The day I became VP, my boss pulled me aside and said the following:
“The higher up you go, the more trade-offs you’ll need to make”
Most employees struggle with saying no, not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know how to.
Today’s podcast talks about two frameworks that will help you say no to projects that don’t matter, so you can say yes to projects that do.
🔑 Framework #1: Saying no to the boss
Here’s a little secret – It’s ok for you to say no to your boss occasionally.However, there’s a wrong way and a right way. I’ve put together a 3-part framework that’s going to help you say no to your boss and look influential while doing it.
🔑 Framework #2: Saying no to a coworker
Nothing messes up a day like a last-minute zoom invite. Sometimes, these calls are important. Most of the time, they’re not.
I’m sharing a 3-part framework customized for your co-workers. Now you get to say no without all the guilt.
We’re in the 6th month of WFH, and some teams are starting to feel the pain. (FYI – I’m constantly hearing about motivation issues)
How’s your team doing?
According to new research. The pandemic workday is a different beast:
We’re working 48 minutes longer.
We’re attending more meetings with more people.
And, we’re sending (and receiving) more email.
[UPSIDE] – The additional meetings are shorter.
As a leader, you need to keep experimenting with different solutions to see how you can help your team sustain forward momentum. Today I’m sharing three that work well.
Experiment #1: Offer to reprioritize
Successful employees strongly agree with the following statements:
My manager helps me set work priorities ✅ My manager helps me set performance goals ✅
We have years of data that proves employees whose managers help them set priorities and goals are more productive.
I encourage you to meet with your employee and go through their priorities not in a micro-managey way but in a “Lets-look-at-it-together-way can be cathartic.
Experiment #2: Offer more control
One effective motivation strategy is giving your employees more autonomy and control over their day. Experimenting with simple questions like the following will go a long way.
Does our current 1:1 time still work?
What would you like to change about your current work schedule?
Are there any projects you need me to step out?
Agency over our lives is a powerful drug. When our bosses step up and give us more autonomy – we get a boost of motivation.
BTW – Please keep doing your 1:1s with your managers. The following data is showing 1:1s are decreasing the time employees are spending at work (Increased efficiency)
Experiment #3: Optimize for quick wins
If your employee is struggling, try giving them tasks that come with quick wins. You’ll be surprised how a word of encouragement and praise can get them going again. If you see something good, say something good.
Encouragement remains undefeated in the workplace.
Your employees want help and coaching more than ever before. These experiments are worth your time. You have nothing to lose.
A number of leaders are struggling to figure out if their employees are performing. Here’s what I recently heard from a frustrated manager:
“I’ve no idea when my employee logs in and out. I don’t know know what to do.”
This is a typical case of misattribution. Instead of optimizing for visibility, we need to optimize for performance.
Gone are the days when we’d look at the door and silently judge when our employees walked in late or took off for a long lunch.
ICYMI – Google and Facebook are not bringing their workforce back this year, and Twitter’s going to let some employees work from home indefinitely.
Here’s the CEO of Box talking about the same trend:
In the new world, leaders will need to optimize for more sophisticated metrics such as trust, connection, and quality of output versus vanity metrics like “time clocked in“. I think this is a welcome change.
Leaders and founders will have to double-down:
Clarity of messaging (Hi-fidelity)
More storytelling and innovative ways of sharing it (visual and bite-sized). Some CEO[s] are opting for video messages versus company-wide email announcements.
More goal-setting and measurement. (This needs to happen across all levels)
Leaders will have to establish boundaries for themselves and lead by example for the rest of the group to follow.
More humanity and empathy (one can only hope).
Change is coming and it’s coming fast. I see some bumps, but I’m optimistic.
I’m Ali Merchant, and I’ve been leading teams for over 10 years. I believe good managers like you deserve better -- better tools, better training, better support, and the opportunity to be a great leader.