I enjoyed reading the classic “Never Split The Difference” by Chris Voss. It contains many tools for negotiations but also for building relationships, trust and dealing with conflicts and emotions. That’s why it is very valuable for engineering managers. In this post, I summarize my key takeaways and lessons learned.
Team Manager's Toolkit
Good performance reviews should be as fair and objective as possible, communicate expectations clearly, and point out concrete areas of improvement. For this, we use a skill matrix as a systematic assessment tool containing skills tailored to the role of a software developer. This post is a hands-on guide to applying a skill matrix in practice.
Management is not something you “just do intuitively” and it will work out by itself. Instead, management is a craft that you can - and should - learn. It’s about knowing the right tools and approaches and learning skills that help you to lead a productive, happy and motivated team. In this post, we visualize these skills as a “Skill Tree” like in a video game. Have a look. It will be fun and insightful!
1-1s are the most important tool for every team manager. If done right, 1-1s can support the report to grow, to become and stay happy, motivated, and productive. However, you need a certain toolkit for 1-1s. This toolkit contains different 1-1 types, records, questions, personal notes, journey maps, and software that can be applied in practice.