Tips to Make Your Meetings More Useful

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This may sound shocking, but meetings don’t have to fill you with dread or feel like a chore. Done right, they can even be fun. I’ve spent countless hours in meetings over my career, and as a coach and facilitator I teach others how to meet more effectively. The most important thing I’ve learned is to think like a UX designer and consider the experience of the meeting’s attendees. Here are some tips I’ve learned to help you design better meetings.

IDOARTT

One helpful mnemonic device for meeting organizers is the acronym IDOARTT, which…


It’s Probably Not as Clear as You Think

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Recently I wrote about giving feedback, and today I’m writing about the other half of the feedback equation — receiving feedback. Just like the tools for giving feedback can help you be a better feedback recipient, these tools for receiving feedback can make you a better feedback giver.

First, though, here’s an experiment I did that surprised me and shows that feedback may be much more fallible than we think.

A Feedback Experiment To Try With Your Team

A member of one of my Learning Circles suggested we try this experiment:

  1. Have each person anonymously write down an example of “good” and “bad” feedback
  2. Display each piece of…


NVCC in a Nutshell

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Is there a word in the corporate world that inspires more fear than “feedback”? We’re told it’s a gift, but if that’s true it often feels like a too-small sweater knit for you after you told the knitter you were moving to the tropics, or that time at the white elephant exchange when you were stuck with a failed gag gift (none of the laughs, all of the awkwardness). Yet we want to learn and grow, and we feel more motivated when we’re getting useful coaching that helps us get better. …


How to make hiring more fair and inclusive at your organization.

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I recently had the opportunity to attend AT&T Aspire and Village Capital’s Talent & Culture Development Forum, which was well-moderated by Florence Navarro. I took a lot away from the conference about building an inclusive culture and increasing diversity and fairness in your hiring process, so I decided to write about it.

Values Are the Bedrock of Culture

When we discuss culture what are we talking about? These were some answers I liked:

  • How you communicate with each other
  • Your shared understanding of why
  • Coherence of direction

Another common message was to be deliberate from…


My experiment with career conversations & why you need to do these with your team

One of my favorite things about my team is how open they are to trying new things. So in December when I read about career conversations in Radical Candor, and suggested three structured conversations, they were game to be my guinea pigs.

Photo by Karlijn Prot on Unsplash

Why You Need To Do These

We live in a reality where, in tech, the average career tenure at most companies is around 3 years, or less. Having these conversations is a way of acknowledging this reality, of letting people know that it’s ok to think about what they…


Continuous feedback + check-ins against clearly articulated expectations

Note: I wrote this as my hiring challenge for Quill, though I’ve updated a few things to reflect how this process has evolved. One thing I learned after joining is that most people want some form of formal evaluation, provided it meets the principles laid out below. This makes sense — another thing I learned when re-reading Thanks for the Feedback is that while most feedback should be coaching, people also need evaluation to know where they stand. …


Why you need to spend time on positive feedback + a quick way to work feedback into your team meetings

Less-Radical Candor

I’m a big fan of Radical Candor, but I think it gets one thing wrong. In it’s rush to encourage feedback, it doesn’t spend enough time on positive feedback. It praises “obnoxious aggression,” as better than what it calls “ruinous empathy.” This is bad because, according to the Harvard Business Review, the optimal praise-to-criticism ratio is about 5.6 to 1.

I’ve written about coaching and it’s importance before, and I believe in continuous feedback — there’s nothing worse than saving…


Work isn’t school, so especially if you’re new to work you probably aren’t making enough. Why you should make more, and why making them is good for you and your team.

Did You F**k Up Today?

One of the cool things about managing is that you get to work with a lot of people. A trend I see is that many people — especially those earlier in their career journeys — are terrified of making mistakes. I can relate. After 7 years in the post-secondary education system, I too thought that everything was about getting a good grade. I worried that if I didn’t get…


Note: This is part of some thoughts I wrote up last year when I was interviewed about being a woman in tech. I posted the more general advice as Ownership or How to Be the Best Junior Employee Ever. Since it’s March, here’s my advice for women* in tech.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Should women enter tech?

I heard this question more last year, when Uber and other tech cos were rightfully in the news for their treatment of women. And let’s be real — tech can be a hard place if you’re not a straight, white cis-male. Once I started working at Facebook I saw Sheryl Sandberg…


Note: This is from some thoughts I wrote up awhile ago when I was interviewed about being a woman in tech. I’m splitting it into a few parts and starting with the most general — advice for anyone newer to the tech workplace. Also, Jane Nevins wrote a great summary of this already, so apologies for any repetition.

Before I worked in tech, I was a junior associate at a law firm. You may not think of a law firm as the most innovative management space. We didn’t have 1:1s, or lunch talks on things like Radical Candor, or even…

Sara Jeruss

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