Hybrid Meetings, Management Style, and How to Not Dread One-On-One’s

Manager TLDR - Issue 40

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Hey fellow managers and leaders,

I have some exciting news and you’re the first to hear it! 

The Supermanagers Podcast is reaching the big 50 (episodes)

To celebrate, Harley Finkelstein – Shopify President – will join us to share his tips on how he builds highly effective teams at one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. 

You won’t want to miss this insightful conversation.

Now, back to the usual programming.

In today’s issue, we’re covering hybrid meetings, workplace values, and the importance of retaining high-performers.

📆 Hybrid Meetings: What They Are and 10 Tips to Make Them Work (9 min read)

TLDR: Hybrid meetings will become more common as some people decide to return to the office, while others continue working remotely. “What is a hybrid meeting?” you might be wondering: A hybrid meeting is a gathering where some attendees join from the office while another part of the group joins remotely. Here are our top 3 (out of 10 tips) to make hybrid meetings work:

  1. Avoid side conversations: Only one person should be talking at a time in meetings and there should be no side conversations happening in the physical room.
  2. Include remote employees: Involve remote employees in ongoing discussions and not just when the bulk of the discussion is over. 
  3. Don’t have the meeting after the meeting: Don’t make any decisions or share new information once the remote employee has left the call.

“Many organizations are starting to contemplate what a hybrid work environment looks like. A hybrid environment is attractive because it allows everyone to choose their preferred workspace (and maybe even alternate from day to day), but just as there were hiccups and lessons learned by all in the switch to a fully remote office, there will be difficulties and challenges to overcome with a hybrid setup too.” 

🚀 Identifying Your High-Performing Employees and 5 Ways to Retain Them (6 min read)

TLDR: Many managers only provide coaching and give feedback to employees who are struggling. What is often forgotten is that your high-performing employees are equally deserving and are wanting that same coaching and feedback so they can grow and improve, too. Here are 3 (out of 5) ways to support your high-performers:

  1. Ignite their intrinsic motivation: Identify what intrinsically motivates your high-performers by asking them, but also by observing what makes them shine.
  2. Offer career development opportunities: If there are skills that would benefit your high-performer in the long-run, give them the opportunities to grow those skills through formal education or having them take on projects to learn those skills.
  3. Give them recognition: As human beings, we want to be praised and recognized for our efforts. Make an effort to ask each employee for their preferred method of recognition. 

“As a manager, you are likely spending more of your time and energy putting out fires and dealing with your under-performing employees. Even though it’s a necessary part of your job to provide coaching and constructive feedback when someone makes a mistake, spending too much time on underperforming employees can actually backfire.” 

🛑 Opinion: Stop Asking ‘What’s Your Management Style?’ (6 min read)

TLDR: More often than not, when someone asks about management style – whether in an interview situation, or an employee trying to get to know their new boss – they’re trying to evaluate culture fit, expectations, and what you’ll be like to work within general. If “what’s your management style?” is not the best question – what should we focus on instead?

  1. Preferred workplace culture: Explain what’s important to you in terms of team values.
  2. General expectations: For example, saying that you trust employees to meet their deadlines regardless of how many hours they work per day (e.g. if they work 10 hours one day and 6 hours the next).
  3. Work style and habits: Don’t make generalizations about your work style and force people to figure out your preferences by trial and error. Be forthcoming and honest from day one. 

“Labels are too general, not overly helpful, and they put you into a box. When telling your story or giving your example, work in useful information that speaks to values and desired company culture, work style and habits, and your expectations for direct reports. And above all else, remember the golf club analogy – the best managers don’t just play with one club, they play with a full set.”

👀 What If You Dread 1:1s With a Direct Report? (10 min read)

TLDR: Do your 1:1s feel awkward and tense? Are you relieved whenever one of your reports declines to meet or takes time off the day you were supposed to talk? It might be time to restart and redefine your relationship.

  1. Design your alliance: This involves articulating what each person expects from the relationship, agreeing on how you’ll work together, and being clear about your boundaries.
  2. You can’t be this person’s everything: Help your direct report identify other folks to lean on for the elements of support you cannot provide. 
  3. Lean on your fellow managers: Conversations with peers can help you gain clarity about what your role is, what you can provide for your direct report and the rest of the team, and what you can’t provide. 

“Dreading any part of your role is unpleasant, especially when you take pride in your work. But by putting energy into finding the support you need and getting clarity on your role, you’ll have a much better shot at designing an alliance with your direct report that’s healthier for everybody and gives you a clear path forward.” 

New on the Supermanagers podcast

We interview leaders from all walks of life to tease out the habits, thought patterns, and experiences that help them be extraordinary at the fine craft of management.

Episode 47: Ross Mayfield, Product Lead, Apps & Integrations at Zoom, shares how to run pre-mortems to ensure your time is spent efficiently.

Episode 48: Amanda Goetz, Founder of House of Wise, explains why you must ruthlessly prioritize your time, energy and how to lead with intention.

🗓 Meeting Template of the Week

You don’t have to start from scratch. We’ve distilled everything you need to know about meetings into ready-to-use templates.

Project Kickoff Meeting Template

Lay the foundation for a successful project by ensuring that everyone on the team is on the same page.

… and that’s a wrap!  We hope that the content we curated inspires you to continue growing as a leader!

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Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela & the Fellow.app team 👋

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