My team doesn’t talk in meetings

When I hear a manager wants someone on their team to speak up in meetings, my first instinct is to say, “Absolutely! Have you tried this or this or this?” Then another part of me says, “Wait. Why do they need to speak up in meetings? Is there another way to achieve what you want to achieve?”

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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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How to onboard a new hire

These days, we both use a 30/60/90-day framework for onboarding new hires — a document that describes where we want a new hire to be by the end of each month, and what we think it will take to get them there.

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Can Mandatory Fun be fun?

Our biggest advice to managers: you don’t have to host Mandatory Fun. That said, we both really like having fun at work. These are the five questions we ask ourselves when we’re evaluating things that are supposed to be fun.

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How long will it take?

The ability to perceive time — in other words: know how long something takes — is one of those very basic Boss Skills that you’re just supposed to “know how to do.” The same way you’re supposed to just “know how to budget for retirement.” Folks, this is a learned skill.

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