BUT...don't you DARE keep doing them once you give the responsibility to your directs. Not even to one special person. If they report to a direct, don't undermine the direct.