Hello everyone! Can you believe we're already a quarter of the way through 2023 ? It's a bit startling, isn't it? We've taken some time to reflect and improve our newsletter to make it the best it can be. Moving forward, we'll be bringing you more frequent updates.
In this week's issue, we'll discuss how to ask for feedback as a leader and protect your time.
The Making of a ManagerInsights from Julie Zhuo
Alright, let’s start by shining a spotlight on a management book that stands out from the crowd called "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You” by Julie Zhou. Its popularity lies in its actionable tips and advice you can immediately implement when leading a team. In the book, Julie is candid about her fears, uncertainties, and mistakes throughout her management journey. By embracing vulnerability, she demonstrates that it's natural to make mistakes and crucial for growth. Here are some of our favorite parts/quotes that stood out to us:
Your job, as a manager, is to get better outcomes from a group of people working together.
Your role as a manager is not to do the work yourself, even if you are the best at it, because that will only take you so far. Your role is to improve the purpose, people, and process of your team to get as high a multiplier effect on your collective outcome as you can.
Today, my job looks very different than when I started. Every time I’ve given a piece of it away, I’ve discovered that there was ever more to take on. As long as you continue to be motivated by your purpose, as long as your aspirations extend beyond what your team is currently capable of, as long as you can see new challenges on the horizon, then there’s opportunity for you to have more impact. Often, this means doing new things that you’re not very good at yet.
The best outcomes come from inspiring people to action, not telling them what to do.
How Leaders Can Get the Feedback They Need to GrowInsights from Kim Scott, Liz Fosslien, and Mollie West Duffy
In times of uncertainty, it may seem comforting to shy away from challenging feedback. However, establishing stability for your team and achieving success within your organization hinges on your ability to recognize areas for improvement. Here are some tips from Kim, Liz, and Mollie:
1. Embrace feeling “negative” emotions — often.While it's natural to prefer praise over criticism in the realm of productivity and teamwork, relying solely on positive feedback can blind us to areas that require improvement. It's essential to actively seek out constructive criticism, as "bad news" actually becomes "good news" when it leads to personal growth and enhanced team dynamics.
2. Have a go-to question.To foster psychological safety and promote open communication, establish a go-to question that's personalized, consistent, and encompasses these three elements:
- The question cannot be answered with a yes or a no
- Your question must sound like you
- Your question must be adapted for the person you’re talking to
3. Embrace the other person’s discomfort.Embrace discomfort when soliciting feedback. Remain silent after asking your go-to question to allow the other person time to reflect and respond.
4. Listen to understand, not to respond.To gain valuable insights from feedback, avoid being defensive and prioritize understanding over reacting.
5. Close the loop: Make your listening tangible.Foster continuous feedback, follow up and share the actions taken based on the feedback that you get. Outline the steps to be taken without making unrealistic promises. If you’re unable to act, communicate the reasons why and keep the feedback in mind. Silence after feedback is perceived as indifference. Remember that communication is essential.
6. Make giving feedback — not venting — a team habit.Make giving feedback a team habit where people feel safe giving it directly instead of going to a third party, as this can create long-term issues.
4 Ways Leaders Can Protect Their Time and Empower Their TeamsInsights from Maura Thomas
Being in a leadership role often means that your time is constantly in demand which doesn’t leave much room for reflective thinking or important work. Here are four strategies to manage your team while creating space for undistracted thinking time:
1. Mentor in hindsightMentoring is an important role of leadership. Not only does it helps employees to advance within the organization, but it also creates a culture of continuous learning and growth.
2. Create boundaries for decision-makingEstablishing decision-making boundaries is crucial in ensuring your team understands their roles and responsibilities within the company, allowing them to navigate and make decisions confidently. Doing so creates a sense of clarity that can lead to creative thinking in unpredictable situations.
3. Have regular meetings with direct reports and designated times for othersSetting dedicated times in your calendar to meet with your team empowers them, reduces interruptions, and boosts employee engagement.
4. Be available less oftenLeaders who make themselves constantly available to their team can inadvertently disempower them and reinforce a behavior loop of constantly bringing problems to them for solutions. This behavior might seem innocent initially, but it isn't. As a leader, you must trust your team's judgment to handle problems independently.
Fresh out of the oven, Notion released their newest feature yesterday - Wikis and Verified Pages! This update is perfect for companies who want to keep their important information in one centralized location. Along with the new Wiki database, they added a new property called “Verify,” which makes it a breeze to see which pages are up to date. Click here to learn more about it.
Image by Lizand Mollie
That's it for this week's issue! We hope these insights and tactics inspire you to reach new heights in productivity and your team. Stay tuned for more practical tips in our next issue, and remember, if you like what you read, share it with someone you think might also like it.
Until next time,
Enjoyed the read? Subscribe for more 👇