Navigating the path to each employee’s success is not trivial and requires a commitment to be patient, dedication to push ahead despite failures and devising unique ways to inspire and bring out the best in every individual. One-on-one meetings is a slow process, but done right it can be your ultimate advantage as a manager
Snap judgments without careful consideration rules our workplaces and our lives. Fundamental attribution error or attribution bias makes us attribute a person’s behaviour to their character without taking into account the limitations and constraints within which the person might be operating
We all face multiple conflicts at work, but it’s the conflict with the boss that can be our biggest source of stress and exhaustion at work. Does your manager push your buttons, takes away your high hopes, crushes your desire to be innovative and refrains you from producing your best work. Are they a micromanager?
How can we transform from the command and control style to leveraging the power of self-direction that energizes and engages people? Empowering teams by giving up control is not easy. The fear that others are not capable and lack the required amount of clarity to make the best decision interferes with our ability to relinquish control
Is motivation a state of mind or a muscle we need to build? Lack of motivation is not lack of information, it’s the lack of behaviour to put that knowledge to use. Only the act itself can set motivation flywheel in action. It can turn impossible to possible. We do not fear failure once we learn to find pleasure in trying.
In a culture where title carries more weight than the desire to do your best work, staying in a position for long is considered a sign of incompetence and promotions are a means to drive authority and exert influence, the classic Peter principle comes into play
Should we agree to disagree or disagree and commit? Agree to disagree stems from a negative mindset of right vs wrong, us vs them and can make us adopt dismissive behaviour and ignore the decision. Disagree and commit divulges the importance of commitment despite our differences
How can we learn to lead with questions and not answers, shift from giving advice to gaining insight, and from knowing to learning through others? Leading with open ended questions develops innovators, deep thinkers and decision-makers who consider not knowing as an opportunity to build new skills
Difficult people push our buttons by acting in undesirable ways. Their behaviour gives us permission to pass judgement and offload responsibility by blaming them. Is it really in our best interest to navigate our lives by blaming them, holding them responsible for not reaching our goals and pretending that we didn’t succeed because of some mean co-workers
What do we do when things do not turn out as intended? Applying Hanlon’s razor can open our mind to seek alternate views instead of assuming bad intention, shift our perspective from a negative frame of mind to a positive one, from shutting down communication to actively engage and blaming others to finding solutions together
Do you tend to solve problems in your head instead of putting them to action? There’s a fine line between thinking and thinking too much. Overthinking can make us obsess about the problem instead of finding solutions, bind our mental frame to seek negative and get stuck in analysis paralysis with the desire to find a perfect solution
When confronted with information that challenges your personal narrative, are you curious about the new information and use that to update your beliefs or do you give in to confirmation bias and find ways to reject the evidence that contradicts your assumptions and look for information that strengthens your point of view
Do you let hierarchy magnify the distance that you have from your people, especially those who do not report to you. How do you learn about the issues that impact people on a day-to-day basis? Skip-level meetings are powerful conversations that can give you access to the personal map every person uses to navigate the organisation
When you are part of a group, do you speak up and voice your opinion or avoid criticism and choose a path of less conflicts. When popularity takes priority over individual responsibility, people develop a tendency to conform to ideas that lead to conservative thinking and make decisions with incomplete and biased information leading to groupthink
Why do strategy and tactics belong together? Strategy without tactics is intent without action while effort spent in planning that does not originate from a specific strategy is keeping busy without clarity on what you are trying to accomplish
Do you believe in a fixed mindset which is constrained by beliefs and thoughts or a growth mindset which finds freedom through learning? While giving up might be easy with fear of failure, persevering despite failures helps us progress in the direction of our goals
How can we be deliberate in our choices to do effective work more efficiently? Productivity demands shifting our focus from obsessing about the outcome to the system, the process to achieve that outcome
While making decisions, how often do we optimize for long term gain at the cost of short term pain? A good process for making decisions requires second order thinking which unravels the implications of our decisions by thinking about its consequences in the future
As a new manager do you watch out for mistakes? The excitement of the new job along with the commotion of its demands will cause you to make mistakes. Without the mindset to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them, you cannot approach this role with openness and curiosity
Do you take charge of your own growth by managing up or believe it’s your managers responsibility to enable trust, build a strong rapport with you, give you work that will help you shine and remove all barriers that can impede your success at work. How do you see the other side of this bi-directional relationship?
Are you leading from fear? As a leader, you may believe that you do not lead from fear, but have you taken time to reconcile reality. Are you willing to let go of your ego and develop leadership skills and qualities that make people want to follow you?
Management is a choice. Embracing it for the right reasons requires reasoning with self, questioning our thoughts, staying true to how we feel about the role and then making a conscious decision. If you really want to be a manager, explore possibilities and understand its unique challenges
Do you consciously opt out of the drama triangle and assume responsibility? Learning to shift the dynamics from drama to empowerment is of crucial importance since it moves the culture of the organisation from finding problems to creating solutions
How do you turn a group of strangers into a team which is united by common goals and empowered to succeed? Navigating friction requires understanding different stages of the team development to help the team move across these stages with leadership and guidance
In times of uncertainty when there’s little clarity on how the events will unfold, fear and worry of the unknown can consume us. Risk of business and personal lives in such surreal circumstances can cause feelings of fear, helplessness, anger and stress. Learning to lead through a crisis will require people to step up in their roles and lead others through unsettling and uncertain times
Thinking opposite of what we desire is not natural. Inversion mental model provides an objective way to explore the problem by thinking the opposite of what we seek. Going beyond our limitation requires questioning our existing beliefs and assumptions to uncover new possibilities and establish a better perspective to our original question with greater clarity and understanding.
Mentor mentee relationship is a beautiful orchestration between two parties built on trust. It’s an incredible experience effective in shaping learning and growth. Mentoring is a true meeting of the minds that requires commitment to hold each other accountable, respect and openness to share ideas and perspectives and engage in meaningful goals
Feedback culture built on the principles of openness and growth can give way to a feedback rich environment where employees feel safe to voice opinions and take charge of their own growth by giving and seeking feedback. The desire to work better and improve together shifts the mindset from one of fear to one of growth.
Given a complex solution with multiple assumptions and a simple solution with less assumptions, which one will you choose? Occam’s razor is a problem solving principle and a mental model that’s highly relevant in fast moving and highly competitive work environments. Learn why simple is hard and how simple solution to a problem is usually the correct one
Do you negotiate using your story or understanding other’s truths? Is negotiation a game of power. What role do our biases and emotions play in the way we negotiate and the outcome we achieve. Learn how to use negotiation as a powerful tool for effective collaboration and create win-win solutions at work
Engineering management is a discipline, a subjective practice that’s hard to quantify. It requires a mindset shift from doing to enabling others. While there’s no one answer to all the problems an engineering manager faces at the workplace, learning about the basic building blocks can help people improve and find their own management style
Do you start with the limitations or think of the possibilities. First principles thinking embraces a new mindset that shifts our thinking from exploring variations of existing solutions to creating a new recipe from the fundamental truth. Learn how it is the most powerful form of thinking to keep you one step ahead and plan and build for the future
Right talent is the most valuable resource and asset of any organisation. As humans continue to be the future of work, creating a structured interview process which is consistent and repeatable is crucial to objectively assess the candidate, provide superior candidate experience and drive results
Leaders who find time to create the right balance of effectiveness and efficiency determine what needs to be done first and then find a way to do it efficiently. They look beyond the bounds of the organisation with the desire for a better future laying down future strategy that leads to growing people and business
Can we be curious like a child without burdening ourselves with the image we have created. Imposter syndrome can help us find a new reality by questioning our ideas, knowledge and beliefs and confront our own feelings. Learning to deal with the inner self, its struggles and conflict and not put them aside can turn anxiety, unworthiness into a desire to do better and strive for more
Are you solving the urgent or planning for the important. Do you think strategically and prioritise work that avoids tomorrow’s crisis or too busy solving the problems of yesterday that there’s no time to create a better future. Find out how to prioritise, master productivity and create win win situations at work by putting eisenhower matrix to use
Leaders with self awareness and willingness to learn and change can be a powerful force of a successful company or the ones with closed mindedness and sense of superiority reason for its downfall. Recognise, reconcile reality and take charge of your blind spots
How does workplace culture give way to inflexible working environments. Can we provide flexibility in the workplace where trust is the basis of all work and employees feel committed to company’s success and growth
How do we learn how to learn? Breaking mental barriers to self directed learning is possible with a shift in mindset. It starts with the belief that you can learn.
Learn how to turn a powerhouse of cross functional teams to enable effective collaboration and achieve 10x better results through empowerment and open communication
Difficult conversations are reality of a workplace, an opportunity to do better. Yet we avoid them. Learn how to have meaningful conversations without the stress and build trust with people at work.
It is very easy to say YES. It takes strength and leadership to say NO. Doing one thing right is better than doing many things wrong. Learn WHY to SAY NO, WHEN to SAY NO and HOW to SAY NO
Is there power in observation and listening before acting. Is first one-on-one meeting important? Learn how to set the foundation and build strong relationships with people at work.
Do we listen to understand or listen to speak. Is it merely listening or a way of learning? This article embarks on my journey to Active Listening and the profound learning in the process.