How I learned to handle my first disruptive direct report
As a manager, I didn't know how to handle my first disruptive report. I tried talking to them, but it didn't go as planned. I would leave our one-on-ones feeling unsure of how the conversation went. Their behaviour had started to impact the rest of the team.
What helped me move forward was practicing difficult conversations. For example, do you have someone in your org that you trust? If you do, it would be a good idea to reach out to them and ask them to play the role of your report. This always helped me learn how to handle myself when things didn't go as planned.
I learned not to use words that triggered them, for example, "you," "always," and "they said this," as this puts focus on them and not the situation. Remember, you are on the same side. You are trying to change the problematic behaviour and need to separate the person from the problem, as they are not the same.
Over time, practicing helped me hone the words and made the situation less scary. Practicing difficult conversations and feedback enables you to become a better manager. Later, I offered support for practicing difficult conversations with other managers in the org or managers directly reporting to me. This helped create a better culture in the org.
Here are some ways you can bring this practice to your org:
- Provide feedback to a person on a situation and ask them to give you feedback on how they received it.
- Create fake scenarios and create a group of managers that provide, receive feedback and then share learnings.
- Practice with your direct manager.
Roleplay would also apply if you are not a manager and want to provide feedback to your manager or anyone else on your team.
👉 Here is an example scenario I want you to practice:
You as a manager have to provide feedback to your direct report that is being rude - interrupting conversations, delaying meetings, being disrespectful and making it an unhealthy culture.
Your direct report thinks they need to step in to be a leader and has significantly impacted the team.
I'll share how I would handle this scenario next week.
Front-end Development 🎨
Next.js team has released a beneficial library called OG Image Generator. This library lets you generate dynamic social card images by rendering a PNG for you to use. I'll use this tool to create blog images when I publish a blog post automatically.
Currently, my process is quite complex. I create my image in Canva, export it to a png file, store it in the public folder in next.js and use it in my blog post. This tool will help me save a ton of time.
Are you interested in building a website just like mine? I will show you how I created mine in this tweet.
Here is what a Senior Engineering Manager that completed the course: The Leader's Playbook: The First 90 Days said: