I've been listening to a podcast called Manager Tools. I really appreciate the advice that they give out (for free!) but sometimes it really irritates me too.
For instance, the most recent cast I listened to is from September 2005 (seriously, the cast is so good that I decided to go back to the beginning and start from there) titled "Got Email?"
Four actions are identified as necessary for managing your email.
- Check email three times a day.
- Schedule the time on your calendar to check.
- Don't answer email while someone is standing in front of you.
- Use filters to automatically sort email.
My company relies heavily on email. Way too heavily. I'm a culprit too, but I've found that if I don't email it, I later don't have "proof" that I did said action. The recommendation is to have face time or utilize voice mail. If I did that, I'd seldom accomplish anything since people are much more likely to check and respond to emails.
As much as I enjoy the podcast, I wonder, as a non-manager, how can I implement some of the ideas that I do like? It is frustrating.
My other problem with face-to-face meetings is the recommendation of some "chit-chat" about family and life outside of work. I used to be in a spot where one person did this, right before unloading his request. It felt more like buttering up -- Look at me, I'm the nice guy that cares about your family! -- instead of building a relationship.
Maybe it was me. Maybe my perception is screwy from my years of emailed messages.
But it is definitely food for thought. And some day, I just might find myself in a position to make some changes.