Sometimes we hit a brick wall when coaching. We’re getting no where, saying the same things over and over and both parties are frustrated. As a coach this can be demoralizing. As a mentee, it can be a source of anxiety. Especially if our coach is our boss (will she give up on me?).

I’ve spent much of the last 10+ years in leadership roles and I’ve noticed a gap in the “manager 101” trainings available. Though new managers get lots of good advice across a variety of disciplines including how to coach, I’ve seen little advice on what to…

It can be tempting to handle high performers in a “fire & forget” mode — after all they are the ones you can count on to be self-sufficient and get things done. However, experienced managers learn that their high performers can require as much of their attention as low performers. Moreover, if you accept the premise that the role of a leader is to build leadership, then growing your high performers is a key responsibility.

But what exactly should we do for our high performers and how does that differ from how we engage with the middle of…

Managing low performing employees is a topic that vexes leaders at all levels. How much time and effort should we invest to help them improve? How do you know when further efforts are pointless? When do you switch from “managing them up“ to ”managing them out“? Inevitably working with low performers will be stressful and likely create anger, anxiety, and sadness for the manager. How do we manage our own emotions throughout the process? What is the impact on the team of the manager spending so much time with the low performer (and perhaps neglecting the team)? What is the…

Christopher Haag

Interested in engineering leadership, psychology, science, politics and good speculative fiction.

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