One thing I wanted to a better job at as I took on a new role last year is to be more deliberate in giving feedback. As a German, I tend to fall on the side of only focusing on negative, or constructive feedback. I tend to focus on pointing out what I think should be improved, or what isn’t conclusive. This is quite ingrained in the German work culture.
Leaders who find themselves wondering why their teams aren’t making important decisions on their own tend to be leaders who are constantly pulled into many different discussions. Their calendars are filled to the brim, leaving little time for longer term work. This can seem like you’re contributing as a manager, like you’re doing important work and keeping yourself busy. It also means that you’ll have less time to focus on strategic work.
One of the greatest challenges for a manager is finding ways to channel the constant pulling into different directions. These days, that pull is likely also true, especially in a distributed team where it’s easy to get pulled into Slack discussions and lose track of priorities. At least that’s been my experience in the past and in the present too, amplified further by now having a management role.
Slightly more than a year ago, I had no idea what a 1:1 is let alone what purpose it’s serves. The idea of talking to one of our team member seemed so foreign at a time when we structured our team around individual autonomy and the assumption that people will speak up when something’s up.