I'm a  self-diagnosed high-C who aim-aim-aimed for about 2 months and have finally fired off the email to initiate O3s. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my administrative role. As one previous poster said, "no turning back now!" I will update after next week's O3s begin. Thanks, Manager Tools.

jhack's picture

Let us know how it goes. 

O3's take a little while to work, but like a glacier, they are very powerful once in motion!

John Hack

debloui's picture

Good luck with your O3s.

I tried weekly meetings with my directs some time ago with little success, the meetings were pretty pointless, little was said by both my directs and myself and to be honest  they just fizzled out. However after discovering Manager Tools and listening to the podcasts I was motivated enough to give them another go and am so glad I did. Using the suggested structure of the one on ones and the online template, 3 weeks on I am pleased to say that they're going well, whereas we struggled to fill 10 minutes or so when used to meet, we now struggle to stay within the 30 minutes. Communication has improved, relationships with my staff have got better, all in all I just wish I'd discovered Manager Tools earlier!

synapsid's picture

Thanks all, it's good to remember I will have to be patient with these. There is one hard-nosed high D who still hasn't selected his time yet, but all 7 of my other DRs selected a time with no questions. Don't know what to expect, but I already have my "first question" picked out and ready to ask 8 times this week! 

synapsid's picture

OK, so, overall a good first experience with O3s. My very first was a high I who is super easy to talk to. He came prepared and as excited about O3 as I was. The second was an older DR with high I tendencies. Then came my difficult high D. 10 minutes late, body language that exuded, "are we done here??!" He asked for funding for a project by telling and threatening: "We need to find a way to get money for... otherwise I'm just not going to ..."

This stuff used to intimidate me but MT's clear explanations of DiSC, O3s, the trinity, seem like they've prepared me for anything that may happen!

The difficult D also loves to gossip: "Mr. X just can't focus, I can't work with him if he's going to ..."

Again, thanks to MT, I wasn't lured into this trap. I just smiled and said, "Well, this meeting's not about him but what have you tried? What do you think you could do differently to improve that working relationship?"

I just felt like everything went really well, like I can see that there will be improvement even though it will take time. Even though the high D will be a tough nut to crack, the systematic pace of the meetings will clearly be a good thing going forward.

3 More O3s tomorrow - can't wait!


synapsid's picture

Finished my first o3 with all 8 directs. Whew! I think the major message they received was that i was ready to listen to whatever they wanted to talk about. But in the end, some of them ended up being a very 2-way chat, where I would ask questions about their current projects, and home life, etc. So the 10-10-10 guidelines really didn't exist. Should I try to enforce those more, or is a chatty interaction typical of o3s?


jhack's picture

It can be many months for some people to begin to open up, and really engage.  Some directs are very private and may never really open up.  Others will share things that will will surprise you (as the once frequent poster US41 pointed out, when the topic turns to bodily fluids and medical situations, you know you've earned their trust!).  Some will keep it professional only.  

They're all different, and each becomes effective in its own way.

Patience.  and good work!

John Hack   (who sometimes cuts and pastes...)

synapsid's picture

3 weeks x 8 directs = 24 O3s; 12 hours already. It went very fast. My biggest surprise was the overall lack of resistance (even the gruff high D was willing to talk, as long as he could talk about himself for 10 minutes!). I was also surprised by how different everyone was, and how little I knew (or understood) about their lives and work. One very strong DR just unloaded about problems with his ailing relative and younger sibling. Most everyone else chose to talk about work. The weekly format is unbeatable for accountability - we had been leaving lots of things open-ended for a month or more. Now, I can look at my notes, and say "we agreed you'd do this by Tuesday, did you get it done?"

I'm in no rush to get to the feedback model, but have been doing some a la carte delegating. Things are working out great so far. I've been asking the same first question (when I can - sometimes the DRs just come in talking, and I don't get to ask!): "So how's everything going?" I almost want to graph the responses. It's very, very clear when things are ok, and when there's tension, even after just 3 weeks.

I'm really enjoying the O3s so far, but don't get me wrong, it's the weekend, and not a minute too soon!!



hkirkland's picture
Training Badge

I started mine in January with some trepidation as well. I am also a High C and worried how well they would be received. To my pleasant surprise, one-on-ones have been readliy accepted by my directs, and I think we've all be stunned at how much we have to talk about that wasn't being addressed in an organized way before. I have less stress because I know that important conversations will now occur within the context of one-on-ones each week. These have become so important to me now that I refuse to attend other managers' meetings when they conflict with my scheduled one-on-ones.

synapsid's picture

Yes, 7 weeks in and a few DRs have now crossed over into discussing body fluids. I feel so privileged. I guess they trust me now!

maura's picture
Training Badge

" I almost want to graph the responses"...  Looks like you correctly diagnosed yourself as a High C!

I started O3's with my team in January - reading this thread made me remember how well they worked in those first several months, and how lazy I've gotten with them in recent weeks.  Time for a refresh - thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, it's helped re-energize me.

tomjedrz's picture
Licensee Badge

It has been a couple of month's now .. any more thoughts?

>> "I'm in no rush to get to the feedback model, but have been doing some a la carte delegating."

I would start feedback as soon as you feel that the relationships are stable, so that you have the habit developed for when it is really needed! Mr. Horstmann put the Trinity in the particular sequence for a reason.

synapsid's picture

Thanks - I will be rolling out feedback in a week or two. The relationships all seem stable except for the high D. He's very assertive even when (especially when?) he's losing - last week in a meeting, we were clearly split 3-2 on a decision. Had I called for a vote, he would have been in the minority. Instead, he blurted out, "Well, we're obviously not going to come to a conclusion on this, we have to start from scratch..." nevermind the fact that I could just make this decision myself! He seems to think he runs the department sometimes. So I would say our relationship remains unstable. 

Perhaps feedback is just what the Dr. ordered. Any recommendations for how to find the positive? As for negative, I've got plenty; he just added a new one: yawning while I'm delegating something to him, then asking a question that I had just answered while he was yawning. Yes, it will be hard to find the positive in this fellow.

ktnbs's picture

 Finally decided to jump in on this thread.  Many to choose from without starting a new "I am starting O-3" thread.

Been on board with MTools off and on since 05 as podcast listener, now and then forum reader and early on subscriber to the interviewing series which, by the way, made a huge difference in success for getting new positions and interviewing candidates myself on the other side of the table.  But, hard to admit, I had never ever executed an O-3 program with any of the easy 2-3 directs I would have.  Always thought about and struck the mental pose to get ready but never actually did it.

I broached it in mid-November at my current position, having gotten here over a year ago.  I told each direct (3) about the concept, gave them the slide show on it (paper) and took care to be matter of fact in explaining how it works.  I stated that I would be starting it three weeks from then.  I also added, that "in a few days, I will zap you an email that details it out more (a tweaked version of the M-tools guys') and requested their reply as to what day of that week, three weeks out, and time would work best....of course no Mondays or Fridays.

Did not quite think it all out because as it turns out the start is this week, tomorrow,  and that all the directs are going on leave starting next week until after New Years.  So I have a start one week, then two plus weeks with nothing until they get back.  I almost backed and postponed but upon thinking it over...what the sense it getting into yo-yo mode at the start.  We'll deal with.

bflynn's picture

First O3 starts tomorrow.  At least 2 of my 5 directs have directly expressed the idea that they're happy with the idea, all responded almost immediately with a time slot request. (and all picked 2-2:30 on Thursday-lol)

One lesson learned so far - remember time differences.  3 of my directs are in a remote office in another time zone and I didn't get why they didn't like the 9am meeting times (8am their time).  I also despise 8am meetings, so I get it now. 

tiomikel's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I have just started listening to MT Podcasts and have downloaded everything on one-on-ones. I'm holding back from sending out the kick off email because I don't think I will keep it up every week. My main issue is that I travel - on average about one week a month - but it goes in waves...I may be out of the office for two weeks in one month for example. I can't see calling in for one-on-ones just to keep up the weekly stint. I'm busy enough in my travel consulting at whatever site I am at.

I work for a non-profit high school for at-risk youth. We are also a professional development center and that is the part of the organization that I direct. I travel to schools around the country delivering trainings. My direct reports are an eclectic group - there is an associate director who I work most closely with. Then the registrar, guidance counselor, intern coordinator and receptionist all report to me even though their work is more school-oriented than PD oriented.

Should I start them without the weekly commitment? Or, should I keep the weekly commitment even if it means calling in? (I seriously doubt I will do that...I often don't have time off of my trainings until the evening when I give my family a call).



rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

The irony of O3's and travel is that if you are traveling often, there is even more reason to have structured contacts with your people. Try to be creative with them and find a way. You could even add an invitation to come up with creative ideas to your e-mail: "We plan for these meetings every week at a fixed time. As you know, some weeks I am traveling, and it may not be possible to have our calls at the usual moment in such weeks. I'm sure we will be able together to find creative solutions in most cases, so that we will really rarely have to skip a week, and hopefully never".