Author, public speaker, and coach for managers and leaders across the tech industry.
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When your coaching questions freak someone out
In my workshop on mentoring, coaching, and sponsoring, I talk about the difference between these three skills and how to employ each effectively. We spend a lot of time talking about what makes a good coaching question (like these 20 example questions!), like: make sure the question starts with the word “what,” be genuinely curious and open-ended (not leading), and keep it short and sweet. read more
The dreaded reorg
Back in 2017, I wrote an article about desk moves, and the surprising emotions we might see from our coworkers when a desk move is announced. read more
How to announce promotions fairly
This post originally appeared on Lead Dev. read more
Don't soften feedback.
When I talk about balancing being directive and empowering as a leader, the distinction between being kind and being nice often comes up. read more
You can be directive without being a jerk
Last newsletter, I answered a manager’s question about helping their team break the cycle of going in circles, while still being as empowering as possible. read more
My team is going in circles. Help!
“Lara, I’m a manager, and my team is kind of going in circles. We have a critical project deadline, I’m trying to keep everyone moving forward, but it’s almost like we don’t know who’s in charge of what and it’s slowing us down. One thing to note, we typically try to solve problems as a team. Do you have any tips?” read more
Demystifying Public Speaking: Now Online For Free!
Y’all. I’m SO excited to share that I’ve just published the entirety of my book Demystifying Public Speaking online. Making it accessible for you to read, for free. :) read more
Help Your Colleagues Take Real Time Off By Answering These Six Questions
Your colleagues need real, respected time off. After a time where we weren’t able to get away at all, disconnecting deserves to be treated as protected time. read more
How To Share Complex Company News With Your Team And Build Trust
There are a number of pitfalls leaders can fall into when organizational changes or world events start impacting our teams. By responding poorly, leaders will create a lot more strife down the line. So, when a fraught issue arises, how can we help our organization move forward in a way that actually builds rather than breaks trust? read more
The art of the tick tock doc
Let’s say you need to get a critical new message out to your team: like a teammate’s departure, or a significant change to the business strategy. It’s time to get familiar with the art of the communications plan: a step-by-step strategy for sharing new information throughout an organization. read more
3 steps for leaders to take in emergencies
I’ll keep this intro short, because I know your energy and attention are precious resources during this season. read more
Communicating big news to your team
As a manager, you’ve probably already been responsible for communicating a message from senior leadership to your team. Maybe you’ve had to give them a heads-up about company policy changes like a new performance review process, scary news like a reorg, or happy news like bonuses. read more
Hey, manager! read more
Week in Review Leadership Comms
As an Engineering Director at Etsy and VP of Engineering at Kickstarter, I sent a “Week in Review” document every two-ish weeks to my whole team. This doc helped me set records straight, disseminate info to lots of people at once, and open up conversation internally, while reflecting on the themes that had come up in weekly one-on-ones, backchannels, team meetings, etc. read more
Etsy's Charter of Mindful Communication
While I worked at Etsy, the company’s Culture & Engagement team rolled out the following “Charter of Mindful Communication”. I’m not sure if it’s been updated since, but I’ve found this language incredibly useful throughout my work ever since, and even brought it over to Kickstarter. I hope it’s valuable to you! read more