How to ask questions you would never (or could never) ask

Reading Time: 5 minutes TLDR? You can listen to a summary of the post on our recent podcast, but for more detail, keep reading! What would it be like if we asked our team members, or our managers, the questions we REALLY want to ask? And what if they could think about the answers before answering them? In other […]

Art of the One-on-One: What They’re For (and Not For)

Reading Time: 7 minutes Have you ever found yourself wondering what the point of a one-on-one meeting is? You might have heard about how they’re supposedly the secret sauce to great management, but getting your reports to talk is like pulling teeth, and the experience usually just feels like a glorified status update. If that sounds familiar, it’s most […]

How to encourage struggling high-performing employees

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s happened to all of us. No matter how productive we usually are, even the most consistent high-performing employee struggles from time to time. So as a manager, how do you help your team member get out of their rut? Start with encouragement Over the years I have had several opportunities to engage with team […]

Candid Feedback for Managers: Why You Need It and How to Get it

Reading Time: 6 minutes There’s a famous cautionary tale about how important it is for leaders to solicit candid feedback from the people around them: It’s called The Emperor’s New Clothes. The moral of the story is that it’s dangerous (and dangerously easy) for people in authority to insulate themselves from negative feedback, so they wind up looking…a little […]

How One on One Meetings Help You Give a Great Performance Review

Reading Time: 7 minutes Even a mediocre performance review is difficult to produce if you don’t have information to write something meaningful. But if you want to give a GREAT performance review it’s essential that you have information that helps your team member feel noticed, encouraged, challenged and known. But what’s the best way to prepare to have a […]

Conflict Management Skills Managers Can Learn From Hostage Negotiators

Reading Time: 11 minutes TLDR? You can listen to a summary of the post on our recent podcast, but for more detail, keep reading! Almost no one likes dealing with conflict at work (unless you’re a professional wrestler or a trial lawyer). But for managers, conflict resolution is part of the job description. Despite this, few managers feel confident […]

How Managers Can Recognize and Retain Top Performers

Reading Time: 6 minutes Chances are, the top 20% of your team accounts for 80% of your output. Think about that for a second. Imagine working on a group project where a single person was doing 80% of the work. What if that person quits a few hours before the deadline? That’s the risk you take when you don’t […]

The Brutal Economics of Disengaged Employees

Reading Time: 6 minutes There are few issues more disheartening and frustrating for managers than employee disengagement. A team member who’s lost their spark can bring down the entire team. Moreover, it feels like a personal failure for managers. Employee disengagement is a personal subject, but it’s also a universal one, with enormous financial costs. According to 2017 research […]

How to defeat the humiliation of ignorance – with trust

Reading Time: 6 minutes This week I had an enlightening conversation with one of my team members. A brilliant engineer, we talked about how difficult it can be in a work environment (in any environment, really) to be honest about the things you don’t know. Admitting you don’t know something can open you up to ridicule, condescension, humiliation or […]

3 Big Challenges in Managing Remote Employees (And How I Solved Them)

Reading Time: 6 minutes Everything I know about managing remote employees, I learned the hard way. From my first taste in the ’90s, which nearly scared me off remote workplaces for good, to a recent experience in which I had no choice but to manage from a distance, I’ve had decades of practice figuring out what works and what […]