The Psychology of People Management: How to Motivate People to Be Their Best

Two months into my new management gig, and I very nearly made a huge mistake. 

There I was, blind to the strengths of my teammate, trying stubbornly to fit the teammate into a role he did not want. I was failing him as a manager, and worse, I was projecting my management failure onto him. I, the mighty manager, must be right; he must be the one failing.

I realized my mistake after a series of hard conversations and a bundle of self-reflection. I realized it just in time. Not only had he yet to write off me or the company, he was still so gracious and warm-hearted as to become a trusted colleague and amazing part of our team, thriving in the role I should have been more aware of all along.

My mistake was one of hubris, definitely, but it was also one of ignorance.

I didn’t know how to manage people.

Continue reading

51 questions to ask your teammates in 1:1s, surveys, and self-reviews

Here are my favorite questions to ask in weekly 1:1s, team surveys, and self-reviews. I love these questions, and I hope you do, too.

My all-time favorite questions

1. When was the time you enjoyed working here the most?

2. Do you feel overworked, underworked, or just the right workload?

3. Who do you really admire? Why? (People often admire those they want to become.)

4. Have you seen something recently and thought to yourself “I wish we’d done that”?

5. Have you seen someone here do great work that’s gone unnoticed?

Continue reading