Newsletter – January 30, 2018

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Better check-ins, boosting morale, and more!

Dear Friends,

Like many of you we’ve hit the ground running (and marching!) in the new year, and we’re excited to try to support your efforts to set this country on a new course!

This month’s newsletter contains a revamped check-in agenda template, a suggestion for boosting morale that will take you less than five minutes, and a read about a must-have for diverse workplaces. Plus, check out the upcoming trainings section at the end!


Jerry Hauser

Stuff You Can Use

Make Your Check-Ins Powerful

You’re following our advice and conducting regular one-on-one check-ins with your staff members, right? (Pause for shouts of affirmation.) Great! Now make those check-ins powerful. Before you walk into each one, take a moment to think about your top two priorities for your staff member, and make sure you use the meeting to dig into those. Oh, and consider this your annual reminder to systematize feedback by including an easy-to-cover item in your check-in agendas (while you’re at it, go ahead and book a dental cleaning, replace your kitchen sponges, and finally set up 2-factor authentication!). To make all this easier we’ve tweaked our template!

Check it out.

Create and Use a “Praise” Folder

The daily grind of changing the world can be exhausting. In addition to karaoke breaks and sharing wacky GIFs with co-workers (true story), do as we do: boost morale and track successes by collecting positive feedback from the people you work with and serve.

  1. Create a “praise” label or folder in your email account.
  2. Introduce it to your team: “From now on, I’m collecting positive feedback about our impact from the people we work with. Send along any great feedback you get in an email with ‘praise’ in the subject. Don’t be shy!”
  3. Refer to the folder when writing grant reports, creating presentations for your board or funders, and during performance evaluation season.

Blast From the Past

Staying Involved Without Micromanaging

Sometimes the hardest part of being a manager is finding the appropriate balance of providing support versus autonomy. In this throwback, we discuss the difference between hands-on management (good) and micromanagement (not so good), a la our friends Goofus and Gallant.

Check out the article.

Management Mavens

Safe Spaces and Diverse Workplaces

Affinity groups were started in the 1960s as a way to address racial tension in the workplace. Now, with broader diversity and inclusion efforts gaining traction, are they still necessary? Check out this piece (geared at the private sector, but with many parallels to nonprofits) on the importance of affinity groupsand a case for creating space for intersectionailtyfor building diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Read it here.

Upcoming Trainings

We have lots of fun offerings (see the full set here), including several equity-related ones. Check out some highlights:

  • Building off of lessons from our Management Crash Course, we explore how to go deeper in managing with an equity and inclusion lens in the Managing for Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Results training.
  • Our People of Color & Indigenous Cohorts create space to discuss and offer support around the challenges of being People of Color and/or Indigenous in progressive and social justice organizations. We have separate courses for managers and for staff.
  • We also added the Refresher Training, which is recommended for anyone who took a Crash Course in ye olde times (ahem, two to three years ago).
  • And finally, make sure your team doesn’t miss out on an Owning the Work training, designed to help staff members (rather than managers) excel!!


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