*2fers – Getting two for the price of one.

I recently saw an advertisement for “how to tone your muscles and get in shape while just doing your normal daily routine, be it brushing your teeth or watching Oprah.” Wow!  So I can get toned and ready for my day all at the same time?  Sign me up!

Buy One Get Free Price Tag Sale Special PromotionIt may sound a little too good to be true, but it reminded me of when I used to ride my bike to and from work. I loved feeling like I was “getting away” with working my exercise into something that I had to do anyway – commute!  And I found it easier to keep up since I didn’t have to make the special effort to go to the gym or carve out extra time.

And then that made me think … take a little bit of a leap with me here …. that this is also what great management is all about – getting a 2fer by incorporating great people management into everyday work.

Many times we view management as an added responsibility on top of getting our real work done – those employee 1:1’s that “sometimes” take place, the dreaded performance appraisal meetings at the end of the year – but great managers really know how to integrate people management into their daily work.

For example, one of my favorites is answering an employee “I’m stuck” question with “What do you think you should do?” This will get to the “what to do,” while also teaching how to think out the issues first before just asking; stretching the employee to come up with a solution for a work situation not experienced before; and coaching to help think through the pros and cons of each possibility.   On the other hand, if you had just answered their original “I’m stuck” question, as many of us do, your solution would have been carried out without any additional gain from the learning opportunities.

So here are some Management 2fers that I can think of – can you think of anymore?


2fer Action: Ask “What do you think you should do?” when an employee asks you how to do something.

2fer Results: Question Solution and ….

Independent Thinking


Pros and Cons

Problem Solving


2fer Action: Structure your employee 1:1’s as a formal presentation of project status made to you by them.

2fer Results: Project Update and ….

More complete information

Employee Preparation

Presentation Skills

Ownership of Work

Project Management


2fer Action: Have employees come up with their next week’s goals at the end of each 1:1.

2fer Results: Weekly Work Plan and …

Meaningful goals



Better Results


2fer Action: When assigning employees a project, ask them to develop a timeline plan for how they will accomplish it.

2fer Results: Project Assignment and …

Project management



Goal Setting

Performance Management


2fer Action: Take each of your employees to lunch once a quarter to discuss how the job is going and what you both could do to make it better.

2fer Results: Lunch and …

Relationship Building

Career Development


Idea generation

Managing up



Performance Management


2fer Action: Do debriefs after completion of a project.

2fer Results: Project Analysis and …


Lessons learned for the future

Process Improvement

Performance Management


2fer Action: Have employees formally present back to their co-workers the learning’s they gained from a conference or seminar they recently attended.

2fer Results: New Knowledge and …

Note taking

Presentation Skills

Learning Reinforcement

Shared knowledge for others


2fer Action: Rotate the agenda, minute taking, time management, facilitation, and follow-up responsibilities at meetings.

2fer Results: Meeting Completed and …

Increased skill building

Good habits

More productive meetings

Shared accountability


Better results


And the great thing is – if you incorporate great people management into everyday work activities you will also get a 3fer – enthusiastic, engaged, productive employees!


So what do you think – let’s keep the list going!

What Management 2fers can you think of?

What Management 2fers have you used?

What was the result?


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