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Showing posts from April, 2018

Managing Humans: Everyone Cries

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The most valuable lesson I learned as a manager is rarely mentioned in traditional books and online articles about effective management.  It's in the neighborhood of Emotional Intelligence, but very specific. In short, a good manager is ready for someone to cry. Two wonderful managers taught me this lesson. I wasn't the one crying when I learned the lesson, but I have cried at work before and I’ll write an article about that someday.

But let's back up. This is slightly different than my normal advice for new managers or those considering the switch. They often think about larger responsibilities in project management, more meetings, and writing performance reviews as the challenging aspects of being a manager. While all that is true, they're not radically different than what a typical tech lead is already doing.  The specific thing that's a new challenge is having difficult conversations when managing a poor performer. ICs can avoid difficult conversations; manage…