Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Resonating Ideas – Remote & Management

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

With the current COVID-19 panic going on (thankfully I went to Costco months ago and it feels like I still have hundreds of loo rolls left), I’ve been checking Twitter a bit more often. It’s been a great week for getting a a few crisp thoughts together on myself and management strategies ahead.

Remote work

I’ve always been an advocate for remote work, I’ve experienced it’s benefits but haven’t managed to do full time. However, as our company became more distributed I was keen to level-out the playing field for all. As many companies unused to this approach have suddenly been thrown into the deep end, there’s loads of advice being thrown about:

Management

This tweet has been resonating with me for days:-

Recently things have been a bit busy, and I’ve not really had time to focus and push vision. When I don’t take the time to align myself, it feels like the rest of my direct team fluster also.

When I first started my current role I started documenting my process, flow, and needs clearly so I could keep them clear in my mind, and as I was always working on it, things were constantly changing. However, this hasn’t been updated for a while and my knowledgebase fell down.

It’s made me want to set time aside in my week to do the same, retrospectively see how the week went, revisit and update what my goals are, the messages I want to relay, and work on documenting myself and how I work.

I’m just about finished reading The Manager’s Path (Camille Fournier), and it’s helped me align my goals and think how better to work with my team as well. It’s no doubt going to be one of those books always on my desk, as I set it’s principles clear in my mind.

Ego and feedback

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

I was an awkward kid growing up. My emotions ran easily and, to be honest to myself, my attempts to do better at school made me a bit of an ass. I hated PE or basically any sort of physical activities growing up due to terrible coordination, so I ended up liking very few sports. What does a bad workman do? Yep – I blamed the tools.

The same happened with artistic endeavors too. I brought in acrylics and eventually my own graphics tablet rather than using the school supplies. I failed basic cycle proficiency too because I wanted to use a brand new bike I hadn’t gotten used to yet, because I thought it would make me better.

In areas I failed short I continually used tools and tech to make me, at least, feel and perform better. It was a crutch. In essence, my ego and desire to perform well meant that I never took the time to improve personally and receive necessary feedback. My hotheadedness meant I was never open for that to happen.

What have I learned?

As a mentee and mentor, the best attributes you can have is humility, openness to feedback, and a willingness to learn new things. It’s so important to me as an employer and I actively search for candidates with those attributes. As a candidate, I want to know that you can be a confident member of my team, but ultimately be able to work well with others and take feedback constructively.

As well as taking feedback well, I’ve learned that giving feedback is a skill in itself. Sometimes, the recipient is right to be offended by some feedback – where the reviewer may be overly harsh or not consider situations. Personally, I like to:

  • Ensure I’m not making assumptions. Rather than something being wrong, ask why something has been done this way and suggest – rather than enforce. If enforcement is required, then be clear as to why this course of action is necessary.
  • I love Manager Tools’ feedback process, and it’s made me better at giving and receiving it.
  • The closer to 1:1 feedback in-person you can give, the better. The first time I did a code review, it was with a team member over email who had no idea it was coming (I had been requested to do it by a manager). With emails, tone is obviously missed, so always find a way to ensure you’re communicating well. I love Zoom calls when remote, as folks can see and hear me clearly while going over things on screen. When email or text is the only option, I use emojis everywhere!
  • Clearly say “I don’t know!”, or let folks know your weaknesses. As a boss, I’m always trying to remind the team that it’s perfectly fine to not have the answer, not know something. Ultimately, I want to know what you’re not confident in so I can help out – or direct you to who can.