I have been a manager since 2008, but didn't receive training or guidance on what that meant. I put a lot of effort into project management, and my team has done remarkable things in that time. But I struggled with getting them to do what needed to be done without me being directly involved. I ended up letting one person go, and that is where I began to question whether I was even in the right career. I did manage to figure out that I needed to establish better communication with my employees, and was doing weekly meetings for 2 1/2 years. To be honest, I didn't enjoy those meetings that much, and I'm sure that my employees didn't either. I stumbled across the Manager Tools podcasts last year, and ate them up! And I attended the Seattle conference this March, and started the rollout the day I got back. In this past 5 weeks, we've had a dramatic turnaround in my department, and I credit it all to three things that I started with based on that training. First of all, I told them everything I learned. We went through the slide deck and I shared what my hopes and expectations were from using these methods. Then, I modified those weekly meetings so that the first part is for them to talk about whatever is on their minds, and I told them that these meetings are the most important meetings for me every week. And as sad as it made me, realizing that I'm not on the team has helped me listen better, knowing that the softly phrased statements from my directs had a lot of careful thought behind them. I thought that they understood that I wanted to hear what they had to say, but literally telling them this and telling them every week was the crux. I'm blown away by what they have already shared with me, how they have jumped into new responsibilities on their own, and how they have begun working more collaboratively. They have been very supportive of me having more time for management, and letting them take on more of my technical tasks. I haven't even started with feedback (I know, three more months), but I'm certain that it will be very difficult to think of negatives. We're early days still, and I'm sure we'll have new obstacles, but that thing where people came to work looking glum or frazzled is gone. You've not only helped my career, you've made the lives of my five directs a lot happier through this training! Thank you for sharing your advice and developing this methodology!

Tanya Denison, Chief Information Officer NRS