Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Jump into a PIT to start your meetings well…

Carol was complaining that it too long for her staff meetings to get focused. As her meetings began, she noticed people engaged in small talk and side conversations, talking about issues outside the meeting agenda, or even appearing to be day-dreaming. She wanted her meetings to be more efficient and more effective.

My guess is that her meetings, like so many business meetings, simply kicked off with the meeting leader saying, “Okay, let’s get started.” Problem is people may not be psychologically ready to start. Their bodies are “here,” but their minds are somewhere out “there.”

A simple technique to help people transition from “there” to “here” is to use a “check in” before tackling the first item on the agenda. While there are dozens of check ins available in handbooks for meeting facilitators, here’s one I particularly like.

It’s called PIT. The acronym stands for:

  • Personal
  • Interpersonal
  • Task

Each participant is invited to offer a brief comment in any of these three areas before the group tackles the agenda. If Carol introduced this process to her meetings, she might hear comments like these:

Just to let you all know, I’ve got a dentist appointment at 4 p.m. (Personal)

Jack, thanks for getting that info to me so promptly. Saved my butt! (Interpersonal)

Carol, I see you’ve allotted only ten minutes for the third agenda item on the new schedule. Given what I have prepared, can we make that twenty minutes? (Task)

Not everyone will have something to say in all three areas – but they do have the time to say what needs to be said before the meeting begins. They can consciously let go of what’s happening outside the meeting, and focus on the business at hand.

PIT can be done in five minutes or less. And, as the group becomes familiar with PIT, it will go even more quickly. The result will be a group that comes together, shares a bit of what’s going on outside the scope of the meeting, and then gets down to work with everyone on the same page.

Check Ins are a good example of slowing down to move more quickly.

“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.