Forums

Mark and Mike,

I have a suggestion for the website. When I am sharing the website with friends of mine I run into the problem of overwhelming them with all of the tools that are on the site. I usually just write up an email that has specific links to certain podcasts that I think make up the core of what MT is about (i.e. O3's, Feedback, Coaching, Delegation, DiSC, etc.).

When you get a chance, it might be a good idea to have a beginner or core subject page where first time visitors can get a good first peek into the world of an MT manager. On that page you may introduce the core things slowly without feeding them with the fire hose (that us advanced MT users want).

Just a thought.

thanks for what you do.
Josh

regas14's picture

I second the suggestion by Josh. Great idea!

I have failed to convert as many people as I would like primarily because I find it difficult to contain my gushing about just how great Manager Tools is and summarize in a way that makes for an effective referral. As Josh mentioned something that succinctly communicates the mission of Manager Tools and easily directs a new site visitor to the foundational elements of what Manager Tools has to offer would help us refer our colleagues to Manager Tools.

I'm always excited to share your site with my colleagues.

Thanks,

G.R.

aspiringceo's picture

I think this is a wonderful idea. Like others I have recommended this site to all my managers and I know some of them are using it although not posting on it, I have a brand new manager who just started at the begining of the year and a "core subject" page would I think help him a lot as well as helping me with the coaching and mentoring I have planned for him.

Ed

cincibuckeyenut's picture

OK guys. We aren't going to wait on Mark and Mike to do this. Lets do it here together.

What pieces do we need?

I'll throw out an outline to rip apart.
[code:1]
- What is Manager Tools?
- What is a Podcast?
- Why do you need Manager Tools?
- Where Should I start?
Management 101 - The Management Trinity
- One on Ones
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Feedback
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Coaching
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings

Management 201 - Digging Deeper into Effective Management
- Building Relationships
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Effective Meetings
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Effective Delegation
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings

Management 301 - Managing Your Career and Others
- The Art of Coaching
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Performance Reviews
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
- Resumes and Interviewing
- Podcast links
- Reference materials links
- Key Blog Postings
[/code:1]
What am I missing? How do we flesh out each section? Pick a piece and post details, I will commit to pulling it all together from the separate posts.

jdg's picture

Good work

You could probably put a link to the DiSC model stuff in just about all of those sections.

I also found book recommendation page useful in sorting through the infinite amount of management books out there.

juliahhavener's picture

I find myself listening to friends and colleagues' problems or concerns then picking out the individual podcasts that will be most effective for them [b]right now[/b]. Depending on their web savvy, I'll either link directly to those key pieces or send them to the site to find it themselves.

Very funny -- after referring a friend here a while back, seeing him put some pieces into place, we recently interviewed for the same position out of town. We travelled together. On our way out that evening, I had the MT forums up before walking out the door. He stops and stares at me and says, "I should be stalking you there, shouldn't I. THAT is where all this good stuff is coming from, isn't it?"

I laughed, agreed, and went out for a lovely dinner.

I think a 'begin here' area would be nice, but I've found that everyone I point this way gets pointed with a slightly different set of items to listen to. R was given 'managing your boss', and the full set of DISC profiles. J was given O3s and both feedback casts. M was given the "full run" set noted above. And really, I think I like it that way. It allows me to point them to something I believe will be immediately and significantly valuable to them, allowing them to find the value for themselves, then continue forward. From there, most (who are truly interested in growing and developing in these areas) will fly under their own power.

cincibuckeyenut's picture

I was planning on DISC going under building relationships.

I was thinking that the approach suggested by juliahdoyle is great for the one on one interaction if you know someone well. But for the group recommendation, a start here link like this would be useful.

I also don't think it necessarily needs to have everything. This is just the starting point. Obviously we want them to explore on their own and eventually listen to ALL the content. But everyone needs to start somewhere. So I am not yet convinced my outline is the right level of detail. It might be too much. Need help with that too

juliahhavener's picture

I think you're right, it may be too much [i]if we're looking for this to be a 'click here if you're just looking for a place to start' type of list[/i].

If I thought of the MT Holy Grail it would be: One on ones. Feedback. Delegation.

Those three topics should give a new visitor plenty to chew on for a while...and enough leads into what direction to go NEXT.

Mark's picture

Management Trinity: One on Ones, Feedback, Coaching.

:wink:

Mark

mauzenne's picture

Thanks all ... this is an interesting discussion; one I've thought of often. I agree that knowing where to start is a bit overwhelming for the new listener. And wait until we have 200 podcasts; that should be fun! ;-)

Mark and I have been discussing a number of options, to include social bookmarking (tagging) of posts, a better index, better search capabilities etc. Mark is a huge Google fan (and expert, I must say); I'm a social bookmarking kinda-guy.

In the end, as suggested, a "guided discovery" for new listeners would, I'm sure, be a vast improvement.

Thanks for the comments!

Mike

Peter.westley's picture

At the risk of posting a "me-too" note, I agree with the simple, start here, minimal guidance on finding the key trinity - all four of them ;-). The adage "you can take a horse to water..." rings true here and an individual really has to decide to get something out of M-T,then the involvement in the remainder of the resources (other 'casts and the forums) will happen.

Could it be as simple as a sticky thread with a short paragraph of introduction and links to the key podcasts? Then a second paragraph introducing the next-level suggested 'casts.

... Then tell 'em to start from the beginning and go all the way to the end! :-)

cincibuckeyenut: I like your structured approach because it provides an easy way to locate a set of casts to help an individual with a particular issue - i.e. it supports what [quote="juliahdoyle"]It allows me to point them to something I believe will be immediately and significantly valuable to them, allowing them to find the value for themselves, then continue forward.[/quote]

cincibuckeyenut's picture

[i][b][size=18]Management 101 - The Management Trinity[/size][/b][/i]
When starting out at Manager Tools, there are three key tools that are foundational to everything else. Those tools, One on Ones, Feedback and Coaching, make up our Management Trinity. If you don't have time for anything else from Manager Tools, these three tools will immediately make you a much better manager, so we recommend EVERYONE start out with those, even before listening to the most current podcast.

After you understand Management 101, you can proceed on to Management 201, start listening to the current content, or pick and choose casts to review from there. But if you do not have this foundation, you will not get as much out of Manager Tools because these tools will be constantly referred to.

[b]One on Ones[/b]
brief blurb (Need help writing)
[list]Podcast links[list]The Single Most Effective Management Tool (Part 1)
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/07/the-single-most-effective-managemen...
The Single Most Effective Management Tool (Part 2)
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/07/the-single-most-effective-managemen...
[list]Questions and Answers on One-on-Ones
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/07/questions-and-answers-on-one-on-one...
[list]Reference materials links
[list]One-on-One Key Points and Template
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/one-on-one-key-points-and-template/[/url] [/list:u]
[list]Sample Email for One-on-Ones
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/sample-email-for-one-on-ones/[/url][/list:u]
[/list:u]
[list]Key Blog Postings[/list:u]
[b]Feedback[/b]
brief blurb (Need help writing)
[list]Podcast links
[list]Giving Effective Feedback
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/07/giving-effective-feedback/[/url][/l...
[list]Feedback Revisited!
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/10/feedback-revisited/[/url][/list:u]
[list]Improve Your Feedback
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/02/improve-your-feedback/[/url][/list:u]
[list]Receiving Feedback About Your Directs
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/05/receiving-feedback-about-your-direc...
[list]The Peer Feedback Model
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/10/the-peer-feedback-model/[/url][/lis... materials links
[list]Feedback Model
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/feedback-model/[/url][/list:u]
[/list:u]
[list]Key Blog Postings[/list:u]
[b]Coaching[/b]
brief blurb (Need help writing)
[list]Podcast links
[list]The Art Of Coaching
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/08/the-art-of-coaching/[/url][/list:u]
[list]More on Coaching
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/09/more-on-coaching/[/url][/list:u]
[list]Coaching Revisited - Part 1
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/11/coaching-revisited-part-1/[/url][/l...
[list]Coaching Revisited - Part 2
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/11/coaching-revisited-part-2/[/url][/l...
[list]The Late (and Early) Stage Coaching Model Revisited
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/03/the-late-and-early-stage-coaching-m...
[list]Late Stage Coaching Model Review - Part 2
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/03/late-stage-coaching-model-review-pa...
[/list:u]
[list]Reference materials links
[list]Coaching Card
[url]http://www.manager-tools.com/coaching-card/[/url][/list:u][/list:u]
[list]Key Blog Postings[/list:u]

aspiringceo's picture

I think that cincibuckeyenut's idea is wonderful and maybe it could be "stickied", my only comment would be that I think Marks new book is called management 101, which might lead to confusion.

cincibuckeyenut's picture

OK, I tried to incorporate the feedback into that last post. I like it much better than the original outline. Here is where I need help for anyone is so inclined.

The initial Mgt Trinity blurb needs edited
Blurb for O3 needs written
Blurb for Feedback needs written
Blurb for Coaching needs written
Podcast list needs reviewed for all three (think I got them all)
References list needs reviewed for all three (think I got them all)
Need a list of pertinent blog posting links for O3
Need a list of pertinent blog posting links for Feedback
Need a list of pertinent blog posting links for Coaching
Need suggestions for what should make up Mgt 201

If you want to help, just pick something out of the list and go to it.

Thanks to all.

cincibuckeyenut's picture

[quote="aspiringceo"]I think that cincibuckeyenut's idea is wonderful and maybe it could be "stickied", my only comment would be that I think Marks new book is called management 101, which might lead to confusion.[/quote]Well, damnit, he'll just have to change the title now. :D

aspiringceo's picture

Shall I tell him or do you want do it. :D :D

On second thoughts I'l think like a manager :idea: and delegate it to you :lol:

Edmund

Mark's picture

No, I won't.

Mark's picture

...Because my book is called The Effective Manager.

Mark

aspiringceo's picture

Sorry, my mistake. Please delete my last 2 posts.
Edmund

Mark's picture

No way! Having too much fun reading this.

You go, guys!

Mark

lazerus's picture

How about a wiki?

rcmerino's picture

I have enjoyed this thread because it will help me when I want to introduce friends or clients to Manager Tools.

There is a similar issue I'd like to raise for discussion. It has to do with how the format of each podcast [i]possibly[/i] turns off new listeners. The podcasts are not always self-contained 'modules' of content on each topic. It's one of the reasons why I've not recommended MT more strongly.

Bear with me while I explain my point a little further and provide a recent example. I realize that Mark and Mike are not professional broadcasters and are doing this for free.

I have listened to almost every podcast in the archive and have become used to Mark and Mike's style of 'casting. Often, I've listened to episodes I didn't think were of much relevance to me and found kernels of wisdom that were much appreciated.

Eventually, I warmed to Mark and Mike and began to understand the MT approach. I subscribed to the podcast and now eagerly listen to whatever they publish.

It's more difficult, though, for new listeners to jump into any single topic that I might recommend. Before I suggest a cast to someone, I have to ask,
If this is the only MT cast they listen to, does it have an interesting story that grabs their attention in the beginning?
Do M&M give a compelling example that illustrates the importance of the content before they discuss it?

People I recommend the casts to may not go to the website first and read a bio or description. They are more likely to listen to the cast and make judgments about MT (and me) based on that one podcast.

This week's podcast is an excellent case in point. When I saw the title, I was excited by such a timely topic. I thought I would be able to direct some of my clients to this podcast to stimulate a discussion on strategy and SWOT (as well as introduce them to MT). After listening to Part I, though, I didn't feel immediately comfortable sharing it with clients. Why?

Although, Mike does a good job of introducing what the individual cast is about, it takes about 10 minutes before SWOT is defined and the cast's outline is introduced. Anyone new to MT would have to be patient and persistent to have continued to this point. The last 15 minutes, though, are worth the wait.

I have two recommendations for the format (not the style or the content) to make it better for first time listeners.

1) Have the same 30-second opening sequence in each show where Mike and Mark introduce themselves, what their mission is and what the MT approach is. Then Mike could give his intro for that individual cast.

This opening would give new listeners a brief, but effective idea of what MT is all about.

2) Begin each podcast with a real world example or story that motivates interest in that week's topic. Mike and Mark have wonderful stories to tell, but I'm surprised at how little they use them to 'set the scene' for their casts.

The Strategy/SWOT cast would have been greatly improved in the beginning with an example from their consulting practice or how they helped someone recently re-formulate the problem of coming up with a strategy.

Thank you for reading.

Rob

aspiringceo's picture

I don’t know about anybody else but I say please don’t change anything about the way Mike & Mark present us with their collective wisdom week in week out.

I tend to listen to the casts in the car and it’s like driving along with 2 good friends and listening (and sometimes interacting) with their conversation.
[quote] I have listened to almost every podcast in the archive and have become used to Mark and Mike's style of 'casting. Often, I've listened to episodes I didn't think were of much relevance to me and found kernels of wisdom that were much appreciated. [/quote]
Excuse the pun, but that comment sums up MT in a nutshell, we learn something new every week, it may not be relevant today but it might be tomorrow for example on Monday I found myself quoting something from a early 2006 cast. (The one about communications)

That’s my 2p worth; but would love to hear the views of others

Edmund

quenfis's picture

First and foremost, I like the idea of the beginners area. Cinci is on the right track, and should be appreciated for at least trying to put something together for a MT starter.

As far as the feedback on the podcasts. I think Mike and Mark are good enough to take the feedback, and if they feel compelled to change it up a little, they will. I know that they have talked a great deal about how they both like the loose scripted format they use. I like it as well. When Mike does the opening thirty secondish intro, it sounds scripted and not as fluid as the rest of the cast. There is so much info in each podcast, it seems hard to do a quick sum up in the beginning, or even try to fit time to tell a quick story on how the following information can be used from a real life experience.

I have learned so much from these casts, and from the forums. If I try to turn someone on to the site and they decide not to go after the content, then that is a shame on them. Sometimes you have to dig to get the diamond. Not everything can be polished and placed on a silver platter for a person to consume. Free content, with extremely valuable insite into the job that you perform day in and day out is worth every second of dead air, or uncomfortable dialogue. I have had a couple people that I've turned on to the site, and they did not bite. Yet, they consistently tell me how much I have positively changed. It's from these casts and forums.

Those who want to grow will make their way to get there, regardless of how it is presented to them. Or you can maintain on the "Flat" and watch others move past you, and wonder "why them and not me." Every person who comes here and gets, what they feel to be, great information, owes it to themselves, the community and their work environment to pass the info along to others. Don't hold back, because no body is too good for this information.

Mark's picture

Thanks for the input folks!

No question, every approach has its issues.

Mark

XOLegato's picture

Perhaps (taking a spin off of Rob's suggestion) at some point M&M could record a short 3-5 minute show introducing who they are, what they are doing, and a very high level overview of the MT philosophy (management trinity and all that). This way, new listeners could be directed to that bite-sized show along with a specific topic. Having the same intro at the beginning of every show would get monotonous, I think, and exploring the website or listening to a full-length introductory cast would be a turn-off for some new listeners. Having a short and sweet audio clip to point friends and co-workers to would probably help acclimate new listeners easier.

Just a thought.

-Will

mauzenne's picture

My thanks as well to everyone ... all the comments are very useful to both Mark and I.

Mike

thaGUma's picture

I rather like the style of the podcasts. When I started listening, I shared rcmerino's view, but this was because the casts were new to me and I wanted instant fix, now. Initially, the introduction was hard to sit through because I wanted the nuggets at the end.

By the third cast, my view had completely changed. There is a lot of info in the starting sections and the casual style eases me into a mind set to receive the subject matter. I find this essential or it would be like being ambushed in a meeting. I do not know the subject matter beyond the title of the cast before I start it rolling. By the time the meat comes around my brain is tuned to the subject and it all goes in nicely.

Excellent production values give the casts a rich sound that mellows me out on the drive home to the kids.

Keep up the good work. Wish I had been able to attend the conference and hope the next one is out on DVD 8)