One-on-Ones: Just as Necessary for Managers

Last week at the Software Development conference, I met a software director. His group, a total of about 30-40 people (I’ve forgotten the exact number) is responsible for all the software his company produces. He has two managers managing those folks. He’s busy, so although he requests that his managers have one-on-ones with their staff, …

Demotivation

  First read Esther’s entry about the Secrets of Motivation for some great pointers on not demotivating people. If you’re having a cynical day or need a chuckle go to Despair.com. At dinner last night, some friends were talking about motivational posters — and we all laughed. One colleague told me about these sarcastic motivational …

Management Speak — or Admitting You Don't Know is Hard to Do

  Every so often, I hear managers say things they vowed they’d never say when they were technical contributors. (Yeah, parents do that too, but that’s not the topic today 🙂 Here are a few of my favorites with their translations: “We have expertise in that area.” Translation: We have no idea what you’re talking …

Making Difficult Decisions: Choosing When to Lay Yourself Off

Steve Smith challenged me in a comment to the cowardly layoff/no feedback posting: “What would you have done if you were the manager who layed off these people?” I’ve written about layoffs in a previous Software Development column, but let me address the specific problem Steve described: The manager needs the paycheck. The manager (or …

Feedback, Please

  In the last two weeks, four different colleagues have found themselves suddenly unemployed, all for the same reason, “You didn’t do what we expected you to. Since your performance is inadequate, we’re firing you.” My colleagues and I were surprised. Three of the four people received raises and good-to-great performance evaluations in the last …