8 episodes

Grow your career, one new skill at a time.


Growth Path Grow your career, one new skill at a time.

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    • 3.7 • 3 Ratings

Grow your career, one new skill at a time.


    How to Build Trust - Part I

    How to Build Trust - Part I

    Hello and welcome (back) to Growth Path, where we discuss skills to help you grow in your career & life.
    Today we are going to talk about how to build trust. As the foundation for all relationships, trust is essential for high-performing teams (and organizations). People in trusting relationships communicate more easily, collaborate more effectively, and work more efficiently. They have fewer conflicts, experience a greater sense of meaning in their work, and get more done with less. There is no such thing as too much trust.
    For this episode, we are trying something a little different. Because there is so much to cover, rather than cramming it all into one long piece, we broke it into four parts. Each is about 10-15 minutes long, and together they create a series. 
    The first episode (this one) covers definitions of trust, why it’s so important, and some principles for building it. In the following episodes, we talk about How to Build Trust with Oneself (Part II), Building Trust with Others (Part III), and The Trusting Team (Part IV). They will be released in the next couple of days. 
    Whether you are a new manager, a seasoned executive, or simply looking to collaborate more seamlessly with your colleagues, building trust-based relationships can make your work (& life) operate much more smoothly.  We hope that you find this series helpful. 
    Alright, let’s dive in.
    ~ Michelle

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.growthpathlabs.com

    • 13 min
    How to Prioritize

    How to Prioritize

    Hi everybody,
    Welcome (back) to Growth Path, where we discuss professional development & tools to help you grow in your career & life.
    In this episode, we are going to talk about How to Prioritize. This is an important topic for personal and professional growth because if you don’t prioritize the right things, you will waste time, energy & resources pursuing activities that don’t matter or give you the results you want. Worse, if you are a manager and aren’t strong in prioritization, your team will work on too many different projects - ultimately leading to duplication and poor decisions. Teams that aren’t clear on their priorities often inch along without seeing results. They additionally have a hard time collaborating with others, and often suffer from a lack of momentum, which leads to poor morale and burnout.
    The most successful people & teams all have one thing in common - they are highly skilled at prioritization. They allocate their time and energy effectively toward the things that matter most. They get more done, and they do more with less.
    For this session, I decided to try something a little different. While usually, on Growth Path, we have guest speakers join to share their wisdom, there are too many incredible insights on this topic from too many people to limit it to just one guest speaker. For that reason, I am structuring this episode more like a research report. The primary sources are top books on business, management, leadership, and personal effectiveness (e.g., The Effective Engineer, High Output Management, and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). I also reference writings by some of the greatest operators & thought leaders in business (e.g., Ben Horowitz, Michael Porter, and Andy Grove). The goal was to find overlap in their recommended principles, framework, and tactics for effective prioritization. My intention in this episode is to share with you the highlights and key takeaways of what I have learned.
    This episode has three parts. The first focuses on principles - some of the highest-level foundations or beliefs on prioritization (e.g., “Begin with the end in mind,” “First things first,” and the compounding nature of prioritization. The second section digs into popular frameworks and structures (e.g., the Eisenhower Matrix, Pareto Principle, and Priority Codes.) The third section centers on tips, tricks & tactics for prioritization - along with a few examples of how they can be used. We wrap with some inspirational quotes.
    Attached to this audio episode is something new called the “Learn More Document”. There, you will find timestamps, notes & key takeaways, reflection & discussion questions, and links to books, videos & articles for further study. Whether you are learning on your own, with a friend, or with your team - these should help you dig deeper into the topic and reflect on how you can improve your skillsets around prioritization.
    I so hope that you find this useful. If you have any feedback or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email, or leave a comment below.
    Have a great rest of your week!
    ~ Michelle
    → Link to Learn More Document ←

    🙋‍♂️ Want to learn more? Check out the Table of Contents.
    📧 Want to join Growth Path? Subscribe here.
    ✏️ Have feedback or questions? Email us.

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.growthpathlabs.com

    • 35 min
    How to Become Indistractable

    How to Become Indistractable

    Hi everybody -
    Our guest for this coaching session is Nir Eyal.
    Nir is a highly acclaimed writer, speaker, lecturer, consultant, and teacher focused on the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. He has co-founded and sold two tech companies and has written two bestselling books - Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products & Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.
    In this session, we discuss the subject of his most recent book - how to become indistractable. Nir starts by explaining why he cares so deeply about this topic and felt it was worth spending five years writing a book on it. He talks about why abstinence from technology does not work and walks us through what he calls the "Indistractable Model" - a framework for understanding how internal triggers (and negative emotions) lead us away from the things we want to accomplish in our lives. We talk about the importance of self-compassion, how motivation and the desire to escape discomfort impact focus, and tips and tricks for managing uncomfortable emotions like boredom and negativity. We wrap with a discussion on time management and how to create an indistractable workplace, team, and company culture.
    If you are looking for ways to improve your focus - or that of your team, this is the session for you!
    Let’s dive in.
    ~ Michelle
    —> Notes, Key Takeaways & Discussion Questions 📓

    ⏱️ Timestamps
    * Why focus on distraction? (03:55)
    * What is the indistractable model? (09:55)
    * On motivation & the desire to escape discomfort (17:28)
    * On self-compassion (26:25)
    * Tips & tricks to manage uncomfortable emotions (27:23)
    * Time Management (33:01)
    * Indistractable workplaces, teams & cultures (43:43)

    📚Referenced & Further Study: 
    * Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal 📗
    * Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal 📗
    * Schedule Maker/Google Sheet Template 
    * Indistractable Bonus Content 
    * Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. 📗
    * Follow Nir on Twitter, LinkedIn, or his blog. 

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.growthpathlabs.com

    • 53 min
    How to Manage Sales In A World That Never Stops Changing

    How to Manage Sales In A World That Never Stops Changing

    Hi everybody, hope you are having a wonderful weekend! 
    Our guest for this coaching session is a friend and former professor of mine, Frank Cespedes. Frank is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, where he teaches a variety of MBA and executive courses on Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Sales. Before joining the faculty, he worked at the strategy consulting firm Bain & Company and was Managing Partner at the Center for Executive Development.  An active investor, advisor, and board member, Frank is also a prolific writer. He’s written six books - mostly on sales (see links below) and dozens of articles for publications like Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune.  He has also written more than 40 case studies for Harvard. 
    In this conversation, Frank and I dive into one of his favorite topics, sales management, as we discuss his latest book, Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing. He shares with us the professional, intellectual, and practical reasons for focusing a career on sales, the challenges associated with learning & training, and how he believes selling is changing (or not changing) in an increasingly remote world. We discuss the challenging shift many salespeople make from individual contributor to management, the importance of creating a culture of excellence, and how integrating sales into the overall company strategy is mission-critical in driving performance. We wrap with a discussion of how buyer behavior is changing in an increasingly data-rich, omnichannel world and how that impacts the role salespeople must play.
    If any of these topics appeal to you more than another, feel free to check the show notes below. You will find links to the Key Takeaways doc, as well as timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the relevant part.
    I found this conversation absolutely fascinating, and I hope you will too.
    Let's dive in!
    ~ Michelle 

    📝 Link to Key Takeaways Doc 📝

    ⏱️ Timestamps:
    * Why focus a career on sales? (5:28)
    * On training, learning & development (09:59)
    * Sales in a remote world (17:48)
    * Sales management (22:20)
    * Culture of excellence, performance management & strategy (27:31)
    * Sales & the macroeconomic situation (36:46)
    * What’s changing in sales (42:22)
    * Parting words (47:56)

    📚 Referenced & Further Study: 
    * Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing [Frank’s latest book]
    * Preparing Sales for a Changing Economy: Part 1 (trainingindustry.com)
    * Preparing Sales for a Changing Economy, Part 2: Getting More from Your Training Spending (trainingindustry.com)
    * Frank’s author page on Amazon
    * Frank’s bio

    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.growthpathlabs.com

    • 52 min
    How to Onboard (Remote Employees)

    How to Onboard (Remote Employees)

    How to Onboard (Remote Employees)
    By Catherine Stewart
    Why is this an important competency?
    * Onboarding is one of the more critical moments when you are introducing an employee to the company and the company to that employee to make sure they are set up for success.
    * It is harder in a remote environment to onboard, and we are moving into a world where remote is not just common but often the default, and it's here to stay. 
    * A remote environment complicates onboarding and requires much tighter processes for successful onboarding. 
    What's the problem? 
    * Managers struggle to ensure their teams build the right social connections early enough, meet the right people, and learn how things get done in the company.
    * Onboarding typically is where you connect with colleagues, bond with the team, and get a feel for the company & culture → it is now often threatened. 
    The goal of onboarding:
    * Goal: Human and tight of a process as possible → make sure employees don't feel lonely and disconnected and drift in the wrong direction.
    * New employees have a lot to learn: who the key players are and how things get done; they may also be new to the industry & tools used. 
    * Managers must ensure they are set up to quickly learn as much as possible. 
    How remote is different: 
    * Typically natural interactions don't happen (e.g., shadow, observe, pop over to someone's desk) 
    * Remote onboarding requires more communication and intentionality.
    * Employees can struggle in a few ways, e.g., (1) in knowing who to meet, (2) may not know what is expected of them or how to prioritize their time; they don't know how they are doing b/c there is less non-verbal feedback; (3) more likely to veer off course b/c will take a longer time for their manager to notice 
    * Many employees feel disconnected and lonely → identify if other employees live near them that you can introduce them; consider who might be social/good at slack who can become a buddy at work (e.g., "cultural warriors") 
    Tactics to support onboarding:
    * Overcommunication - everything in a single one-stop shop manual (prepare far in advance, ideally once they accept the offer, expect to spend at least a few hours on it) – projects, information, background reading (more detail below)
    * Structural support with the team (e.g., first project paired with someone who has been at the company for a while) → creates incentives for them to help one another. It also generates natural information sharing. 
    * Higher-than-typical velocity of check-ins and 1:1s (e.g., 2-3x/week for the first few weeks) 
    * Shadow calls & meetings (to give guidance and feedback) → sets the stage for the future flow of feedback. 
    * Ensure you understand their needs (e.g., training in Slack or Google docs) → can get support lined up if possible (e.g., training with HR) 
    * Team connection → helpful to have a mix of team calls and 1:1s across the team. Ideally, have work-related reasons that tie the team together. Virtual coffee/beer is not the same as in-person. Good to have some sort of team meetup, even if just a few members. 
    Onboarding Document - what to include: 
    *Note: As you build your team, you can re-use portions of this document with future hires. It's helpful to invest time upfront. 
    * Prioritized list of who the new hire should meet with and why (next level here includes scheduling these meetings in advance of Day 1); 
    * (If possible) list of people who live nearby who they could meet
    * List of slack groups to join and how to engage with each (e.g., which ones to pay most attention to vs. which ones are more for social/passive monitoring) 
    * Links to the doc for 1:1s (so they can drop in questions as they come up during onboarding) 
    * Key reading & context for why it matters (e.g., company OKRs, strategy, board docs, past projects) 
    * Link to doc describing the first project (including scope, who they will be working with, and what success looks like) 
    * FAQs: names o

    • 17 min
    How to Listen (Actively)

    How to Listen (Actively)

    “Very important people have told me that they prefer good listeners to good talkers, but the ability to listen seems rarer than almost any other good trait. And not only important personages crave a good listener, but ordinary folk do too.”  - Dale Carnegie. How to Win Friends and Influence People
    “I had listened intently. I had listened because I was genuinely interested. And he felt it. Naturally that pleased him. That kind of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone. “Few human beings,” wrote Jack Woodford in Strangers in Love, “few human beings are proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention.” - Dale Carnegie. How to Win Friends and Influence People 
    📝 Notes: 
    What is active listening? 
    * Active listening means letting the other person know that he or she has been heard. You do this by involving yourself in the conversation, making clarifying statements, asking questions, summarizing what you have heard, and using appropriate visual and vocal cues. The best listeners are active ones. 
    * More specifically it has three aspects: 
    * Cognitive: paying attention to the information (explicit & implicit) - comprehending and integrating the information 
    * Emotional - staying calm and compassionate, managing emotional reactions (e.g., annoyance, boredom) 
    * Behavioral - conveying interest and comprehension verbally and nonverbally
    * Why is this hard? → Gap between comprehension and speaking - most people speak 80-120 words per minute - but many people can comprehend at a higher rate → even up to 1000 words per minute! So there is a 900 word per minute gap - easy to tune out and think of other things and then check back in. But you will inherently miss something - so you must *actively* listen - not easy, especially for fast thinkers. 
    Why listen? 
    * Will keep you from talking too much - which can give you a reputation for being a know it all - nobody likes that 
    * Learn a lot - what is going on, gain insights and information 
    * Build connection & rapport (aka friendship) – required for any conversation – people like being around good listeners - everybody wants to feel heard - a very basic part of human needs is to feel respected, liked, and appreciated 
    * Build trust & makes people feel good - people want to be heard, recognized → “I commit to being a person to whom others can express themselves with candor.” 
    * Can de-escalate a dicey situation - “The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener—a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.” - Dale Carnegie. 
    * “When this candor is met with curiosity and deep listening “Tell me more about that thought. I’m curious to know what you think,” amazing breakthroughs of insight and innovation often occur. – 15 commitments 
    * “He had wanted merely a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom he could unburden himself. That’s what we all want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied employee or the hurt friend. -Dale Carnegie.  
    * Shows respect for people’s ideas, experience and opinions: “one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” - Bryant McGill 
    * Ultimately, it will make you a great manager. As HBR writes, “employers who fail to listen and thoughtfully respond to their people’s concerns will see great turnover” 
    How to do it? 
    * Talk too much - even if you think your own voice is the most beautiful sound in the world - if you are talking, you aren’t listening! Also you run the risk of boring people and alienating them as well 
    * Interrupt, contradict → it’s distracting and irritating for the other person, makes them want to end the conversation (or leave altogether) 
    * “If you want

    • 15 min

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