Posts

Showing posts from February, 2020

Talk data to me

Image
Cheeky post title aside, one way I believe I add value at work is by asking about the numbers underlying the various initiatives I support. 
For example, in my role assisting with HR communications and messaging, my colleagues sometimes come to me because they are getting "flooded" with calls from employees on a particular topic, and they want a plan of action. Before I make a recommendation, I usually ask them to quantify what they are saying: how many calls exactly? Over what period? How does that differ from the usual or expected volume?  
Of course I stand ready to help, but the numbers they cite often indicate that it's better for us to listen attentively rather than communicate aggressively. They can keep answering questions, and being as helpful as possible. In the meantime, we can always prepare messages to issue more broadly if calls spike unexpectedly or are sustained over a long period. 
Ask first, act later  
Numbers give us perspective and often help shape ou…

Radical Candor: Go read it!

I have a full plate at work these days, and not a lot of time to develop ideas for posts. So here is one I've been holding in reserve, just for you!

After leading a high-growth team at Google under Sheryl Sandberg, Kim Scott was invited to Apple to create the leadership development program at “Apple University.”  Her model and the ideas she formed at Google and then at Apple are the basis of her book Radical Candor. If you haven't read it, you should, especially if you manage a team. 
A simple framework
The book is mostly about the power of getting and giving feedback, and how to make it count. The framework is simple, exhorting leaders to “care personally” and “challenge directly” in redirecting and coaching their team members. 
She uses a four-quadrant diagram to explain the importance of balancing one with the other. If you care personally (which she shows on the vertical axis of her model) while challenging directly (along the horizontal axis), that's radical cand…