Want to be a better manager? Socialize less—and listen more

Leadership isn't a popularity contest, a management guru warns

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Leadership isn’t a popularity contest, a management guru warns

Good leaders know that small talk is cheap, according to management expert Kim Scott. In an op-ed for the Harvard Business Review, the bestselling author outlines what she believes are a manager’s three main duties: create a culture of feedback, build a cohesive team, and get results collaboratively. Scott, a proponent of radical candour, says the key is to show employees you care but also to challenge them directly. If you want to develop strong working relationships, socializing over lunch and at office parties isn’t the answer, Scott cautions. Among her tips: hold one-on-one sessions where you listen and the employee sets the agenda, give praise and criticism that help staff grow, and take the time to debate key decisions.