What Great Managers Do Differently | Melissa Guller | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction: Management vs. Leadership


    • 2.

      Transitioning from Contributor to Manager


    • 3.

      Influence: Why Do People Follow You?


    • 4.

      Motivation: Understanding Your Team


    • 5.

      Creating a ROADMAP: Setting Goals & Hitting Them


    • 6.

      Develop Your People with Management Mirroring


    • 7.

      When and How to Delegate


    • 8.

      Performance Management: Feedback & Tough Conversations


    • 9.

      What To Do When Things Go Wrong (Or Right!)


    • 10.

      Meetings with a Purpose


    • 11.

      How to Run an Awesome Team That Scales


    • 12.

      Conclusion: The Manager's Purpose


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About This Class

Think about your favorite manager of all time. What was their secret? Which skills separated them from the bosses, teachers, or even coaches you couldn’t stand? And how can you quickly master those skills to become the manager employees are clamoring to work for?

You're about to find out.

Join Melissa Guller (Head of Marketing Engagement at Teachable & 5-Star General Assembly Instructor) for a hands-on course about what great managers do differently.

In this short video training, you'll discover:

  • Why being a top individual contributor doesn't automatically make you a good manager (and how to transition like a pro)
  • Melissa's 7-point ROADMAP framework for achieving - not just setting - your biggest goals
  • The Management Mirroring technique to develop your people and unlock each team member's full potential
  • The right way to share feedback with your team (including the type hardly any managers use correctly)
  • The meetings and systems you need to run a successful, energized team that can scale
  • The secret to building influence and getting huge results, and the ultimate goal that all managers share

Whether you're a new manager or a seasoned vet, you’ll walk away with a clear action plan for managing a happy, top-performing team. If that seems intimidating, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through everything step by step.

Let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Melissa Guller

Course Creation Expert @ Wit & Wire



Hi there! I’m Melissa, former Teachable marketing director turned full-time course creator. I'm the CEO of Wit & Wire, where I help creators turn their skills and passions into profitable online businesses.

My goal is to clear the runway for great people to do great work, and I'm passionate about empowering others to succeed. I have a keen eye for problem-solving and creating efficient, replicable systems, and I enjoy thinking creatively and trying new things to support my students. Empathy and listening are my secret weapons, and I’ve become a go-to woman in every job I’ve held because I care not only about the right solution, but the right processes for the right people.


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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Management vs. Leadership: It's often said that people don't leave bad companies, they leave bad managers. I'm here today to help you become a great manager, the kind that employees are just clamoring to work for. My name is Melissa Gallagher and I'm a team manager for an incredible team, and I also teach at General Assembly and here on Skillshare. The reason I became a manager is because I really love helping others learn and grow, and maybe it's a little oldest child syndrome where I grew up always helping my two younger sisters and wanting to be a great role model for them, but I get such a deep satisfaction from knowing that I've helped someone else. Management gives me a really unique opportunity to find that genius in other people and help them grow and develop. So how can you take on what I've learned in my years as a manager and become a great manager yourself? Here are the objectives for today's course. First we'll start by talking about navigating the transition from being an individual team member to being a manager. Next we'll set goals using the roadmap framework and we'll also talk about how to develop your people using a technique called management mirroring. Then we'll get into conversations about how to delegate tasks, how to have tough conversations, and how to run a great day-to-day team with meetings that work, systems that hold up and processes that really support the way that your team works together. We'll wrap class by talking about the ultimate goal of management but we'll start here by talking about what management is. At the end of the day, management is a partnership. You're no longer an individual team member. So the way that we managers get things done is through and with others. It's all about partnering with your team and that may mean you need to wear different hats at different times. You might be a coach, a teacher. You may be a strategist. You may be down in the trenches with your people just getting things done as needed. You might be a therapist, you might be the party planner. You have all of these unique goals that you bring to the table as the manager and you set the tone for how this place feels to work for everyone on your team. I'm excited to jump into this class and teach all of you how to be great managers. Let's get started. 2. Transitioning from Contributor to Manager: People are promoted into management positions either because they are extremely talented or skilled, or maybe because they're a natural leader in their group. In either case, the role that you held before as a team member or an individual contributor, is a lot different from your new role as manager, where you're looking out for an entire team and your success as a group. Here are some of the differences between being an individual contributor and a manager that often go overlooked. As an individual contributor, you're responsible for doing the work. You're creating the graphic designs, you're writing the copy, you're the one in the trenches getting things done. You're no longer that person with all the talent and skill doing the work every day, you're thinking about what the whole team needs to accomplish. Before you may have been doing time management for yourself, now you're focusing more on resource management for the team. Both in terms of team members and also maybe time, skills, tools from other teams that you might need, everything that your team needs in order to run smoothly. As an individual contributor, you focus a lot on personal development. You want to grow your skills, contribute to the team, and take on more responsibilities. As a manager, although it's still important to hone your craft as the team leader, it's also important for you to focus on developing those around you. In her book Multipliers, Liz Wiseman talks about finding the genius in others. As a manager, it's so critical to watch, what are your team members great at? What do they have a natural aptitude toward? How can I find more work or development that would help them hone those skills? Before as an individual contributor, it was important for you to keep growing your skills, but now as a manager, you need to find ways to share knowledge. What's going on that other team members are doing exceptionally well that you should be sharing with the rest of the team? What are other teams or departments doing that your team should adopt? Before as an individual contributor, it's easy to keep a lot of knowledge to yourself because you want to be the best. It's understandable, it's competitive out there in the work environment today. But now as a manager, you really want to make sure that the best practices are shared widely through your team. Lastly, as a team member, you participate in the team culture. If your team uses Slack as a hangout or if everyone goes through a certain bar after work, or maybe there are certain icebreakers that your team does regularly, you actively participate in those ways that your team is uniquely yours. But now as a manager, it's within your control to develop your team's culture. How do you all work together? What do ice breakers or getting to know each other exercises look like? It's your responsibility to make sure that your team accurately reflects the team members, lastly, as a manager, you have a new responsibility. You're not on your own anymore, it's your job to mentor and teach others. Before when you were operating as an individual contributor, you had an amazing impact on the team and the company, but as a manager, we're one level up. You have an impact on not just the company, but also individuals, so as you navigate this transition, it's important to start thinking a little bit more strategically about those around you. 3. Influence: Why Do People Follow You?: A lot of us came into our management positions because we were natural leaders, or you've stepped into some kind of leadership role on our team. But there's a difference between being a leader and being a manager. A leader has a vision. They can see where the company will be in five years, or even where our team might need to be down the line later on this year. They set the vision and they ask, what's the goal? On the other hand, as managers, our job is to say, what's the plan? We are the action side, so we need to figure out what will it take to achieve leader's vision. As managers, we wear both of these hats at times, the leader and the manager. As a manager, you're no longer working on your own. Success comes from working through and with others, so it's important to know how to influence them. What makes someone follow you, and why would they want to follow your vision and your plan? There's something I'm calling the 4 T's of influence. When you first become a manager, you start at the first level, title. People follow you because you have to. You're the boss, so whatever you say goes. Unfortunately, although all great leaders start here, this is where a lot of bad leaders get stuck. They micromanage. They have the title, so they can do almost anything they want and you'll still have to follow their vision and plan. The next level of influence is trust. As you start working together with the people on your team, you will build trust and respect with everyone around you. This is where you have a nice rapport, people enjoy working together, and people really enjoyed being on your team. After trust, the next level is track record. This is where everyone comes together and you start seeing results. You're a proven success, and the way that your team is operating is leading to targets getting hit and teams kicking ass left and right. The last level of called teach and development. This is beyond just people getting along or you being able to hit a target. This is where you're developing future leaders, people who can take on ownership of their own piece of the puzzle and who will eventually move up and own teams of their own. This is the pinnacle where people really want to work for you, because not only are you building a great relationship, and not only do you have the company's interest in mind, but you also have them in mind, and it shows that you really care about moving their career forward. These 4 T's of influence are a great way to start at the first phase of title, and then slowly build trust, find success, and then develop others as you move through your career as a manager. 4. Motivation: Understanding Your Team: All of your team members are unique. It's important to understand not only what motivates them, but also how you can best work together. A great way to start this conversation is to ask them, what motivates you? Why are you in this career? Where do you see yourself headed in one-year, three-year, or even five-years? Why do you come into work every day? What gets you excited about this job? A great question I like to ask, is if you had unlimited time and money and failure was impossible, what would you do with your time? This releases people from all of the typical worries that stop them from pursuing their rock-star dreams, and perhaps you understand, what is it that you really want to do with your time? It may be that they're in the perfect career path now, or this might help you understand how this job fits into the bigger scheme of how they see their life. Once you understand what motivates your employees, you can work together to set mutual expectations for what working together looks like. As a pro tip, the best way to avoid conflict is to be crystal clear about your expectations. How do you guys prefer to work together? Where's the best place to communicate? What is my role, and what do you as my manager expect of me every quarter or every month? If we're on the same page, we know exactly where we're headed, and this helps us gear up for the next section about setting goals. 5. Creating a ROADMAP: Setting Goals & Hitting Them: The reason we set goals is to know where we're headed. This is the leadership aspect of being a manager, where we need to have a clear vision of where we're going so that our team can set a plan in order to get there. There's an often miss-step when we start talking about goals, which is to think about where's our company headed? What are the top priorities for our company, or maybe our team for this year and how can our department support those goals? By understanding where the big picture is headed. Now we can really focus in on what can we do to support that big mission. There's a framework I'd like to introduce called the road map framework. This addresses three of the top reasons why people don't often meet their goals. They're often unrealistic. They're not relevant to the big picture. Or you don't build in accountability either to your team or to even an external peer who can help you out. This road map framework includes not only where we're headed, but why we're going there. A plan to get there, and an accountability plan to keep us honest about achieving these big goals. Let's take a look at the framework together. Let's run through the road map one by one, and then we'll talk through an example. The first R is for relevant. Does this goal help us achieve something bigger that our company is working on? Is it relevant to the direction that we're headed as a group? O is for objective. This is what we're aiming for, but it's not necessarily within our control. You may have an objective to get a promotion, or to earn a certain amount of revenue for the year. But ultimately you can't wake up and just earn money. You need a plan to get you there. O is where we're headed. What would we like to see that will mark, our success at the end of the day. A is for attainable. It's important to really focus and only set one, or two road maps attainable, makes sure that within the whirlwind of everything we have going on in our day-to-day. This important goal is something that we can actually achieve. It's easy to want to dream really big and shoot for the stars. But by setting a goal that we know is attainable within the context of the rest of our job, we're much more likely to be successful. D is for a deadline. We know not only what we're doing, but when it needs to be done by. M is for measurement. If you were to lose weight as an example, it's easy to say, great, I've lost one pound, or I've lost a 100 pounds. Which of these is success to you? Without including that number? It's hard for you to know if you've actually hit your goal or not. We need to set a measurement for either dollars, people who have viewed our website, number of campaigns launched, whatever makes the most sense to you, as long as it's quantifiable. A is for accountability. This is something that a lot of goal-setting frameworks miss. Who is going to hold you accountable, and how often are you going to meet up? This might be your manager, or as a manager, it could be a peer or even a fellow manager at another company. This is a great opportunity to build a network of people around you who can hold you accountable and who you can also bounce ideas off of. The last letter is P, and this is your plan. What steps are you going to take in order to hit your objective. These are things within your control. Things like taking courses, building campaigns, writing, drying, designing, whatever your craft is. This is where you're going to spend that time building up a project plan to get things done. By using this road map framework, we're able to not only set a vision and direction, but also a plan and some accountability. Let's say that you are a sales manager and your team has an annual target of $1 million. The way you'll get there is calling 200 prospects a week and as a team, we are going to reflect once a month on our progress. Let's check this goal against the road map. First, is it relevant? This $1 million target will help our business move forward. This is something that the business needs to run and so our team is supporting the operations of the business by having a revenue target. Next is objective. Our sea level team has given us an objective to hit $1 million in sales. This is the number that we need in order to keep our business healthy. Our objective has been given to us. A is for Attainable. We've just hired a few new sales reps. We know that as a team, this is well within our reach to hit this $1 million target. We've also been given a deadline. We have until the end of the year to hit this target, and as a team, we may also agree on some milestones. Maybe at the end of each quarter, we want to make sure that we've hit $250 thousand. So we can break down this bigger goal into achievable milestones. M is for measurement. In this case, we know we want to hit that $1 million target. But maybe those milestones we talked about like $250 thousand per quarter is one measurement and as a team, we've also decided to make 200 calls per week. That's another way to measure our success. Are we hitting that number of calls each time? A is for accountability. This is why we have our monthly team meeting. We want to reflect on what happened in the previous month. If there was anything we did really well that we can take and now apply to the next month to continue our success. Lastly, we have P, the plan. Our plan is to make 200 calls per week, and depending on how many sales reps that breaks down to, it could be that we each make 40 calls a week. This is a really specific action plan and not only do we want to think about what we're going to do every day, but maybe we also need training programs that could be included in the plan as well. As you can see, this goal is crystal clear. It has a deadline, it has a measurement, it has built in accountability and we've done a check to make sure that it's relevant to our business. Now that you've learned the road map framework, it's time to apply it to your role as a manager. In the project for this course, you'll see that we ask you to set your own road map and then to check it against all the boxes. Make sure that it's relevant, has a deadline, is measurable and that you have somebody holding you accountable. Once you post your road map to the group, give some feedback. This is a great place to offer suggestions for other managers and to see what other people are working on. Enjoy working on your road map and we'll see you in the project. 6. Develop Your People with Management Mirroring: As a manager, it's easy to default to who's my superstar and who on my team needs some more development. Instead, I'm going to challenge you to start thinking about management as task-based. So as a pro tip, management is task-based. Your team members will need different levels of teaching or encouragement in different levels at different times. It's important to ask them, how well can you do this task? Or how confident do you feel about this task? By approaching management on this task or skill bases, it let's you really customize what kind of development your team member needs, and they will feel exactly the right level of direction. They won't feel micromanaged, but they also won't feel left in the dust. Let's talk about the difference between teaching and encouragement. The first question that you should ask yourself is, can I do this task? Maybe it's new to you. On the other hand, it could be something you've been doing for years. Based on how competent you are at the task, your manager should ask, how much teaching do you need? The mirror between task and teaching, go hand in hand. So if you feel really competent doing the task, I don't need to teach you how to do it. This is where micromanagers fall prey to over teaching when somebody already knows what they're doing. The next question to ask is am I enthusiastic? This doesn't just measure how confident I feel, but am I excited about the task? Do I understand why I'm doing it or am I dragging my feet about it? If I'm not enthusiastic, then my manager needs to mirror me and provide encouragement. Unlike teaching, this isn't about the how's of the task. This is more about why we're doing the task or reaffirming that I believe you're the right person for the job. So between these two questions, you can figure out, does your employee need training and teaching? Do they need encouragement? Do they need both? Or in some cases they might not need either one. Let's use an example of a customer service rep. They've been given the task of responding to a slightly more sensitive issue than they're used to dealing with. First, let's ask, can they do the task? This team member has answered tickets like this a 100 times, so they don't need to be taught how to respond to a ticket. That's something that they're really comfortable with. You don't need to mirror and provide teaching. The next question to ask is, are they enthusiastic about this task? Well, this team member has gotten this complaint a few times about this sensitive issue, and they don't really want to keep dealing with it. They don't like giving the response because people get really angry about this issue. So they are not feeling very enthusiastic about the task. It's up to you as a manager to mirror what they need and to provide them with encouragement. Explain why this is such an important ask and maybe work together to think of a few suggestions to build a response that they can use time and time again. That way they don't have to spend the energy crafting this same response when everyone really has that same court issue. Ultimately, this team member didn't need any teaching, but they did meet encouragement. By understanding their needs, you were able to speak to them in a language that made sense and provide exactly the right level of development. Let's take a closer look at what it means to teach or to encourage someone. Teaching means I'm offering you direction. How do you do this task? Let me provide steps to follow or a training plan. In this case, as the manager, I'm also going to make critical decisions about the task because you're new or you haven't done it successfully before. So I want to make sure that I'm providing key decisions so that we can move forward. It's also my responsibility to educate you on these new skills. That might mean that I'm teaching you or I need to find someone else who can, from our team or from somewhere else in the company. Lastly, it's up to me to find resources to help you. Resources could be time from another team member. It could be tools that you need, or it could even be money to get the job done. Whatever you need for this task. I need to teach you how to do it. Encouragement is slightly different and not frequently talked about. In the case of an employee like our customer service rep. They know how to do the task, but they still need me as the manager because they're less confident in their skills. I need to offer support and it's also up to me to encourage my employee and to reassure them that I believe they can do this job. A lot of us, when we're new at something or unfamiliar with a task, we need that confidence boost. As a manager, it's really important for you to think about the morale of your team and to reassure them why this task is important and why they're the right person for the job. In this encouragement phase, it's a great idea for you to offer suggestions. Maybe you want to brainstorm together. You can offer some suggestion, but ultimately your employee is going to decide what is best. Now in the case of both teaching and encouragement, you still may need to offer that decisive direction. But if all your team member needs is encouragement, trust them, let them make the choice about what's best for their job. Lastly, a big role of a manager on the encouragement side is to remove blockers. Are they feeling frustrated because they're waiting on something from another team member? Do they need a decision or do they need something before they can move forward? This is a great opportunity for you as the manager to help remove those blocks from the runway and to make sure that they can focus on doing great work. So in management mirroring, this is great to work with your employees to understand why do you need to do this task? Then what kind of either teaching or encouragement do you need from me in order to get things done? 7. When and How to Delegate: One of the biggest differences between being a team member and being a manager is whether you're doing the work or delegating the work. There are countless benefits to delegating. The first is that by delegating work to your team members, it frees up your time and bandwidth to focus on bigger strategy initiatives. You have a different advantage point as the manager, where you can see what everyone on the team is doing. You need that time to really focus on how those pieces connect. Another big benefit of delegating is that it develops your team members. If someone on your team is interested in growing a particular skill set, delegating a task is a great way to help them learn. There's also a pro tip that if somebody else on your team could do a task 80 percent as well as you could, it's a great idea to delegate. Eventually over time, they'll continue to grow that skill and they will be as good as you one day if not better. Another huge benefit of delegation is that it builds trust. When you find opportunities and ask your team members to take them on, they think that you believe in them. That's something really intangible that you can only do by trusting your team members. Delegation is a great opportunity to say, "Hey, I believe in you, I think this task would be a great fit, let's talk about what it would take for you to take this on". In order to successfully delegate to an employee, there are a couple of really key steps that you need to do in advance and then in conversation with your employee to make sure that the hand-off is smooth. Let's run through this sample together. We'll start off by setting our goal. In our example, we recently ran a survey to our customers and we asked them a few open-ended questions. If they would recommend us to a friend, how they feel about our company and now we need somebody to analyze that data. Our goal is to understand what the trends are from our customers. Next up is the task or the project. In this case, I'm delegating a project to have somebody write up a report where they looked through all of the data, that's Task One, then they compile a report and present it to our team and to the leadership team. After we've set the goal and the tasks, next, it's time for us to prioritize. This is either urgent or important. If it's urgent, that means it needs to be done right now. In our case, it's probably medium priority for urgency. Nothing is about to break, but this is a pretty key project for the business, so we'll want to mark it as medium. Next, we should ask if this is important. In this case, our customer data is absolutely critical. So this is a high importance task. After the manager has set the goal, the project and the priority, it's time to meet with your employee. In this case, I've chosen my team member Wendy for the job because Wendy has done similar projects in the past, and although she's a new data analyst to our team, she's really sharp and she comes with a great skill set from her last job. Before I even get into the hand-off, I need to use management mirroring to understand how comfortable Wendy is with the task. First I'll ask her if she needs teaching. Wendy tells me that she's really comfortable with this kind of analysis. I don't need to teach her how to do the job. Next I'll ask if Wendy needs encouragement and she tells me that yes. She's never presented to our executives before so she's not really sure how they like to see data presented. Wendy is going to lean on me, her manager for support. I'm also going to provide a few older report that I've done so that when they can see how I've maybe suggested data to our executive team in the past. It's up to Wendy if she wants to take my examples or not, but that'll be a great starting point. Next Wendy and I agree that we're going to meet next week to review her draft and I'm going to offer feedback, but it will ultimately be her choice if she wants to include that feedback or not. Next, let's set a few deadlines. Ultimately, Wendy's presentation is on Friday, April 10th, but we're going to set a few preliminary deadlines. Let's say that her draft is due on Tuesday, April 7th, and that her report's due on Thursday, the 9th. We will also set a date to debrief. The Monday after her presentation on the 13th, Wendy and I will come back together and talk about what went well and what we need to do next. At the end, the last step is to leave space for questions. Wendy asked me if any other team members might have some useful insights and I gave her a few names of team members who I thought might be helpful. Hopefully, this sample delegation has given you a great example of how to set a goal and a task, how to prioritize and how to run a great handoff with your team members so that both of you feel clear on the goal, clear on the expectations and your team member feels empowered to take on this project. As a pro tip for delegation, a lot of managers approach delegation as "Maybe I'll do this if I have time." Instead, I want to challenge you to think about every task you have as something that should be delegated. You should always be asking, "Can I delegate this and who can take this on?" There are really only a few times where delegation isn't a fit. Where it's something sensitive between employees, maybe the task is incredibly ambiguous or there are times where it would take you much longer to teach someone and you don't necessarily have the time or energy to do so. But for most cases, if they can take on that task and do it even 80 percent as well as you, it's a great idea to delegate that task off your plate and help to start developing their skill set. 8. Performance Management: Feedback & Tough Conversations: One of the toughest parts about being a manager is offering feedback and having tough conversations. But there's a protip for a certain kind of feedback that many managers don't use, that really sets apart the great managers from the average. That's positive feedback. So before we talk about how to have tough conversations, let's talk about the differences between giving praise and giving corrective feedback. In both cases, your feedback should be specific. Don't just say great job. Instead, tell somebody why their project was great. If you can tell them really specifically what they're doing well, they'll learn to repeat that behavior and to keep doing the things that are making them so successful. Another similarity between praise and corrective feedback is offering the impact on the team. Tell people why what they do matters and how the other team members feel or if there was an impact on their work. A major difference between giving praise and giving corrective feedback is the time and place. If you're giving somebody a compliment, it's always okay to share that in a meeting, in a slack channel or privately, however works best for you. But if you're giving corrective feedback, it should always be done in private. This is a more sensitive conversation. So you want to show respect by making sure that people don't feel acosted in front of others. Another big difference is that praise should be given readily. There's no limit to the amount of compliments you should be giving your team members as long as they're genuine. I recommend going out of your way to point out the good work. Don't assume that they know that you think they're doing a good job, just tell them. Corrective feedback on the other hand, should be given only as needed and it should take place as close to the incident as possible. Instead of waiting on that tough conversation, just rip off the bandaid and have the conversation privately as soon as possible. In both cases, praise and corrective feedback are a huge sign of respect. The reason I'm giving you feedback is because I value your development, and I care about you improving as both a team member and a person. So when you think about the reasons why we're giving feedback, think of it in that way, a sign of respect. Now let's talk about those tough conversations. Let's offer up a simple framework that will help you structure difficult conversations, or pieces of feedback with your employees. The basic flow of the conversation starts by describing what you see and feel as the manager. Just say the facts and say how you felt about it and the impact on the team. This isn't meant to be an accusation. It's meant to just be a simple saving of the facts. It's important to make sure that you and your employer are on the same page before you jump into a solution. This is a step a lot of managers skip. You assume you know what happened and you jump right into a punishment. This feels a lot more like an open conversation and it feels less like an accusation. So it's really important to start with this phase of stating the facts and stating how you the manager feel. Once you get agreement, where both you and your employee agree that what you've stated as fact is what they believe happened as well, you can move into brainstorming a solution. What should we do to make sure that this doesn't happen again, or to run any kind of damage control? To better understand this framework, let's use an example. Our example is going to be of one of our new account managers. They have hit every deadline and they've been incredibly informative to our team. I'm surprised to hear that a few of their clients are giving me negative feedback, where they don't understand what's happening on their project and they feel like everything is falling behind. I know I need to have a tough conversation with my employee, so I call them into a meeting in my office. First is step 1. I'm going to describe what I see and feel. I might say, some of your clients have shared concerns that their projects are falling behind schedule. I might even go on to say, this makes me feel bleak. Because bleak. I might say that this makes me feel confused because I know that our team feels updated every week, but your client is saying something different. So I'm wondering why there's a disconnect. Lastly, I'll describe the impact on our team or the customer. In this case, I might reaffirm that our clients are top priority. If they're feeling confused, or concerned, then we might risk losing their trust and their business. Here I'll pause. I want to make sure that my employee agrees with everything that I've just said. In this case my account manager agrees that it's really important for the client to stay informed. Now we're ready to move on to step 2, proposing a solution. I might offer that I think it'd be helpful for my employee to share a weekly status update with the client. I have a hunch that because they're not getting updates, they feel like they're falling behind. So I might say that my employee should send this status update even if there are any major updates. I also need to explain my reasoning. I believe that there might be a root cause, of our issue isn't that the project is behind, but rather that the clients just feel neglected. Even though the project is pacing smoothly ahead, we just need to make sure that they know about it. These weekly status updates will be a great way to make sure that the client feels taken care of. So I think that they'll feel much better about the project if they're reassured that things are running smoothly. I'll end my piece of feedback by saying, what do you think? It's important for me to get buy-in from my employee before just saying do this and making a decision on my own. As you can see, this feedback framework can be applied not only to giving feedback from manager to employee, but also to hold cuff conversations between peers or even to resolve interpersonal issues. The main benefit of this framework is that it frames everything as a conversation. It's not just me telling you what to do, but it's opening everything up. You feel like you're a part of the solution, which means that you'll be invested in fixing this for the future. One last protip for our feedback section, is to hold quarterly performance reviews. This is a great time to talk with your employees about what they've been doing really well over the past quarter, maybe some areas for them to work on. You can also revisit their roadmaps or their skills to figure out what else they could be developing. 9. What To Do When Things Go Wrong (Or Right!): In this course, we've talked about setting amazing goals, and then delegating the work and giving feedback along the way. But there are two really critical times where we need to come together as a team to reflect on the work that we've done. Not only in terms of what went well, but also areas for improvement. There are two key times where reflection is important, after a project and unfortunately when something goes wrong. Let's compare the two. When we reflect after a project, we want to know, did we hit our target and why? First we look at the results and then as a group we agree, were we successful or was this a miss? In either case, it's important to really figure out what caused our success so that we can repeat it, or maybe what caused us to miss our target and what we might do differently next time. In addition to our post project reflection, we also want to stop and reflect when something goes wrong. So after an incident, we first want to make a quick fix. We need to get back up and running, make sure that everything is running smoothly and run some damage control. But bigger picture, we also want to ask, what was the impact of this incident on our project or our team? What is the root cause? We want to find a solution, not a band-aid, because we want to make sure this never happens again. Let's take a look at the two types of reflection. First we'll start with how we can reflect after a project. When we're debriefing on a project, we first need to revisit what was the goal of our project. We need to get on the same page and again, think about why were we here and why did we take on this project in the first place? Next, we need to see where we hit or missed those goals. So now that we know what the result was, we need to get clear as a team about what we hit, what we missed, maybe there could be areas in each within one project, but we want to be crystal clear about what we're analyzing. Next, we'll talk about why we hit or missed. This could be digging into the data, asking customers what they thought, seeing what they're purchasing habits were. It could also be turning to the team to see if our process left something to be desired and if we could improve for next time. This why is critical, because it'll inform what we do the next time we have this project. A lot of people overlook analyzing success. They tend to only run these debriefs if something went wrong. If we really killed our target, we need to know why we were so successful so that we can do it again. So it's equally important to run a debrief if you had an incredible project, as it is to run one if you had a few missteps. Once everyone is on the same page about the goal and why we hit or missed or our best hypothesis, it's time to set some action. I like to use a framework called start, stop, continue. What are some things that we should start doing that we've learned about? What are a few ideas that we should stop doing that we've learned maybe aren't as effective, and then what are some tasks are skills that we should absolutely continue doing, because they're working really well for us. The last step in the project debrief is communication. Again, this step is so often overlooked. Many teams may rely on the information that your team has discovered here. So once you've run this debrief, make sure you tell not only your team about it, but maybe a few other departments, or even the whole company if you've learned some best practices that are worth sharing. Now that we've talked about the project debrief, let's talk about the incident report. I want to pause and talk about failure. In his book, Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull talks about the founding of Pixar and how important it was for them to decouple fear of failure from the creative process. As a growing team, things are going to go wrong. Everything's going to break at some point, we're all going to be in this huge chaotic mess. But what's important to remember is that we're all well intentioned, and we're all just trying to do what's best for the business. So an incident report is not trying to place blame or point fingers. What we want to do here is find permanent fixes so that these problems don't happen again. So keep that in mind as we go through this incident report. Its not about blame, it's about growing as a team. First, let's just talk about what happened. Which team did this affect? What's the measurable impact of how many sales we may have lost? How many customer complaints went unheard. It's important to get those numbers, so that we can see just how large of an issue this was. Next, this is the hard work of the incident report. We need to find not just what happened, but why. To do that, we run something called a root cause analysis. First we say, what happened? Then we did one level deeper and say, well, why did that happen? We keep asking why until we figure out what the deepest issue was, not just the surface level band-aid to fix. An example might be if something was turned in late. It might be easy to blame the last person who held the project and just say, well, they didn't deliver on time, so the whole product was late. Well why couldn't they deliver on time? Were they missing something from another team member? Was a tool or system broken or doesn't support the work that they do. Keep digging until you find out what the biggest problem is. That way we can address it and make sure this never happens again. Lastly, we need both a quick fix and a permanent solution. So first, a quick fix. We need our business to keep running, so we need to fix the problem, maybe run some damage control, and just make sure that everything is back up and running. But after everything has been fixed, this is where we talk about that more permanent solution. What can we do as a team to make sure this doesn't happen again? Is there a new process we did in place? Do people need more time to do their work or a different tool or system to support them? This is where we can really think bigger picture about how to improve the way we work as a team. So between the project debrief and the incident report, what we're really doing is asking how can we keep getting better, and what can we do as a team to move forward? 10. Meetings with a Purpose: It's time to spend some time talking about how your team runs day to day. A big part of any team is meetings. Now allowing you might think like grown, not another meeting. But in this case we're going to talk about how to run smarter meetings. The one big takeaway from each meeting is that there's one clear goal. This is where a lot of people go wrong. They try to have a do it all meeting, or even worse, a meeting that should have been an email. Here are a few types of meetings that you might run. The first is an informational meeting. This is something like your weekly team meeting or a cadence that makes sense where you give people information that's critical for them to do their jobs. Informational meetings are also important for building team rapport. You may want to meet regularly once a week just so that people can have a chance to say hello and catch up after the weekend. The most common type of meeting though, is a decision-making meeting. These have a clear purpose. We need a decision from a group. We need to reach consensus and we should all be in a room to get on the same page and have full buy-in on our direction. The next type of meeting is a support meeting. The most common type of meeting here is a one on one with your direct reports. It's so critical to meet with your employees once a week and to give them your time to know that you want to encourage their growth and that you're there for them. However might mean. It might mean you run through the tasks that they have that week. It could be that they're having a really hard time with something. As managers, we wear a lot of hats. This support meaning is a chance for you to just give them your time and to show that you respect your relationship. Another type of meeting is training and development. This is specifically where you're teaching somebody how to do a new task. Maybe you've brought in another team member or even an outside party to run a training session. Between these four meeting types, you'll get most of the meetings you'll see in your day-to-day, although there are a few others. What's important to note is that you'll never have two of these meetings in the same session. Your meeting should have one clear goal. There should be an agenda sent out in advance, and that way everyone knows exactly what they're coming into. As a last pro tip, you should be spending more time before the meeting, then you should be during the meeting. By preparing information in advance, you can have everyone on the same page before they even get in the room. As an example, let's say you're running a decision-making meeting. In advance, you've probably done a ton of research and you may even have a few recommendations about a great direction for us to move in. If you send that agenda out in advance and say these are the three things I'm thinking about. I recommend option one, but here are a few other choices. It helps your other attendees feel prepared to walk into that room and make a decision. If you hadn't made the agenda, you'd spend the whole meeting just telling them about the background. But now that they're informed, we can walk in and have a great discussion and walk away with that decision we need to keep going. By setting one clear goal of the meeting, you'll get exactly what you needed to accomplish in as short of a time as possible and everyone will leave feeling more informed and ready to work. 11. How to Run an Awesome Team That Scales: As the manager, it's your job to figure out how everyone works together as a team. So you set the tools, you create the processes, and you really set the vibe for what it feels like to be a member of your team. A huge part of being the manager is overseeing the documentation process. This is where you create playbooks for different people's roles, outline what it takes to do their jobs and really step-by-step walk-through how to do every task involved. Why even bother with this though, it sounds really time consuming and it's quite an undertaking. Think about what might happen if one of your team members left, or if you hired a new team member. You want them to be able to get up and running immediately. So by creating these playbooks, you're capturing the best practices of what you've done in the past and then sharing them with everyone, so that you can use those same great ideas in the future. This saves so much energy. Instead of recreating the wheel each time you're using what's proven to work in the past, and then in the future you can improve upon that process. But you don't have to always start at square one. When you're documenting a process, you always want to ask, what's the goal of this task? Why are we doing it? How does it serve the greater team? From there, you'll think about who's involved, what they need to know before getting started, when they might do this, and then the specific step-by-step outline to get things done. It's great to include things here like visuals, screenshots, links, anything that I can open up this book and do the job if I needed to. Now an important pro tip is that you shouldn't write it as though they've never heard of your company or this job before. You should write these playbook pages to an educated audience. You can assume they know how to use the tools at your company or if they don't they can learn about those somewhere else. We want to make sure that these playbook pages are as succinct as possible. In order for them to be effective, you want to be as crisp as possible and really just focus on what it takes to do the job. Another great part about building a team is finding the tools and systems that you need in order to work together. This could vary based on what you do, but things like, how do we communicate? How do we collect customer service tickets? How do we store our databases worth of information? These are just a few examples of different tools that we need in order to work together. But even more important than picking the right tool is creating the right process. You may have picked a perfect tool. Let's say you picked a task management tool, and it perfectly supports what your team needs. Unless you take the time to figure out how your team will use it together, maybe even making a playbook, no one will use it in the same way. People will feel frustrated, because although they know how to click and use the tool, they don't know how or when to use it. Choosing the tool is important, but setting a process is even more important and what will really distinguish your team is successful. By using these building blocks of choosing strong tools, setting great processes, and documenting them in playbooks, you're setting up your team to be successful, and you're really building and growing an awesome team. 12. Conclusion: The Manager's Purpose: Being a manager is hard work. At the end of the day, why are we doing this? For me it's all about thinking about the future. When I manage a team, I'm not thinking about what are they going to do tomorrow? I'm thinking about building something sustainable, so that any job that I have, I leave it in a better place than when I found it. We have a really unique opportunity to develop people, to develop teams even. When you think about the big picture, you always want to be aiming toward improvement. Ultimately, that's what management is about. It's finding opportunities to improve and to grow, both for yourself, for your team, and for the company. So as we wrap up this course, I want to leave you with this quote, which says, "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you did not expect to sit." This quote is really important for managers because unlike before, when we were doing the work of the writing or the designing, now, our main work is people development and we need to think about how can we set them up to continue to grow and be successful long after they're no longer on our team. They've outgrown it. Maybe they've moved onto another opportunity. In either case, our work is never done because we are people developers and we're always building something better for the future. So as you embark on your journey as a manager, I hope you'll take this takeaway, trust your people. They're incredibly capable and there's a quote that I loved in a book called, It's your Ship, where Captain Michael Abrashoff talks about the more control you give up, more power and respect you get. As a manager, that's really what we're trying to do. We want to empower others to grow. We want to build something sustainable, and we want to leave this job in a better place than we found it. Get out there, manage your team and join us in the community here on this project, if you need any support or teaching in the future.