Steve Sitton

Just another blog…

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Here are a few blogs I recommend reading from this month…

6 tips to be a better manager in the most common situations you’ll face
Asking for feedback from people has never resulted in too much success for me, a good tip is to “Ask for advice instead of feedback.” I do think that saying “I’m giving you this feedback because I want you to succeed.” can come across a bit pretentious and should only be used with certain people. The blog has good tips that is worth reading.

The 5 things your employee wants to say to you that you do not want to hear
“If you choose to listen, make sure you are ready to make changes based on what you hear or your best people who were willing to give you the feedback will walk.” Choose to listen! Transparency, communication, purpose are all crucial for building strong… Continue reading

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In the echo chambers of time the phrases “Are you on mute?” and “Can you hear me?” will reverberate as an eternal reminder of how much precious time is lost in meetings. Many look back in despair at the time spent in awful meetings, it’s time that is lost forever! Has all hope disappeared for meetings? Are the mental scars of bad meetings too deep to repair? Do we even care anymore?!

It’s difficult to say how much time is used (or even wasted) in meetings, various studies report anywhere from 15% to 30% of our time is in meetings. Certainly, the higher the management ladder you are the more meetings you can expect. But my concern is with engineers and engineering managers whose focus is on implementing and delivering features for customers. If we are ‘wasting’ time here then it is directly impacting what is delivered to customers and… Continue reading

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Here are a few blogs I recommend reading from this month…

Maslow on Management
Challenging blog looking into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Motivation. “The famous Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is a failure of empathy.” Leaders of a team have the responsibility to meeting each person where they are and challenge them from there.

5 Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed by Your Workload
We all feel overwhelmed at times this covers a few pointers that may help. Checking your assumptions against other people’s priorities is worth doing. Also, I feel writing down a to-do list with notes is important so you don’t have to remember details, there is also satisfaction is crossing them off when done!

Research: To Be a Good Leader, Start By Being a Good Follower
Being a leader is being part of the group, sharing the… Continue reading

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Below is the video of my debut meetup talk given at the Medidata Hammersmith office who hosted the Scala Central meetup on 2nd August. The talk was titled – Learning Scala as an Engineering Manager.

The slides are here.

Below are links mentioned during the talk:

Coursera

References, Handbooks, and Cheat Sheets

Video

Article

Puzzles

All of the talks at this meetup can be watched here.

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Some blogs I recommend reading from this month…

How to Manage an Employee Who’s Having a Personal Crisis
Whether we like it or not people in our teams will go through difficult times, this covers good points for supporting those people in the right way.

The 4 questions you should stop asking during your one-on-one meetings
I ask the “How’s it going?” quite often, even “How’s life?” too, these are questions people expect when starting a 1:1, particularly the first. They are a good way to start, but then be open how the person responds and flow from there. You will have questions prepared and variation is important, where this blog can help. Questions that are specific helps to avoid those vague answers.

8 Tips for Being a Good Tech Lead
You may not be hands-on coding anymore but there are still helpful points in this blog. I like the… Continue reading

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Some blogs I recommend reading from this month…

What to do (and not do) during your first 2 weeks as a new manager
Good advice for new managers, some are good reminders even for the more experienced. Saying “I don’t know” is a sign of humility and can be used throughout a career.

How to Run an Effective and Engaging Problem Solving Session
“Things go wrong. It happens.” Indeed they do! A good strategy when facing those pressured and often very visible problems is to “Stay open, listen, and facilitate discussion.” Forward facing questions has been a challenge for me and takes practise to overcome.

Say the Hard Thing
“The difficulty with saying the hard thing is you know how it will feel to hear the hard thing.” It is never easy giving feedback that may not be received well, but it is the responsibility of every manager to do… Continue reading

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Our days are busy, filled with meetings, status updates, future planning, risk assessing, decision making and the rest! The people in our teams are busy too! Above all we’re human, we have lives that impact our mood and outlook. To the point, we have bad days which means we can act in undesirable ways sometimes, but that doesn’t always mean there is a lack of respect. Sometimes a manager needs to let it go!

A few examples where people behave unexpectedly could be:

  • Snapping a response back to a question
  • Turn up late for a meeting without saying anything
  • Raising a voice at you or someone in the team
  • Someone storms out of a team meeting or 1:1

No question, some actions can be disrespectful but there are different ways to deal with them. The relationship you have with the person is important as you draw from that experience. As… Continue reading

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