Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Do I Hear You Now?

Good managers are almost always excellent listeners. They master the art of “active listening.” 

Active listening is not:

  • Simply being quiet while the speaker talks
  • Deciding how you’re going to respond when it’s your turn
  • Looking for a flaw in their message

Active listening has four parts:

  1. Listening to really understand what’s being said
  2. Paraphrasing what you’ve heard (by putting their words into your words
  3. Describing how they appear to be feeling about what they’re talking about
  4. Checking to see if you’ve got it right. 

George comes to you one day, and says…

“The oleo ophelia let kalkdh ieht woietoihsa  ie thieia ihahagle!”

As an active listener, you would respond with something like this: 

“George, it sounds like you think there are som e inequities in the new scheduling process. Looks like you’re pretty upset with it and it’s made you angry. Is that about right?”

If George says, “Yes, that’s it exactly,” you listened very well. If George says, “Nope, what I’m saying is that it’s really hard to adapt to the new scheduling process on top of all the other changes going on!” you could try it again: 

“George, it sounds like you’re struggling with all the changes we’re going through, and the new scheduling process may be the straw that is breaking your back. You appear to be really frustrated. Have I got it this time?” 

George says, “Yep!”

At this point, you have three valuable things:

  1. An employee who feels heard – which is what most employees say is one of the most important characteristics they want from their manager
  2. Clarity about the issue at hand, and
  3. A starting point for good problem-solving or conflict resolution.

Active listening is a skill, and we can all get better at it with practice. It takes consciously pausing when someone speaks, focusing on them (and not your response), and a willingness to get it wrong occasionally. It’s worth devoting some reflection on your active listening skills, and, if needed, spending some time learning to do it better. 

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.