How To Manage People in 15 Minutes a Day

Document Sample
How To Manage People in 15 Minutes a Day Powered By Docstoc
					           How to Manage People in 15 Minutes a Day
Virtually all of the young executives I work with want to be good managers and
mentors. They just don't have the time — or so they believe. "I could either make
a sale, or I could take one of my guys out for lunch to talk about his career," a
financial services leader told me recently. "In this economy, which one do you
think I'm going to pick?"

Good question. But the answer is simple, and it doesn't change based on these
terrible economic times. It's neither.

You don't have to choose between commercial results and good leadership.
Don't get trapped into thinking that leadership is an extra 50% commitment on
top of your day job. You can be a terrific manager and developer of people
without sacrificing a single sale. Why? Because the amount of time you spend
coaching your people, mentoring them, giving them feedback, and otherwise
bolstering their skills is not what leads to your — or their — success. It's how you
lead, not how much, that counts.

Want to have maximum impact in minimum time? Use what I call the 3.1%
Coach method. Limit your people-development activities to no more than 15
incremental minutes per day (that's 75 minutes a week, or 3.1% of a hypothetical
40-hour workweek). Then employ the "smart coach approach" to leverage that
tiny slice of time for results.

Here are four ways to do it:

   1. Turn dead time into development time. Walking back to your office after
      a meeting? Use those two minutes to give your direct report feedback on
      the presentation, and on how he could do better next time. He didn't have
      a speaking role? Ask him how he thought the meeting went and how he
      might have made certain points differently — and then offer feedback on
      that. Direct, in-the-moment feedback is your single best tool for
      developing people.
   2. Constantly spot dead time. Look for every two-minute stretch in your
      day during which you could be talking to someone else — most often,
      that's travel time — and convert each into a coaching opportunity.
      Walking down to Starbucks to get a coffee? Driving to the airport?
      Headed out to your car at the end of the day? Ask one of your people to
      come along with — and talk to them about their goals and priorities.
   3. Show up in their workspace. Employees expect you to stay in your seat.
      Don't. Once per day, get up and walk over to the desk of someone you
      haven't spoken to recently. Take two minutes to ask her what she's
      working on. Once she's done answering, respond "What do you need from
      me to make that project/transaction successful?" Message to employee: I
      know who you are, I've got high expectations — and I've got your back.
   4. Make two calls per day. On your way home from work, call (or email)
      two people you met with that day, and offer "feedforward." "I like what
      you've done with the Smithers account. Next time, let's try to keep
      marketing costs down. Thanks for your hard work." Always make "thank
      you" a part of the message. Employees who feel appreciated, and know
      that you're trying to develop their skills, stay engaged over the long run.

With consistent (read: daily) use, these strategies will pay off. Your employees
will feel like you're not just their boss, but a coach — they'll sharpen their skills,
and stay motivated.

And in any economy, that's 15 minutes well spent.