This content originally appeared in Tech Leadership Weekly, a weekly email newsletter to help you become a better technical manager.
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Communication is not just the articulation of your thoughts. It’s also the ability of the other person to hear what you’re saying. Some people are predisposed to focus on a goal as a means of achieving an objective, while others focus on solving a problem. Someone may make a decision based on their internally standard, while others seek outside affirmation as they come to a decision. Some people think in big picture terms, while others break a problem down into actionable steps. A person may arrive at a decision either based on what they’ve seen, what they’ve heard, what they’ve done, or what they’ve read. Understanding a persons predisposition to messages and framing a message to align with their traits can be the difference between being heard and being ignored.
Reading Time: 10 minutes
Deadlines are an important tool, but they are often mis-used or mis-understood. For a deadline to be effective (or accurate), they need to be created only when enough information is available to make an accurate estimate. It’s important that all parties dependent on a deadline understand the definition of complete. When challenges arise in a project, deadlines need to be updated and communicated. At their heart, deadlines are a communication tool teams use to manage dependencies.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
For a technical leader, the transition from maker to manager brings an additional challenge. It’s critical to focus on keeping yourself healthy. Make sure you exercise. Have someone to talk to about difficult, often personal challenges you’re facing. Talk shop with a small group of peers outside of work. Look to grow through personal projects, completely unrelated to your daily work. In order to be an effective leader, you need to be in a happy, healthy place.
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Also published on Medium.