2019 Management Tips from HBR

An awesome post from HBR website provides many great management tips. Below is a summary of the tips that are resonated with me. Along the way, I inject a few suggestions of my own.

Timebox your to-do list

  • Pick a few high priority to-do items and timeboxing them by having a plan on when they need to be done by and block time on your calendar to tackle them
  • Revisit the to-do list every morning at the beginning of your day

Improve your critical thinking

  • Don’t just accept the first solution that is available to you
  • Question your assumptions, help w/ removing bias
  • Poke at the logic, examine it to ensure evidence builds on itself
  • Use first principle reasoning
  • Leverage data to validate the logic
  • Leverage your network for fresh perspectives to gain more insights

Giving a persuasive presentation

  • Ethos: Gain trust by demonstrating your caring for others
  • Logos: Leverage data, evidence, and facts to back up your idea/pitch
  • Pathos: Come up with a story of your idea to elicit an emotional reaction
  • Metaphor: Help others understand your idea easier by comparing it with something your audience is familiar with
  • Brevity: Use as few words as possible. Start with sharing the strongest points

Know when to stop talking and start listening

  • Be self-aware to not dominate the conversations
  • Listen as much as your talk
  • Invite others to weigh in when someone asks a question
  • During 1:1s, encourage team members to be open and share their ideas and opinions during team discussions

Before a tough conversation, prepare thoroughly

  • It is critical to identify and understand your motives and goals to help the conversation on track if emotions arise
  • Do your homework: gather facts, data, and testimonies to support your position
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break to cool off when progress is not being made due to emotions

Get the basics right to run a good meeting

  • Have a specific goal and agenda
  • Start with “this meeting will be a success if ….”
  • Audience: key decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders
  • Ask inputs from others that can’t attend or need to be in the loop
  • Reflect at the end to learn what went well and didn’t. Don’t forget to ask others for their reflection
  • Identify key takeaways to improve next time (this is always the next time)

Positive feedback is just as important

  • Recognize positive feedback is a good way to learn about one’s strengths and growth areas
  • Identify the pattern or theme from the positive feedbacks
  • See how you can play to your strength in new situations

Your team wants to feel the purpose in their work

  • Think of ways to show team members the impact of their job/work. For example, ask your team’s customers to share a testimonial in person, or bring your to the field to experience the client’s needs for themselves
  • Be authentic and consistent to show your team you are serious