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people management

Manager with tape over her mouth Things Managers Should Never Say

Managers have to communicate regularly with the people they're managing. However, managers also need to try harder to be mindful of what they are saying, instead of speaking before they think. Here are some things a manager should never say—avoid these lines and people will be more likely to follow your lead.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Caution tape stretching across a construction site 5 Pitfalls Agile Coaches Must Avoid

Successful agile teams often have a coach driving continuous improvement. While some coaches are effective initially, many eventually succumb to pitfalls that inhibit their team’s growth and fail to compel any lasting changes. Here are five common pitfalls of agile coaches in most projects that fail to improve.

Alan Crouch's picture
Alan Crouch
Three coworkers laughing in their office, photo by Priscilla Du Preez Why Laughter Is a Sign of Creative, Productive Teams

Laughter is a sign that people feel relaxed and safe. In a workplace, safety leads to environments that enable more idea generation and innovation, so one approach to improving teammates' creativity and connection is to encourage laughter. But how can you do that so it doesn't feel forced? Steve Berczuk has some ideas.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Roadblock sign reading "Road closed" 4 Impediments to Nurturing a Feedback-Rich Culture

Being able to have open, candid conversations that fuel learning, growth, and improvement is critical to a team’s success, so it is important to look out for impediments that can get in the way of having a feedback-rich culture. Here are four common impediments to watch for, as well as behaviors you should nurture.

Joanna Vahlsing's picture
Joanna Vahlsing
Silhouettes of a team, with a key person standing out in red Fighting Key-Person Dependency Risk on Your Team

Key-person dependency risk is when only one person on your team possesses certain business-critical abilities or knowledge—so if that person leaves, you're in trouble. The first step of mitigating that risk is taking stock of your team members and their skills. Decide what's important, and train or hire accordingly.

Lee Eason's picture
Lee Eason
Two men sitting opposite each other, working on their laptops Is Your Agile Team Taking Every Opportunity for Communication?

Scrum events are well-defined points where team members communicate, but they shouldn't be the only times. If you’re not considering coding, tests, and the delivery process as opportunities for a conversation, you are missing an important chance to leverage individuals and interactions, as the Agile Manifesto states.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Man delivering bad news to a coworker Tips for When You Have to Deliver Bad News at Work

Delivering bad news is rarely easy and never fun. But delaying and worrying often make it worse than it needs to be. Most people on the receiving end would prefer to hear bad news sooner rather than later, so instead of putting off the undesirable task, try some of these tips to deliver bad news as easily as possible.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
An organized desk with computer, planner, calendar, and more Stress and Project Management: 5 Ways to Relieve Project Pressure

Project managers have many sources of stress. They are responsible for the performance of their team members, and often for whether a project is successful or fails. Keep the pressure off with these five tips for reducing your stress and ensure a smoothly functioning team.

Krystle Dickerson's picture
Krystle Dickerson