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Get answers to coaching-related questions based on insights from executive coach Matt Mochary’s articles, interviews, and more.

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One of the key team members I manage left a very negative update on our HR platform about how he feels about the future of the company and our vision. I suspect he's feeling overworked and also his personal life is keeping him very busy. How should I address it with him and then the heads of the company because we count on him for revenue and to lead teams.

When addressing the negative feedback from a key team member, it's important to approach the situation with the mindset that negative reviews are a gift, as they offer a chance to learn and improve. Here's a step-by-step approach based on the insights provided by Matt Mochary: 1. **Process Your Own Emotions**: Before responding to the negative update, acknowledge and process any stress, rage, shame, or other unpleasant emotions that arise. This will help you approach the situation with a clear head. 2. **Seek Understanding**: Ask the team member for a one-on-one meeting to discuss their concerns. Use the "5 A's" framework from the "Feedback: Receiving: the 5 A's" excerpt: - **Ask for it**: Invite the team member to share their concerns openly, ensuring them that their feedback is valued and will not be punished. - **Acknowledge it**: Listen actively and confirm that you've understood their feedback by summarizing their points and asking for clarification if needed. 3. **Assess the Situation**: Consider the team member's personal circumstances, such as being overworked or busy with personal life, which might be influencing their perspective. Empathy is key here. 4. **Address the Concerns**: Once you've understood the team member's concerns, work with them to address the issues. This could involve discussing workload management, providing support for their personal situation, or clarifying the company's vision and future direction. 5. **Communicate with Leadership**: Prepare to communicate the situation to the heads of the company. Use the "ACT" framework mentioned in the "Meetings" excerpt: - **Accountability**: Report the situation factually, including the feedback received and the steps taken to address it. - **Coaching**: Share your proposed solutions for preventing similar issues in the future, such as workload adjustments or improved communication of the company's vision. - **Transparency**: Maintain transparency about the feedback process and how it's being used to improve the team and company. 6. **Follow-up**: After addressing the immediate concerns, set up a system for regular check-ins with the team member to monitor their workload and well-being. This can be part of a larger effort to track and manage team OKRs and performance, as mentioned in the excerpts about meetings and OKR tracking. 7. **Lead by Example**: Emphasize the importance of feedback and transparency in the company culture. Encourage other leaders and team members to be open to feedback and to communicate their challenges proactively. Remember, the goal is not just to resolve the current issue but to strengthen the team's communication and trust, which are essential for the company's success. By taking a structured and empathetic approach, you can turn this challenging situation into an opportunity for growth and improvement.

I'm doing a one-on-one with a VP who had to let some of his team go, but we're not looking to bring some back because of recent sales wins. He needs help prioritizing and organizing his time, but also wants to elevate his profile through writting and win more work through ai. What questions should I ask and how can I help him during our one-on-one. I want him to feel vlaued, like I'm thinmking about his experice and growth, and feel optimistic about our company trajectory

Based on the Mochary Method and the 1-1 Template provided by Sabrina Wang, here are some questions and strategies you can use to help your VP during the one-on-one meeting: ### Pre-Work (For the VP): - **Good Things/Celebrations:** Ask the VP to pre-write good things or celebrations, both personal and professional, to share at the beginning of the meeting. This sets a positive tone and acknowledges recent successes. - **Topics and Proposed Solutions:** Request the VP to populate topics related to prioritizing and organizing time, elevating their profile through writing, and strategies for winning more work through AI. Encourage them to propose initial solutions to these topics. - **Past and New Actions:** Have the VP review past actions, especially those related to the restructuring of the team, and create new actions aligned with the current sales wins and goals. ### Pre-Work (For You as the Manager): - **Good Things/Celebrations:** Similarly, prepare your own good things to share, acknowledging the VP's efforts during the challenging period of letting team members go and recognizing the recent sales achievements. - **Topics:** Prepare topics for discussion, such as strategies for time management, personal branding through writing, and leveraging AI for sales. - **Feedback:** Prepare written feedback for the VP, focusing on their strengths and areas for development, ensuring it aligns with their current and future responsibilities. ### During the Meeting: - **Connection (5 minutes):** Start with sharing good things and celebrations to build a personal connection and recognize achievements. - **Coaching (20-25 minutes):** Discuss the topics and proposed solutions the VP has prepared. Help them prioritize their time by identifying the most impactful actions they can take. Discuss ways to enhance their writing and thought leadership to elevate their profile. Explore ideas to capitalize on AI for increasing sales wins. - **Accountability (8-13 minutes):** Review the VP’s goals/OKRs and past actions. Discuss any blockers they've encountered and strategize on new actions that could be taken. Encourage the VP to think bigger or simplify actions to focus on the most valuable tasks. - **Transparency (7 minutes):** Provide each other with verbal feedback. Use this time to ensure the VP feels valued and heard, and discuss any concerns they may have about their experience and growth. - **Magic Questions:** If this meeting is scheduled quarterly, include "Magic questions" for career development and motivation, which can help the VP align their personal aspirations with the company's trajectory. ### Questions to Ask: 1. What are the key priorities you believe we should focus on as we bring back team members? 2. How do you feel about your current workload, and what support do you need to manage your time effectively? 3. In what ways would you like to develop your professional profile through writing and thought leadership? 4. What are your thoughts on integrating AI into our sales process to further our recent wins? 5. How can I support you in achieving your professional goals and contributing to the company's success? ### Post-Meeting: - **Follow-up:** Ensure that there is a clear action plan with specific steps and deadlines. Provide the necessary resources or support to assist the VP in executing these actions. - **Encouragement:** Continuously encourage the VP, emphasizing their value to the team and the company, and maintain an optimistic outlook on the company's future. Remember, the goal of the one-on-one is not only to address immediate operational needs but also to foster the VP's personal and professional growth, ensuring they feel valued and optimistic about the path ahead.

I'm a consultant and a larger company is asking me to include my rates in an MSA. What should I do?

I don't know.

I'd like to set up an onboarding program for new employees

Based on the insights from Matt Mochary, here's a detailed structure for setting up an onboarding program for new employees: 1. **Shadowing Phase**: - **Duration**: Start with a shadowing period of 30 to 60 days. During this time, the new hire should observe the person currently performing the job, including attending all one-on-one meetings, team meetings, and external meetings. - **Objective**: This phase allows the new hire to understand the company’s operations, team dynamics, and the context of their role, ensuring they retain valuable history and understand what to preserve and what to improve upon. 2. **Reverse-Shadowing Phase**: - **Duration**: After the shadowing phase, when the new hire takes over, continue to observe them for 2 to 4 weeks. - **Feedback**: Provide feedback after each session to avoid interrupting their flow. This can be done by observing live meetings and sharing feedback afterward or by reviewing recorded meetings. 3. **90-Day Roadmap**: - **Preparation**: Before recruiting, prepare a 90-day roadmap outlining the goals and expectations for the new hire. - **Execution**: Share this roadmap during the interview process and ensure the new hire is excited about these goals. 4. **Buddy System**: - Assign a buddy to each new team member for the first two weeks. This buddy will check in daily for fifteen minutes to answer questions and ensure the new hire is following the onboarding checklist. 5. **Onboarding Resources**: - Create a comprehensive checklist and accompanying resources, such as written documentation or videos, detailing all necessary information for the new hire to be effective. - Share these resources with the new hire as early as possible, even before their start date. 6. **First Day Experience**: - Schedule the new hire to start two hours after the usual workday begins, ensuring there are plenty of people to welcome them. - Make the first day memorable with a warm welcome, company schwag, or other fun and engaging activities. 7. **Ongoing Development**: - **Training**: Provide regular training and teaching opportunities. - **Accountability**: Implement systems for accountability and verification of tasks and goals. - **Feedback**: Offer clear, unbiased, and challenging feedback monthly at the very least. 8. **Personalized Attention**: - Spend an hour daily for the first month with the new hire if they are a direct report, as recommended by Todd McKinnon of Okta. - Remember personal details and professional aspirations, and discuss these regularly to show care and build trust. 9. **Culture and Process Integration**: - Ensure that new managers use existing company processes for at least three months before making any changes, to retain institutional knowledge. 10. **Continuous Improvement**: - Regularly update and improve the onboarding process based on feedback from new hires and the success of the program. - Implement the Mochary Method and consider a Chief of Staff to help manage and refine the onboarding experience. By following these steps, you can set up a robust onboarding program that integrates new hires into your company culture and operations, setting them up for success and contributing to the overall effectiveness of your team.

Create a framework for recruiting for a high-growth early stage startup with 10-20 employees.

Based on the excerpts from Matt Mochary's work, a recruiting framework for a high-growth early-stage startup with 10-20 employees involves several key components, from defining the mission and methodology to the interview process, decision-making, and legal considerations. Here's a concise framework that encapsulates these elements: ### Mission - **Objective**: Hire only A players who fit the company culture and can accomplish the job that needs to be done. ### Methodology 1. **Scorecard**: Define clear outcomes and competencies for the role. - **Mission**: Describe the business problem and solution. - **Outcomes**: List measurable achievements with deadlines. - **Competencies**: Define behaviors necessary for success. - **Alignment**: Ensure the scorecard aligns with company and department roadmaps. 2. **Source**: Proactively source candidates even before there's an opening. 3. **Select**: Use structured interviews to assess candidates against the scorecard. 4. **Sell**: Actively sell the role and the company to the candidate throughout the process. ### Interview Process 1. **Top-Grading Interview**: Collect references and understand the candidate's job history. 2. **Focused Interview**: Involve team members to assess specific outcomes and competencies. 3. **Decision Meeting**: Review written comments and rate candidates against the scorecard. ### Decision Making - Use a **Skill-Will Bull's Eye** to rate candidates on their ability and desire to meet scorecard outcomes and competencies. - Beware of red flags such as lack of past failures, exaggeration, and poor references. ### Selling to the Candidate - Address candidate's concerns about **Fit, Family, Freedom, Fun, and Fortune**. - Maintain frequent communication from the offer to the first 100 days on the job. ### Implementation 1. Announce the system to the company. 2. Train hiring managers and interviewers. 3. Set up the schedule and process in the ATS system. 4. Include sourcing in everyone's quarterly objectives (e.g., OKRs). ### Legal Considerations - Avoid discrimination and ensure fairness and relevance in the hiring process. - Use non-discriminatory language and avoid illegal questions. ### Additional Notes - **Efficiency**: Minimize time with candidates you won't hire and maximize time with those you will. - **Speed**: A quick process from interview to offer can improve acceptance rates. - **Spouse**: Address any concerns of the candidate's spouse to alleviate fears. - **Compensation**: Offer a balance of cash and equity based on market compensation and living expenses. For a startup with 10-20 employees, it's critical to be efficient and streamlined in the recruiting process to prevent it from halting other functions. The focus should be on hiring A players who not only have the skills but also align with the company culture and are excited about the company's mission. Implementing a structured and consistent recruiting process, as outlined above, can help the startup scale effectively while maintaining a strong team dynamic.

Provide a feedback framework

Certainly! Here's a feedback framework based on the insights provided by executive coach Matt Mochary: ### Receiving Feedback: 1. **Ask for It**: Encourage your team to provide negative feedback, making it clear that it will not be punished but valued. Use specific questions like, "If you were CEO, what would you change?" or "What feedback are you afraid to give because you think it will hurt my feelings?" 2. **Acknowledge It**: Confirm that you've heard and understood the feedback correctly by summarizing it and asking for confirmation. 3. **Appreciate It**: Listen without interrupting or making excuses. Thank the team member for their input. 4. **Accept It**: Declare whether you accept the feedback. If you do... 5. **Act on It**: Co-create an action item to address the feedback, set a due date, and follow through. Publish the feedback and action item to the organization to demonstrate commitment to improvement. ### Giving Feedback: 1. **Use Two-Way Communication**: Preferably in person or via video call to gauge reactions and address any defensiveness or anger immediately. 2. **Affirm the Relationship**: Always start by affirming the value of the relationship with positive statements about the person's contributions. 3. **Write It Down First**: Prepare your critical feedback in writing to ensure clarity and completeness. 4. **Phase the Feedback**: Start with verbal feedback, then progress to written feedback in shared documents, observing the person's reactions throughout. 5. **Avoid Asynchronous Feedback**: Never share critical feedback asynchronously to avoid misunderstandings. ### Types of Feedback: 1. **Relative Feedback**: Provide confidence in what they are doing well and steps to improve, using "I like that you did..." and "I wish that you would do..." statements. 2. **Absolute Feedback**: Regularly communicate where they stand on an absolute basis, using a rating system and clear statements about what was liked and what can be improved. 3. **Deep (Emotion-Based) Feedback**: Offered during a more extended session, like an offsite, and includes expressing emotions, stating facts, and making requests. ### Advanced Feedback: - Recognize your part in creating the situation by stating, "I helped create this situation by…" This encourages taking 100% responsibility. ### Follow-Up: - Incorporate feedback into regular meetings and one-on-ones, asking for written feedback and sharing actions taken in response to that feedback. - Encourage peer feedback within the team, ensuring all members view feedback as a gift and not a source of shame. ### Key Considerations: - Create a safe environment for feedback by proactively seeking it and treating it as a gift. - Be prepared to address emotional reactions, whether anger or tears, as part of the feedback process. - Use feedback to build trust, improve operations, and retain top talent. This framework should guide both the giving and receiving of feedback, ensuring a culture of transparency, trust, and continuous improvement within an organization.