9 Lessons for the First-Time Manager
If the work is reported to be ok or fine by your subordinates, maybe you need to dig in deep and probe more.
The employee reporting to you may be struggling and not providing the true details of the situation.
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It pays to highlight the strength an employee brings and then to work on minimizing the weak aspects. Start and work with the impact and value the employee is making to your team.
Ownership and accountability need to be defined so that your team knows who is responsible for what.
Instead of the sandwich approach to provide feedback, try to be direct and dispassionate.
Get a nod or a confirmation on the feedback that is delivered, so that it is clear and the employee hasn't taken away something unexpected or unintended from your conversation.
Diversify work within the team so that the long term and short term goals are both taken care of.
Instead of hanging on to a bad fit, and prolonging the support to employees who are struggling, it is better to let them go.
Have goal-oriented and clear meetings, only when it is important and necessary.
Show that you trust your team by delegating work and giving people big problems to solve.
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The goal of an effective 1:1 is not an update from your direct report or for you to lay down some instructions. It's a conversation. It's a chance to hear about your direct reports' ideas for your product, their career goals, and possibly their opinion of their performance.
Keep a list of three potential topics ready for discussion. When they say they have nothing to discuss, you can jumpstart the conversation with one of your items.
Your most precious resource is your own time and energy. When you spend it on your team, it helps build healthy relationships.
Your job as a manager isn't to give advice or 'save the day.'' It's to empower your reports to find the answer themselves. If you want to understand what's going on, ask. Let her lead the conversation while you listen and probe.
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