good management

managers: you should ask your staff what’s not getting done

July 25, 2014

This was originally published on March 28, 2011.  Someone told me recently that I was his only manager who ever asked him to specifically report on what he wasn’t getting done. Other managers wanted to know plenty about what was happening — but because they never asked him about what he wasn’t getting to, he assumed […]

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how to delegate last-minute work without a mutiny

July 24, 2014

No matter how well you plan out your team’s work, you might occasionally need to delegate an urgent project at the last-minute. At Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about how to do it without sending your team into rebellion or causing anyone to have a panic attack. You can read it here.

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Holding people accountable isn’t always about formal action. Sometimes it’s just a direct conversation.

July 9, 2014

On a recent discussion of a manager who wanted to be cc’d on everything, commenter Jamie mentioned that when someone who works for her is having trouble getting responses from someone else and she knows that seeing her cc’d will move them to action, she’ll suggest cc’ing her … but then she follows up privately with […]

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how to keep track of the work you’ve delegated

July 8, 2014

If you manage a busy team, you probably doing a lot of delegating – of big projects as well as small details. In an ideal world, you’d be able to rely on your team members to circle back to you on everything you delegate to them – but in reality, you need to have a system […]

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how to delegate when your team is already overloaded

July 1, 2014

What do you do when you have an important new project that you’d like to delegate to a staff member, but your entire team is swamped? If you go ahead and dump it on them anyway, in the hopes that they’ll find a way to fit it all in, that’s a recipe for a frustrated […]

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how do I manage work outside my comfort area?

June 25, 2014

A reader writes: I’ve been put in charge of overseeing four different departments, including two in which I have no expertise at all (IT and communications). Luckily, those departments both have competent managers (who each report up to me), but what should my role look like in overseeing them and how to do I manage […]

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my struggling new employee thinks her pushiness is “enthusiasm”

June 24, 2014

A reader writes: I have a new employee who just finished grad school but is not new to work because she worked a few years between college and grad school. Like some new employees, she is asking a lot of questions in meetings and making a lot of suggestions about things she knows nothing about […]

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my employee constantly cries when things don’t go her way

June 17, 2014

A reader writes: I have an employee who cries very often (more than once a week). Anytime any small thing happens that she perceives as a slight or that doesn’t go her way, she starts crying and talks about how wronged she is. Even in neutral staff meetings where we are discussing seemingly inconsequential things, […]

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signs your team isn’t communicating well

June 17, 2014

When teams communicate well, you usually know it: Work flows smoothly, people are in sync, everyone’s clear on priorities, and bad surprises are rare. But when a team isn’t communicating effectively, those things tend to fly out the window. Yet surprisingly, poorly communicating teams don’t always recognize that that’s the source of the problem. At […]

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how to make 1-on-1 check-in meetings more useful

June 12, 2014

Too often, when I ask managers whether they have regular weekly one-on-one meetings with each staff member on their team, the answer is that they don’t, or they do but don’t feel like the meetings are a great use of time. When someone feels like one-on-ones aren’t especially useful, it’s usually because they’re not using the time […]

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