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Ella Dawson
Here's some of the best advice I got when I became a manager last year! It's simple, but considering most people receive no management training whatsoever these days, it's better than nothing. Thread!
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Have a regular 1:1 meeting with your direct reports that is dedicated to their needs and projects. Ideally it would be once a week, at least 30 minutes. Do not cancel that 1:1 meeting, ever ever ever.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
As a manager, your job is not just to track the work and success of your reports. You're also responsible for helping them reach their professional goals. They will have jobs after they work for you, and helping them prepare for those goals isn't a threat to you! It builds trust.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Do not make your problems the problems of your direct reports. As a manager, you should never over-confide in your employees. You are there to provide a safe, productive and respectful environment for them. That means creating and modeling strong boundaries.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
When your direct report comes to you with a problem, actively listen. Don't rush to solve the problem for them—listen to what they're telling you, repeat it back to them as you understand it to make sure you're not jumping to conclusions, and then help them think it through.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Do not ever give challenging feedback in front of an audience. Do not ever reprimand an employee in front of an audience. These are humiliating, controlling tactics, not ways to help a direct report build a skill and avoid making the same mistake again.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Work/life balance is not a fuzzy mantra, it's a concrete set of rules and boundaries. Building a healthy culture starts with you as the boss. Are you sending them emails at 4am? Are you working late at the office and making your team feel guilty for leaving at 6pm? Cut it out.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Don't gossip with your direct reports, ESPECIALLY about your own team. While gossip is a human way to bond quickly with strangers, there's a power imbalance. If you gossip with your employees, what's to stop them from thinking you'll gossip about them too?
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
If you report didn't do something you asked them to do, ask them why! Don't rush to accuse or launch into a personal attack. It's possible you didn't actually ask them, or they ran into a stumbling block beyond their control. Or maybe what you asked them to do was silly!
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
If you think your team as a gossip problem, you've probably created an environment where they don't feel comfortable coming to you directly with their issues.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
It's normal for new, inexperienced managers to try to show off how much they know in order to build credibility in the eyes of their team. This actually can do the opposite: it makes you look arrogant and snobbish. You'll get farther by asking your team what they think.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
You will mess up! Managers are people too, and management is a real skill that takes practice and training. It isn't intuitive, and takes a lot of self-discipline and boundaries and empathy. When you mess up, take responsibility and apologize. Then don't do it again.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
You can solve a lot of problems by asking your direct reports a few simple questions: "So how are you doing?" "What challenges have you run into that I can help you with?" "How do you feel about your workload?"
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Everyone you manage will have different work styles, communication styles, environmental preferences, feedback styles, and different attitudes toward the role that work plays in their lives. Not every person you manage will need the same type of management.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
There will be days when your direct reports don't like you. That's just part of being a manager. Your job is not to be liked; it's to be trusted overall.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Being a manager is draining. You're part therapist, part coach, part strategist and part teacher. Management involves a lot of emotional labor. And if you're reading this tweet thinking, "What on earth is this girl talking about?" you're probably a bad manager.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Not everyone likes or wants to be a manager. Sometimes you don't have a choice, and that sucks! But don't take that out on your reports.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
As a manager, you are in a position of power over other people's lives. Your choices and behavior impact their financial wellbeing and their health. No, you're not their parent. But don't be cavalier about the way you directly impact their ability to pay their rent.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
As a manager, your behavior is magnified tenfold. You set the tone for your reports, for your teams. That means you don't get to make insensitive jokes, or date coworkers, or talk shit. You create the workplace culture around you. Sorry, them's the breaks.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
There is literally never a good reason to raise your voice. Unless, like, a goose has broken into the office and gone wild.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @brosandprose
Here's an obvious one, but apparently it needs to be stated because the world is hell: DO NOT DATE YOUR DIRECT REPORTS.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Replying to @nadiarawls
In the event that your direct report has a question that you don't know the answer to, don't bluff or make something up. Calmly say, "I don't know, but I'll look into that and get back to you!" (My former manager and guardian angel taught me that one.)
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
Last one for now: read ! Alison Green's advice is so practical, and she writes great suggested language and scripts for common conversations managers need to have with direct reports, and coworkers in general.
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Ella Dawson Dec 5
P.S. If you enjoyed this thread, please consider leaving me a tip on PayPal!
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Ella Dawson Dec 6
Replying to @brosandprose
Some folks are asking why on earth I have a tip jar. Here’s the short version: – I’m currently freelancing, and my tip jar is my best source of immediate income. It paid my rent last month. – I believe in paying people for their work, and my tip jar gives folks that option.
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Ella Dawson Dec 6
Replying to @brosandprose
The irony of writing a thread of advice about how to be a gracious manager who recognizes the value and humanity of their employees and then getting rude tweets about my tip jar is not lost on me.
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