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Tech Leadership Weekly

Issue 92, November 29, 2017

Rebecca Knight
How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Work

Hard conversations aren't fun, but are necessary at times. To reduce the stress of a difficult conversation, try framing it with the desired positive outcome. Plan, by jotting down a few key points, but don't script the conversation. Approach the conversation with compassion. As the conversation unfolds, slow down and listen. If possible, give something back. Once the conversation's over, reflect on what went well and what didn't.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Joy Ebertz
Why I Left Management: the engineering technical track vs. management track

Choosing to stay in a technical role vs moving into management is a deeply personal decision. For Joy, the choice to down to how she received energy. She received energy from solving hard problems, moving projects forward, and the intellectual challenges of architectural design. In contrast, meetings, hiring, emails, and hard conversations were draining. If you're thinking about moving into management, or unhappy in management, consider where you draw your energy from.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ryan Singer
Running in Circles

For many organizations, a shift from waterfall to agile is actually a shift to high frequency waterfall, where velocity is the key metric. Software development isn't a linear process. Instead, it's about resolving the essential unknowns. Instead of viewing feature development as a linear process, think of it as a hill. During the uphill phase, spike a prototype and load it with real data. Prioritize the scariest unknowns first. Once you've achieved a collective understanding, work becomes a linear process.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

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