tl;dr:These steps can help mitigate isolation felt when working as a "team of one," fostering a more supportive and collaborative work culture: (1) Regular Check-ins. (2) Peer Groups. (3) Cross-team collaboration. (4) Training sessions and workshops. (5) Online Social Activities. (6) Mentorship Programs. Lara explains how to act on each.
tl;dr:The "even / over" statements tool involves filling in the blanks: "In order to [thing], I'm choosing [x important thing] even over [y important thing]." This helps when there are two equally important options, and making a decision feels challenging. By articulating the trade-off and choosing one over the other, individuals can gain clarity. This is tool is for the present or a specified period.
tl;dr:We are easily influenced by the mood of those around us — “one person’s behavior change can cause others to change their behavior,” and by setting the whole temperature for the room, they’re being a thermostat. As leaders, Lara advises us to pick up on these negative mood changes early and become the person that sets the the new temperature of the room in a positive and healthy way. She illustrates how to do so here.
tl;dr:“What we recognize is what we reward,” and we often reinforce behaviors accidentally e.g. when ask a team to demo an upcoming release, add a Slack emoji high-five response to a comment, we are recognizing something we like about someones behavior and signaling to those around us that we want to see more of that behavior. Lara provides us with an exercise to establish how we are recognizing and rewarding our teams and reports.
tl;dr:"We’re intentionally limiting this process to two experiments because tons of change at once will be scary and confusing for folks. We’re also going to limit the experiment timeline to 2-3 weeks; the goal is to be able to gather data at the end of your first 60 days in your new leadership role." After crafting experiments, develop your communication plan, implement your experiments and prepare to share the results.
tl;dr:"Consider team dynamics, the projects on this person’s plate, and what you want the future to look like. The employee may: (1) Be highly respected so you want to optimize for supporting their teammates and helping them feel secure after they leave. (2) Be disruptive to team culture, so you want to optimize for a smooth and speedy departure with minimal conflict. (3) Have a lot of connections to folks you may want to hire for future roles, so you want to ensure they have a really positive experience in the last few weeks. Lara walks through the playbook.
tl;dr:Lara introduces the PIP decision framework: (1) Ask yourself if you believe the person will be able to meet expectations within 30 days and consistently thereafter?” (2) If yes, ask what haven't you stated clearly yet to this person about what to expect in this role?” (3) State the gap between their work and what’s expected in their role as clearly as possible to see if the new clarity changes things. (4) Ask what's in their way of meeting these expectations?
tl;dr:Asking “is there anything I can do better” rarely elicits a helpful response. Instead, identify a skill you’re hoping to improve and request feedback on it. "This approach has the benefit of being easier for the person giving you feedback, and more impactful and useful for you." For example, if you want to improve in strategy, ask the following questions (1) "what outcomes - positive or negative - have you seen from my efforts at strategy?" (2) “What new approaches or tactics do you think I should experiment with here?”
tl;dr:"I’ve learned that getting some particular data during an initial 1:1 can be really helpful, as I can refer back to the answers as I need to give a person feedback, recognize them, and find creative ways to support them." Lara discusses her template for initial 1-1s with questions around "grumpiness", feedback and recognition, goals and support, and the most important question - what’s your favorite way to treat yourself?