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I have my staff (10 of us total) listening to the casts every Tuesday during lunch. We then discuss the topic and are able to complete the session in about an hour.

My boss (owner of the company) suggested that we all listen separately and then talk briefly (10 minutes) about what we learned.

I think that being together helps "bond us" and it's lunch time anyway (i.e. not paid). Plus, what is the accountability that everyone would listen prior to the meeting and be prepared to discuss the topic?

Anyone doing this (listening together)? Or have any thoughts (which way would be more effective)?

Thanks!
Chris

ramiska's picture

I like the idea, especially the post-cast discussion.

I can only listen in my car. It keeps me able to focus better. Listening alone I can also back the podcast up if I need to focus elsewhere (the road) or if my mind wanders. I often hear an idea and think of how I can implement it. The next thing I know, I missed the next point. recue!

I also have a hard time listening at home, even with the wife and kids away. There's too much else to do for me to focus. Sadly, the lawnmower and snowblower are too loud, even for the noise-cancelling headphones.

Are you able to listen without distraction?

quentindaniels's picture

What purpose does everyone listening together serve? I have never listened to MT in company, unless I'm was in the car with someone, so I don't know what its like. My first reaction isn't a positive either.

Not to say my first impressions are accurate to the actual value gained from such sessions. But, maybe your boss (and some EE's) think similarly. To me its like reading together.

If you want to add the most value to all the people in the room, why arn't you practicing application? reviewing premium content? discussing challenges?

Listening is something anyone can do anytime. My advice is to take better advantage of everyone being together.

Also, the argument that people won't listen otherwise is valid. But don't decrease the value to the people who have the self-discipline, because some won't listen ahead of time.

*I find burning CD's extremely effective at getting people to listen to MT. A stack of 80 costs nothing and makes it easy for them to share them with others.

Quentin Daniels

7-7-1-1

cwhite's picture

[quote="ramiska"]I like the idea, especially the post-cast discussion.

Are you able to listen without distraction?

Sadly, the lawnmower and snowblower are too loud, even for the noise-cancelling headphones.

[/quote]

Post discussion works for ironing out some of the ideas as well as practicing some of the techniques.

We listen in a conference room and we put the phones on "stun", plus we're "on lunch" so all the other staff leaves us alone.

Oddly enough the lawnmower/snowblower comment struck me funny... we are a Landscape/Snow Management company near Cleveland Ohio. Great insight!

cwhite's picture

[quote="quentindaniels"]What purpose does everyone listening together serve?

If you want to add the most value to all the people in the room, why aren't you practicing application? reviewing premium content? discussing challenges?

Also, the argument that people won't listen otherwise is valid. But don't decrease the value to the people who have the self-discipline, because some won't listen ahead of time. [/quote]

To me, listening together is kind of a "bond" thing... if we could only have beer ;) I generally listen to the session first, prep show notes for attendees and then lead the post-cast practice/discussion. It's really helped in regard to the many feedback and coaching sessions.

The "not listening alone" theory WILL of course happen, so that's my main reason to keep everyone accountable.

Not to say that it's right, but we're giving it a shot! Thanks for the comments.

MattJBeckwith's picture

I like the idea of getting your staff listening but not sure how I'd feel about taking one lunch away a week from my folks. I think you have to tread lightly if you are "working" during their lunch time, even if only 1 day per week.

I will say that for two years, I have only listened to Manager Tools in my car, ever. I spend a couple of hours a day commuting so it works fine. My directs and their directs that listen do so in their car or while working out. Personally, I prefer the one listener idea and then talking about it later.

Mark's picture

Okay, let me throw you a curveball: we're not upset by it, but you're violating the license by broadcasting the casts. We'd prefer that all those in attendance become members. It's free, and it helps us achieve our mission.

I think the concept is fine as a learning technique. Shoot, if everyone comes, I think it's great - and I would say that about any shared learning experience.

Folks look: what he's doing is working for him (other than the license thing). There's an old Army rule: if it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.

Mark

PS: Full disclosure: not only have I never listened to one of our casts in a group, I've never listened to ANY of our casts EVER. ;-)

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]
PS: Full disclosure: not only have I never listened to one of our casts in a group, I've never listened to ANY of our casts EVER. ;-)[/quote]

Mark - you really should - there is some good stuff in there :lol:

MattJBeckwith's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"]Mark - you really should - there is some good stuff in there :lol:[/quote]

Yeah, like the handshake one... it's a classic. Heads up, though, it's not a two-parter :-).

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"][quote="mahorstman"]
PS: Full disclosure: not only have I never listened to one of our casts in a group, I've never listened to ANY of our casts EVER. ;-)[/quote]

Mark - you really should - there is some good stuff in there :lol:[/quote]

I'm still laughing after following this thread for over a day. :lol:

Mike does outstanding post-production work to ensure a high-quality podcast and I know that *I* appreciate it.

I'm sent links to listen to podcasts all the time. Frankly, the audio quality of the vast majority is so poor that...argh.

Mark and Mike. Keep up the good work. Have blessed holidays with your families this season.

madamos's picture

I used to listen to the podcasts together during lunch with a group of people in the office. (We all are members and were at the DC conference together). The group broke down due to time constraints, but it was still a good use of our time.

I would pre-listen to the casts and take notes (before there was Premium Content) and then lead a discussion of the cast and how we can use it in our teams later.

Some issues I had with the group listening were:
- Listening to the casts took time away from the discussion
- We couldn't listen to two part casts. Not enough time
- It became harder to find casts that were important at that time for us

We stopped the group listening after 2 months. Now we just get together for coffee and discuss MT topics.

MadAmos

dmbaldwin's picture

What I did with the three parter on admins was to burn cds of the three and pass them around to my direct reports who have admins. Then we discussed them at a staff meeting. I just lost my admin, so I gave the cds to the HR person who is in charge of hiring someone new. That way perhaps I'll get someone who can work with me along the lines of what we heard in those podcasts.

I keep pointing my direct reports to MT hoping they get involved, but so far only our executive administrator has joined. He says he visits the site regularly for new ideas.

Anyway, burning the cds was like everyone listening to it and then discussing it, only different. I have collected the cds and destroyed them.

Dave