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The "Growth Plans" Lesson is part of the full, Enterprise Engineering Management 102 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Ryan asserts the importance of having growth conversations with team members as a manager and discusses the need to set aside time for these conversations and establish baseline expectations. He encourages working on a growth plan with individuals on the team and providing constructive feedback and positive signals to support their growth. Additionally highlighted is the role of the manager in finding opportunities for team members and advocating for their achievements to the leadership team.

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Transcript from the "Growth Plans" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> All right, so we learned a little bit more about how to measure a high performing team and pay attention to that as a leader. I've mentioned earlier in some of our conversations that growth is really important, right? You want your team to be growing, i's that's awesome.

[00:00:17] You're gonna be better for that every individual growing is going to be better for your team, your company, it's all good. So are you as managers having conversations, are you having growth conversations with people? I've definitely heard of teams, they're like, I've never had a growth conversation, I'm like what, really?

[00:00:36] That's a problem, as engineering managers, you should be setting aside time for having growth conversations. It doesn't have to be every week or month or it doesn't have to be a perfect cadence, but you should be checking in and having these conversations. So, how do you have these conversations?

[00:00:57] For me, I think about having really standard expectations to understanding baselines of what's expected of you as an engineer. It is important for the team to understand that, what are things that I expect that if you're committed to a timeline that you're being communicated if something's happening and you're not able to make it, that's an expectation I have.

[00:01:19] It's not that you have to make the timeline cuz we estimate wrong, we make mistakes we didn't know, we didn't think of the one dependency, those things, but I do have a strong expectation that you're communicating, you're not leaving until the last minute to raise concerns. So setting a baseline standard is helpful for these conversations but I think one of the really important things is growth means something different to each and every one of us.

[00:01:47] It might be that you wanna be getting that high level as an engineer. That's fine, that's growth to someone. It might be that you just wanna try a different technology or you want to lead a project. You want to grow in your communication skills, you wanna grow in your deep technical database who knows?

[00:02:09] Every growth conversation can be different, but you wanna be having these individual conversations and not make assumptions. So what I like to do is I like to work on a growth plan with individuals on the team. I put a lot of work on each individual to take some time to reflect and think about what does growth mean to them.

[00:02:32] I don't put them on the spot, like in our one-on-one I'm not like, hey, let's we're gonna talk about growth today, because I think it does take some time. Some people can be good about that right off the fly and maybe they're even telling you what they want.

[00:02:45] But for a lot of us, we need time to think about it and reflect on that. So often tell people, hey, in our next one-on-one or next month, I would love to have a bit of a growth conversation. And I actually have started giving some high level questions for them to think about their growth and bring that back so that we can work together on that.

[00:03:05] But I think it is a joint thing that you're working on together. As I'm understanding where someone wants to grow, what they wanna work on, maybe what I even wanna see them grow in, I wanna think about how am I giving them feedback. How am I being constructive on that feedback, but also how I'm giving a positive feedback like, wow, that's really great, keep doing that.

[00:03:30] I try a little bit more in this area but that area wow, you're really getting good at that spot. You want to give these constant mechanisms for someone to know how they're doing. Like I mentioned earlier, I think it's shared ownership. I don't want to be it is not my job to decide your growth if you're on my team, but I do feel it's some of my responsibility.

[00:03:55] I wanna help you in these areas, some of it might be that I just have vantage points to put you in the right position to tackle a challenge that you've never dealt with, work on a certain project, maybe kick you out of my team. Because there's another challenge that I can't provide you, that you wanna go work on some deep technical thing on the platform and I manage UI team, I might say here's this opportunity, I think you should go.

[00:04:23] That sucks, I have done that, but it's better for that person and better for the company, hopefully, cuz hopefully they're not having to leave the company for that. But being able to find those opportunities for people is really cool. Being an advocate for individuals, similar as finding them opportunities, but also celebrate those things.

[00:04:44] Let your leadership team know where wow, Sally on my team she's doing amazing we shouldn't be leveraging her more for presenting or we should leverage her more in these areas, sometimes even just other leaders knowing about that is really great