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How to say no with confidence

How to say no with confidence

 
 
00:00 / 00:14:48
 
1X

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.

Supercharge your teams with this framework

I’m really excited about the feedback tool I’m sharing today.

Most leaders and teams are leaving good money on the table by not exchanging feedback.

When teams rapidly exchange feedback, magic happens:

✅  Teams improve faster.

✅ Your employees will learn to trust each other more.

✅ Teams feel more confident to innovate.

Introducing the IL/IW/WI framework

I first learned about the “I Like, I Wish, What If” framework from the Stanford d. school. This is a popular technique for teams to exchange rapid feedback without stepping on anyone’s toes.

How does the IL/IW/WI work?

Let’s assume your team’s struggling to engage clients during a QBR.

Step 0: Schedule a feedback session with your team.

👉 Purpose: Share candid feedback on how the QBR went and ideas for improvement.

Step 1 goal: Individuals start by sharing what they liked about the presentation. (The order is important)

  • I liked how we allocated more time for the Q&A section.”
  • “I liked our clock management. We didn’t go over.”
  • “I liked how we engaged the SVP from the start.”

Step 2 goal: Individuals share one thing they wish could’ve been done differently.

  • I wish we had better timelines for our roll-out section.”
  • I wish we had better answers for the CMO.”
  • I wish we had smoother transitions between sections.”

Step 3 goal: Individuals share a “what if” to recommend areas of improvement.

  • What if we did a dry-run next time?”
  • What if we tried fewer slides, more demo?”
  • What if we worked together on building the agenda?”

Step 4 goal: Step back and analyze the full picture together.

As a leader, I want you to facilitate the session by getting curious:

  • Jim, what did you like about our engagement with the SVP?”
  • “Pam, how can we make our timelines better next time?”
  • “Dwight, tell me more about the new format you’re suggesting.”

Do

  • Listen, observe, and ask questions.
  • Thank people for their courage.
  • Rinse and repeat.

​Don’t

  • Blame and shame.
  • Nitpick in this session.

Why IL/IW/WI?

[I like] motivates your employees.

Adding the phrase “I like” at the start of your feedback gives it more weight. Just saying “I like” intentionally will make your feedback meaningful to the listener.

When everyone shares what they like, team morale goes up.

[I wish] makes feedback digestible without the heartburn. ​

Adding the phrase “I wish” at the start of your feedback makes it safe for the giver and receiver.

It’s a great way for teams to share constructive feedback in a pleasant way. The focus is on learning together, not blame and shame.

[What if] will open up possibilities you didn’t know existed.

The phrase “What if” teaches your teams the courage to look into the future and build their risk-taking muscle. Progress can’t be made if teams don’t have the ability to future-focus.

Without a system of rapid feedback, most teams will remain stuck.

I hope you try this exercise. Let me know how it goes.


​Ali




How to coach your employees to prioritize

Its no surprise, we’re working longer hours, and our stress levels are on the rise.

Now more than ever, your employees need your help.

Today’s video will show you step by step how you can help your employees prioritize their projects and get back on track.

​Also, according to research, successful employees strongly agree with the following statements:

✅ My manager helps me set work priorities.

✅ My manager helps me set performance goals.

I know you’re busy; however, spending 15 minutes with your employee helping them prioritize can make all the difference.

I’d love to know how this exercise goes.

Keep leading.

Ali

PS: ICYMI – Here’s a podcast on 3 time-tested tactics to manage a remote team.

How to manage a struggling employee

How to manage a struggling employee

 
 
00:00 / 00:12:45
 
1X

As a manager running a remote team has become much more complicated, and chances are either you or your team is starting to feel the pain.

A number of leaders have reached out to me asking “How do I manage a struggling employee?”

Today I’m sharing two strategies and one mistake managers make when it comes to managing an employee whose performance is slipping. 

✅ Strategy #1: Understand the difference between skill and will.

✅ Strategy #2: Help them reprioritize

❌ Mistake: Jumping to conclusions

3 coaching experiments to increase performance

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.

Good luck,

How to maximize remote performance

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 trustconnection, 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:

  1. Clarity of messaging (Hi-fidelity)
  2. 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.
  3. More goal-setting and measurement. (This needs to happen across all levels)
  4. Leaders will have to establish boundaries for themselves and lead by example for the rest of the group to follow.
  5. More humanity and empathy (one can only hope).

 

Change is coming and it’s coming fast. I see some bumps, but I’m optimistic.

Hope you’re well

Ali

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