#133 - 22 Oct 2022
Helpful conflict phrases; Leadership SLAs; STAR answers; Communicating impact; Successful big consortia
It’s pretty common, especially for those new to leadership positions, to know generally the right thing to do, but not know have the right words at hand to nudge things in the right direction. Having short little scripted phrases filed away that you practice using can be invaluable, especially in heated situations.
Here Hurt outlines twelve such phrases for you. I was just going to excerpt those that were particularly useful for us, but that’s all of them! The article explains when and how to use them, and variants.
I care about _____ (you, this team, this project) and I’m confident we can find a solution that we can all work with
Let’s pause this conversation for a moment, and come back in (an hour, a few hours, tomorrow) and talk about this.
It sounds like you’re feeling _____ is that right? [pause for affirmation]. Thank you for letting me know how you feel.
What would a successful outcome look like for you?
Let’s start with what we agree on
What I’m hearing you say is ____. Am I interpreting that correctly?
I’m curious how this looks from your perspective.
What do you suggest we do next?
What can I do to support you right now?
What’s one action we can both agree to as a next step here?
So, to recap our conversation, we’ve agreed to _____. Is that your understanding?
Let’s schedule some time to talk about this again, and see how our solution is working.
Remote Work Conference - Stanford University
Interesting set of talks on remote work and remote collaboration, which has long been a thing but is now getting even more attention. Interesting talks here on remote knowledge work (including science collaborations, which apparently were measurably less productive than colocated teams until about 2010 or so).
There was a short section on hybrid work here, too. Work on hybrid teams is just starting - we don’t even have widely accepted words yet for the different arrangements that all fall under the umbrella term of “hybrid”. But right now there’s more opinions than facts about hybrid work; it’ll be good to keep an eye on sessions like these to see what does and doesn’t work, and how we would know.
Managing Your Own Career
Leadership SLAs - Aviv Ben-Yosef
Establishing service-level agreements with ourselves is surprisingly effective for some people. “I provide feedback within one business day”, “I give everyone on my team at least one piece of feedback per week”, “I respond to clients by the end of the day”, “I make two hours a week for professional development”… there is a lot of research supporting this kind of commitment as a way of driving behaviour. (Maybe it’s a bit cliché, but I find writing them on sticky notes and putting them on my desk works very well for at least beginning a behaviour change). Ben-Yosef gives some examples in this article.
#42: How to Answer Hiring Manager’s Questions in Interviews - Candost Dagdeviren
Moving into leadership positions is the first time most of us in research have ever had to answer behavioural interview questions. A commonly recommended framework for answering those questions - Situation Task Action Results, STAR - is one good way of communicating answers to (many) questions of that form. (It’s a handy outline for clearly structuring short work-related “what we did and why” stories in general, in fact).
Dagdeviren describes the structure and its use in articles in this article.
(Bonus pro tip! If you’re find yourself needing to suddenly prepare for a job interview, you can do a lot worse than going through every X in the “responsibilities” section of the job listing and preparing short STAR answers for questions of the form “Tell me about a time when you did/demonstrated X”. Even if you don’t get asked that exact question, you’ll likely to be able to make use of the answers you’ve prepared. Even better, other jobs you apply for will likely have overlapping responsibilities, so these stories can be used across jobs.)
Frustated with waiting for the elevators in your building? Pretty sure a monkey could design a better algorithm for the elevators? Are you sure? Play the elevator programming game.
The Commodordion is… honestly, I don’t even know what to say here.
24 papercraft models of vintage computers.
A timer for your terminal, for some reason.
And that’s it for another week. Let me know what you thought, or if you have anything you’d like to share about the newsletter or management. Just email me or reply to this newsletter if you get it in your inbox.
Have a great weekend, and good luck in the coming week with your team,