Managing your direct reports

By February 24, 2015 May 1st, 2020 No Comments

How can we “fast track” develop our young professionals?

We learn how to be architects, engineers and surveyors at university then on the job as we get involved in projects.

It is rare to be taught such things as time management, negotiation skills, selling skills, managing direct reports, goal setting, giving effective feedback, coaching and how to effectively discipline a wayward team member.

The so called “soft skills” that are vital to our effectiveness in managing people.

We are expected to watch our bosses and pick these skills up via osmosis!!!!
Given the developments in internet based training resources, I decided to attend a day on effectively managing your direct reports provided by USA group Manager Tools.

This was followed up by a year of weekly email assistance in implementing the skills we had learnt that day.

I now believe this learning would be beneficial to all professionals in the firms I coach so have instigated weekly learning sessions including directors.

We use the free podcasts on offer to do this starting with basic skills then adding refinements as we all learn and implement.

It is great to learn and practice together then discuss how we can lift our overall team productivity and efficiency job by job, day by day.

The management system is based on a trinity.

One on one goal setting meetings held weekly for 30 minutes with your direct reports.

Then feedback structured around observed behavior, the impact of that behavior, and either encouragement for more positive future behavior or requests for modifications to future behavior.

Then coaching focused on getting your direct reports to improve their capability so you can then delegate more to them.

Coaching is structured around setting DBQ goals…date/deadline, behavior or skill required, the quality standard associated with the skill or behavior, resources needed, then the needed actions.

The whole system was developed in the US military then modified for civilian situations.

I now see directors spending time with their direct reports and becoming more willing to involve their team members in projects as they become more effective at teaching them.

Often I’d see a director just say “Give it to me…I’ll fix it!!!!”.

Of course no one learns if this happens and team members leave because their career skills are not growing.

Or I’d see project captains working themselves towards ill health in an attempt to meet job deadlines and budgets while saying I’m too busy to be available to my direct reports!!!!

My investment in this learning was only A$1,400.

That included a year’s access to over 600 podcasts that I could watch with my directs each week as an internal training exercise.

You can access the podcasts for US$200 pa… go to

We will be covering this in our “Profitable Business Management” workshop for professionals March 25/26 in Brisbane.

Bring your senior team members and refine your strategic plan and start work on your ultimate succession plan.

Your future good life could depend on it.

Regards to you all. Andrew Geddes 25.02.2015

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