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Submitted by AppleJack on


On Friday, I sent out the O3 email to my seasonal staff. I had been a little hesitant to do it with them because they only work 4-5 months per year, but the direct who has been with me for 2 seasons now came back with: "Great! Can we start on Monday?" Very encouraging and exciting...

I have a permanent direct that I've been doing O3s with for 4+ months now. She misunderstood the purpose of the O3s and I did not realize it until recently. She only brings work issues for her 10 minutes and I've not questioned it, as a result we really have not built the trust or communication necessary for the O3s to be beneficial. So I want to start over with her and try to get us back on track to a better working relationship.

I thought there was a podcast about resetting the O3s or trinity, but I can't seem to find it. Does anyone have a suggestion about which cast to look for?

Also, has anyone else tried starting over with a direct? If so, what did you do? How did it go?


buhlerar's picture

This one is a pretty good place to start:

The notes to the cast mention this is meant to refresh the process after 1-2 years, but if you started a few months ago and didn't quite implement it like you wish you had, you could possibly use this guidance to do a reset.

Good luck!

AppleJack's picture
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I much appreciate your providing a link!

AppleJack's picture
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BLUF: So I'm going to do a "refresh" with my high "S" direct and I was wondering do I reset the feedback as well?

One of my challenges with my high S direct is that I don't understand why she spends so much time finding out every single thing about every single person, only to disregard what the person says is most important to them. It's like Mr. Rogers keeps baking people cookies and ignoring that they said they were allergic to nuts or that they don't like chocolate. This is not actually what is happening but it is a reasonable analogy.

I very much want to give negative feedback and want to do it within the model... and start giving systemic feedback. The problem is that my gut is telling me that I should reset the feedback model as well as the O3s, even though we went through the requisite number of weeks for rolling out the trinity. Unfortunately I let her portion of the O3s to be just status reporting and not the relationship building needed for the feedback model to be effective without tarnishing it. 

I have a very nice employee, going to out of her way, to do or say things that people don't want, don't need, don't like. As a result she is at best irritating customers or at worst driving them away. She never understands that she could possibly be doing anything wrong, after all she's trying to help them. If it does eventually click that "Joe" is allergic to nuts (usually after a "trip to the ER"), she has never been able to apply how she works with Joe to other people who are "allergic".

Really what I need "Mrs. Rogers" to do is to start paying attention to what people say is important to them and then act on that information, not what she thinks is important. Does anyone have suggestions for how to tell "Mrs. Rogers" not to give people "cookies" that they don't like or want?

TomW's picture
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MY vote would be yes, start over with positive feedback only.

acao162's picture

You commented that your direct is giving you status updates.  Maybe she does not want to share personal details.  Some directs don't.  To draw some of this out, why not ask leading questions about her volunteering, kids (do you know their names?), weekend plans etc.  If you don't know the children's names, just come clean and say, "I've done a lousy job building a relationship with you.  Can you imagine, I don't even know the names of your children?"

I've done it.  That completely broke the ice & while the direct didn't share too much personal, she understood that I was interested, if she wanted to talk about it.  O3s are not about you & what you want out of the time, it is about the direct.  Telling her that this is a safe space to talk, yet you don't know the most important things about her (kids, pets, parent-status ie; living or dead) tells her that "you" only want to talk about work.

Also, try sharing a story or two of your own.  Maybe lead with a funny-kid story from the past week at your 10  minutes.

AppleJack's picture
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Thanks ACA "Mrs. Rogers" would love to spend all day just sharing and having people share with her every detail of their lives, so that's not so much the issue. Where we run in to trouble is picking up on what is important about what the other person is saying, as well as understanding what is important in different contexts. Because I've asked for status updates in other meetings, she's decided that I want her to make a status update during her 10 minutes; despite my asking about her family, etc... She is so focused on what doing what she thinks I want her to do, that it doesn't register that this is her time; or when it does she thinks that it means our roles are reversed and "I have to do what she says" because it is her 10 minutes (and "I want her" to tell me what to do). I'm afraid that telling stories from my personal life will be seen as more of this is all about me. All that being said, I will take your suggestions and increase my efforts to ask more questions about her family by name.

I'm pretty much guaranteed that she will do the opposite of anything I say or ask... not out of maliciousness or lack of clarity, but some sort of ongoing second guessing on her part. We've had 2-3 incidents in the last week where she did exactly what she was not supposed to do. After the first one, she apologized, acknowledged that she knew what she was supposed to do and made excuses about her intentions, but agreed to improve, and then proceeded to do exactly the same thing the next day. All of our communication interactions between us, even O3s, are fairly consistent this way; she chooses second guess me (and others) nearly all of the time.

Mark says "communication is the listener does", I'm trying to find the right words, adjust my communication, tone of voice, everything to get through to this person.

I'm starting to think that I may need to give negative feedback in the Manager Tools model, because it is the best tool I have for giving feedback lightly and consistently enough that she might be able to improve without feeling beaten up, especially since the same mistakes occur repeatedly.