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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

☔️ February 2024: Fulfilling Work, Giving Feedback, Finding Flow State

Yesterday I met with a client whom I had not met with since late December, so we greeted each other with "Happy New Year!" and then both laughed at the realization that that greeting feels a little goofy now that it is February. But I feel like I blinked and January was somehow over -- how did it speed by so quickly??

Living in Santa Barbara, we are on day 4 of very heavy rains... I am feeling some deep cabin fever, but instead of giving into it, I'll dig out my latest recommendations for you instead. Perhaps part of why January flew by for me is that I had so many enjoyable and substantial conversations with clients and teams. If you fall into either category, consider yourself appreciated! Here are some resources I have used recently...


🔛 Questions for 1:1 meetings. Some of my clients are slowly revving up for performance reviews, or perhaps just digging themselves out of winter doldrums. Wherever you find yourself, here are some questions from Harvard Business Review:

From “5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports

  • How would you like to grow within this organization?

  • Do you feel a sense of purpose in your job?

  • What do you need from me to do your best work?

  • What are we currently not doing as a company that you feel we should do?

  • Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

From “It’s Time to Reimagine Employee Retention

  • What motivates you most about the work you do today?

  • What are the talents you want to build a reputation for?

  • What career possibilities would you like to learn more about?

🥪 Stop serving the compliment sandwich. Coupled with thoughtful feedback during those 1:1's are often some constructive suggestions for improvement. At all costs, avoid the temptation to "put a slice of praise on the top and the bottom, and stick the meat of your criticism in between." This article will give you the tools to provide the "radical candor" needed, but in a manageable and palatable way.

🧰 The Need for Professional Development. OK, so the title embedded in this link is actually, "Most of your employees don’t want to be managers. Here’s how to support what they do want." Apparently studies have shown that only 1 out of 10 employees want to be managers! But here lies the conundrum: "Nevertheless, the statistic reflects the reality that organizations need to consider how to help employees chart a path of longevity that does not necessarily include management. When employees do not want to become managers yet lack a viable alternative, they can be left unsatisfied, reducing employee engagement and retention for the organization." The solution? Investing in the professional development of your employees! Look to the right side of today's post -- I've included a new block of the most requested trainings I can provide to you or your team. Let's get started.

🧘🏽‍♂️ Finding Your Flow State. I sure am seeing a bunch of articles about how to focus, cut down on distractions, go into “monk mode,” schedule times for “deep work,” etc. But do I actually KNOW my best conditions for getting into the zone and cranking out creative, energetic, productive stuff? Do you? Here’s an exercise to help you define how you might get there.

Thank you for reading -- please share it with a friend or co-worker. And reach out at with questions or inquiries as to how we can work together. Ciao!

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