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6-Part Mini-Masterclass Series

Essential Skills for Managers and Those Who Aspire to be Managers


The Four Leadership Styles


Understanding People’s Motivations


Dealing with Difficult Situations


The Art of 1:1 Meetings


Five Ways to De-Escalating Conflict at Any Workplace


​Employee Recognition Guide Low-cost, High-Impact


The Four Leadership Styles

  • Assess the situation: New managers are always eager to introduce new things and make changes. But it is important to take the time to assess what works and what doesn’t before you make any changes.

  • Spend time getting to know your team: Take some time to understand your individual team’s motivations. Without knowing what motivates them, you can’t inspire them.

  • Avoid signs of favoritism: Nothing demotivates people more than signs of favoritism from a supervisor.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate: ....And then communicate again!

  • Set boundaries.


Understanding People’s Motivations

  • One of the biggest mistakes leaders make when they first start managing a team is focusing on building up only their technical skills/operational skills.

  • Managing your team and building a high performing team requires more than merely building technical skills and operational skills. Yes, these serve to fortify a team competence, but there is so much more that goes into managing a team dynamic.

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Dealing with Difficult Situations

  • Avoid vague absolutes – Statements like “you never do this” or “you always do that” often make employees defensive and unwilling to listen.

  • Listen to their point of view – Ask questions about why they handled something a certain way and be open to finding out you could be wrong.

  • Don’t make it personal – It’s critical that your comments don’t give the impression you’re attacking their character.

  • Don’t overreact – Take time to collect yourself and think about what you want to say.

  • Offer positive feedback too – Don’t miss any opportunity to praise your employee in the moment. Especially when there are others present.

  • Try the Start/Stop/Continue approach – Tell your team what they should start doing to be an even better employee, what they should stop doing, and what they’re doing great and should continue.


The Art of 1:1 Meetings

Common mistakes managers make about 1:1 meetings:

  • Rescheduling your one-on-ones often

  • You only ask for a status update

  • You multitask by having your computer open and glancing over at incoming messages and emails

  • You don’t structure it the right way

  • You ask, “How can I help you?” during your one-on-one meetings, rather than asking specific questions that get the conversation going (see a list of questions below)

Ideal 1:1 meeting structure should allow you to accomplish 3 things:

  • Build relationships with your direct reports and your supervisor

  • Conduct creative brainstorm and address any challenges

  • Address employees professional development

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Five Ways to De-Escalating Conflict at Any Workplace


Before we head into the 5 ways you can immediately de-escalate a conflict at work, you need to understand why conflict happens.

Workplace Conflict – why does it happen?

  • Conflicting personalities

  • Poorly defined roles and responsibilities

  • Lack of process flow

  • Perceived inequities of resources

  • Unmet workplace needs

  • Poor communication (comments taken out of context)

  • Underdeveloped soft skills in employees (collaboration, teamwork, etc.)

  • Diversity (difference of work methods, goals, generation divides, ideology and perspective, sex and sexual orientation, upbringing... to mention a few)


Employee Recognition Guide
Low-cost, High-Impact

Employee recognition helps:

  • Retain the best talent

  • Encourages high performance

  • Increases engagement

Lack of employee recognition causes:

  • Poor team morale

  • Underutilized talent and resources

  • Underperformance

How can you make employee recognition meaningful?

Even organizations with robust company cultures are challenged when it comes down meaningful employee recognition... simply because there is no one size fits all solution. When you personalize the gesture, including specific messaging, it creates authenticity.

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