By Bruce Tulgan – Each person is different. There are six questions managers need to answer about each employee in order to know how to manage that person. What if you’re not a manager? Consider asking yourself these questions to figure out how to manage yourself better.

3 replies
  1. Dale
    Dale says:

    This was an excellent, common sense (which isn’t so common) tutorial on managing the individual. What I particularly like about it is that while on the surface it appears simple, it implicitly requires documentation of one’s actions/plans relative to one’s team/direct reports. I guess, my only question is how is this best done – timewise, and functionally? Should it be reviewed monthly, more or less often? Also, should it be part of the “secret” files a manager keeps on each employee? Should it be done at all? What is your recommendation?

  2. Bruce Tulgan
    Bruce Tulgan says:

    Thanks for the comments and questions. The best way to do documentation is before, during and after conversations with employees; when performance is going right, wrong, or average; all the time. You need a system that works for you. Some managers keep a notebook in their back pocket. Some use relationship management software and a little database of their employees, in which you can make ongoing notes that are date/time stamped, in which each data record becomes your ongoing tracking system. Whatever you do, if you are in a large company, call someone in hr and ask for some guidance: they’ll help you make sure to do it right, to dot your Is and cross your Ts. The key is to keep running notes all the time about expectations set (goals, deadlines, guidelines/parameters) and performance observed (real concrete actions) directly or indirectly. Describe, describe, describe. Don’t write a book. Just make good notes on an ongoing basis. This becomes a detailed contemporaneous record. And I think you should let employees know that you are documenting performance every step of the way. Maybe the employee should start writing down some of this stuff too!!! I hope that helps.

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