Manager Tools



Tired of management theory? Want to learn specific skills to help improve your management performance? Then Manager Tools is the podcast for you! Manager Tools is a weekly business podcast focused on helping professionals become more effective managers and leaders. Each week, we discuss specific actions for professionals to take to achieve their desired management and career objectives. Manager Tools won Best Business Podcast Award in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012 as well as the People's Choice Award in 2008. Go to to read what others are saying about the impact Manager Tools has had on their careers and lives.


  • Change Leadership, What's My Visual - Part 2


    In this cast, we conclude our conversation about beginning change efforts in any organization

  • Change Leadership, What's My Visual - Part 1


    This cast describes how to begin any effort to change an organization.

  • Project Manager One on Ones - Part 2


    The conclusion of our discussion on Project Manager One on Ones.

  • Project Manager One on Ones - Part 1


    This cast explains the basics of how to have One on Ones with project team members  who do not report to you.

  • Phone One on Ones


    We've said it a hundred times, but we've never covered the basics of HOW to conduct a One on One on the phone. Clearly it works - Mark has shared that over half of the O3s he's done have been over the phone. Here's how.

  • Coaching the Meeting Delegation- Part 2


    This cast concludes our discussion on how to coach one of our directs on how to run our staff meeting which we have delegated to them.

  • Coaching the Meeting Delegation- Part 1


    This cast describes how to coach one of our directs on how to run our staff meeting which we have delegated to them.

  • Staff Meeting Delegation and Succession Planning


    This cast describes how to delegate running your staff meeting as part of succession planning.

  • One Less Thing - Free Up Your Calendar


    This cast describes an executive priority management technique - One Less Thing - to free up your calendar.

  • The Feedback Continuum


    This cast describes how to give negative feedback in an escalating way, over time, to improve performance.

  • Systemic Feedback


    What do we do when we've tried giving negative feedback but it doesn't seem to be working? We've given repeated instances of feedback, and yet we don't see a change in a direct's behavior? We give systemic feedback. And it's easy to give - it's just the four step standard feedback model with a change in focus. If you already know how to give standard feedback, systemic feedback is simple to implement...yet its simplicity belies its power. Really well delivered systemic feedback is exceptionally hard to ignore, and lays excellent groundwork for further efforts if the direct doesn't change his or her behavior.

  • Layoff Communications Part 1: Openly Confidential


    This cast how to talk about layoffs when they are being considered. Many managers are torn when it comes to layoffs. Most of us know that when they happen, they're probably inevitable. We understand that layoffs are often a painful necessity (even though they're an admission of failure). We also know that the thought, rumor, or knowledge of layoffs is likely to create questions from our team. Just a rumor of a rumor will induce fear. So what are the rules about communicating about layoffs? What do we say when asked? How should we say it? Can we lie?

  • Bad Boss #1 - When You Have Directs


    Most of us, when we have an angry and demeaning boss, tend to worry about ourselves first. We have to deal with most of the yelling, and most of the abuse. But if we have directs, we've got an additional responsibility. And our directs may be somewhat sheltered, but our boss can be REALLY threatening and fear‐inducing. We have a relationship of SOME sorts with this bad boss. But it's likely our directs ONLY see our boss at his or her worst. And, we almost always underestimate how much more fear our directs feel for their "skip‐boss" than we do. We've got to talk to our directs about this kind of boss, in a professional way, and we've got to have a consistent approach for dealing with the problems an angry and demeaning boss creates for our team. Here's how.

  • Deciding Between Two Good Candidates


    This cast describes how to decide between two good candidates in a hiring situation. We're NOT going to tell everyone who's trying to decide between two candidates whom they should pick. What we are going to do with this cast is tell you what factors are most effective in determining whom to hire, as well as walking you through a simple process for the decision.

  • The Heart of Feedback


    This cast describes behaviors for managers to engage in to ensure that they deliver feedback ethically and professionally. Mark recently had an experience that was somewhat chilling for him. He was talking to a manager who wanted to show him how good he was at improving. This was a High D, forceful manager who described himself as "a recovering jerk". He was following the Manager Tools Feedback Model, but wasn't getting results? Why is that? Because he was violating the purpose of feedback, to encourage effective behavior. Feedback that meets the purpose of feedback must come from a positive place, from emotions of love and not fear, of respect and not intimidation. We have a series of recommendations for all of us to do before we give feedback, so that we all stay mindful of WHY we're giving feedback, and what its purpose is: to encourage effective behavior.

  • Effective Meetings - No Laptops


    This cast describes why and how to run your meetings without laptops. For our original cast on the Effective Meetings Protocol, check out "Effective Meetings - Get Out of Jail!"

  • The Starter Feedback Model - Part 2


    In this cast, we complete our 2-part series on the Starter Feedback Model, an EVEN SIMPLER method for delivering feedback.

  • The Starter Feedback Model - Part 1


    This cast describes an EVEN SIMPLER method for delivering feedback to help those managers who are struggling to implement it.

  • How To Handle Two Viable Job Candidates


    This cast describes what to do when a manager has two candidates for a job that meet the standard, but you can only offer one candidate.

  • Manager Tools ONE DAY Effective Manager Conference Washington DC Area


    March 24, 2009 - Embassy Suites Dulles - North/Loudon We’re pleased to offer you the first ever opportunity to attend a ONE DAY Effective Manager Conference (EMC) on March 24th in the Washington DC area.

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