Team Productivity – What You Need to Know This Week

Sep 15, 2015
4 Min Read

Here’s a look at three interesting stories currently in the news with ramifications for your team’s productivity.

1. Manager’s schedule vs. "maker’s schedule"

Most new managers freak out when they first realize how much time they’re going to need to spend in meetings, doing the work of “managing.” It’s a lot, at least to do it well. In this insightful post, Danielle Morrill takes a look at how she’s managed to adapt to a manager’s schedule (versus a “maker’s schedule” – the schedule of, say, programmers or writers, where lots of meetings can be a disaster since it’s tough to write or program without large blocks of uninterrupted time). She even includes screenshots of her calendar to illustrate how she’s come to terms with needing to allocate time very differently as a manager – and how she’s made it work while still preserving some “maker’s time” for herself as well.

2. Your emotions will impact your staff’s productivity

New research shows that a leader’s expression of happiness and anger will affect whether or not employees are willing to help out a coworker, work late when needed, or demonstrate other “organizational citizenship behaviors.” The research, published in Leadership Quarterly, found that employees were less willing to perform these sorts of actions after seeing a leader display “inappropriate” anger over a project’s failure. It makes sense, of course, that people would be less likely to want to go the extra mile when they don’t strictly have to, when they’re facing negativity and even hostility from the person steering the ship.

3. Ask irritating coworkers to elaborate on their ideas in email

If you’re tired of that coworker who always shoots down your ideas and pushes poorly thought out ideas of her own on you, try asking her to elaborate in an email, suggests Jeff Giesea in Entrepreneur: “Having them flesh out their idea in writing has a few advantages,” he says. “It forces them to more fully explain their idea, so you can better understand it. It takes the discussion to a place that feels more objective, rather than getting stuck in the clash of your personalities. Finally, it gets you out of the mode of reaction to a place where you can more objectively choose how to respond. You may find that their ideas are more valuable than you had imagined.” (The article also contains three other messaging techniques that are pretty useful.)

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