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How to be reassuring

If I had to pick my top five things for any manager to do better, “be reassuring to anxious high performers” would probably not make the list. I’m not sure how many managers would even know who fit that profile since we all try so hard every day to show them that WE GOT THIS. But that’s also kind of why I think we should just do it all the time anyway. Providing reassurance is such an easy win for any manager. Everyone benefits.

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Yes, we do mean *weekly* 1-on-1s

They should be at least 30 minutes, because that’s how long a decently meaningful conversation takes. And: they should not focus on status updates or project deliverables. That’s what all those other meetings are for.

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How to panic

Today’s about a very specific kind of panic that we thought was maybe too specific to write about until we each kept coming up with example after example after example of it happening. I think of it as “third-party panic” — where you unexpectedly get swept into someone else’s freak out and wham-o, you’re suddenly co-piloting the panic rocket.

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Our essential resume and cover letter tips

Resumes and cover letters are really, really hard. They are two super-specific, totally unique genres of writing that we have to master in order to prove we are qualified at some completely different set of skills. It’s like having the first round of a trout-fishing contest be an essay test.

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Two questions about productivity

The first: How do I figure out if my report’s lack of productivity is my fault or theirs?

The second: My team is working with a contractor who is spending about three times as long as we all predicted to do his work. The quality of the work is fine, and he’s not missing any deadlines, but he’s burning through hours like crazy. How do I ask him to work faster?

Let’s see if we can answer both of these at once. 

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