Prepping Your Team for the Holidays

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Each day we knock out is one day closer to the end of the year!

You know, as well as your team, that there is a lot to get done this time of year. Not to mention the uncommonly large number of personal festivities we all have going on!

One suggestion that rings true throughout the year, but especially during the holidays, is to stay transparent with your team on expectations and deadlines..

You want your team to have a great time with their friends and family AND you want to maintain their fabulous performance! Transparency will help.

What does that mean?

Think about what expectations you hold for your team. These could be things like:

  • Having v2 of product development complete by December 31st
  • Continuing to provide the same level of customer satisfaction your brand is known for
  • Holding a strategy meeting to look into what you can do differently in the first few months of 2017
  • Making sure your team actually takes a couple of days off to avoid burnout

In your next 1×1 or team meeting, share what you want to see happen over the next few weeks.

By openly discussing your expectations and timelines envisioned (or promised!), you’ll avoid hearsay and allow your team the opportunity to ask questions to help further clarify what you need from them (and how you can help them knock it out of the park!).

Try it out and let us know how it goes!

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Transparency

Transparency used to mean ‘see through’. More recently, it’s been vogue to talk about transparency in terms of information and context. Why?

Things have gotten more complicated and simple at the same time. Let’s take the progress of communication technology as an example. The communication tools I used as a small child (two cans with string between and shouting), progressed to a telephone and transistor radio (both of which I was able to disassemble into tiny pieces), and now consists of the internet and my iPhone (things that are rather mysterious to me and hard to take apart and understand). But the Internet and my iPhone are actually more simple to use than any of the others above.

This circuit board diagram from XKCD could be absolutely correct for all I know about designing hardware.

Circuit Diagram

So anyway, what’s the point and why I am I talking about this?

Middle managers are increasingly dealing with complex issues. A process diagram of how an important decision is made and executed at the middle manager level, utilizing all the stakeholders (collaborators, bosses, customers, peers, and  employees) is likely as nutty as the diagram above.

The ‘connectors’ between decision points is communication: communicate about what the goals are, what roles and responsibilities each stakeholder has, timelines, where there could be resistance, status updates. Whether you do it in written form, with two tin cans and a string, texting, Tweeting, Facebook, blogging, or hallway conversations, getting the job done involves connecting the dots.

Thoughtful transparency helps everyone do their job better.