December 15, 2020

133: Managing People to Become Their Best Self

You might say that a manager’s central job is to help their team members become their best selves. When we help our colleagues live up to their potential and optimize their strengths, we can achieve the magic combination of high performance and satisfaction.

Today’s guest is David Hassell. David is a serial entrepreneur, business columnist, and speaker, who believes that when leaders support their employees in becoming their best selves, high engagement, performance and uncommon loyalty naturally result. As co-founder and CEO of 15Five, David and his team have developed industry-leading performance management software that helps leaders and managers drive high performance and build phenomenal cultures via a suite of features including weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, 1-on-1s, and peer appreciation. While at 15Five, David created the science-inspired Best-Self Management methodology that helps leaders and managers address the hidden factors that stimulate sustainable growth and development – things like intrinsic motivation, growth mindset, strengths, positivity, and psychological safety in the workplace.

David and I talk about the ideas behind the best self methodology. We get into behaviors, mindsets and models that can help you be the kind of manager you wish you’d had.

Get the 50% off 15Five’s Best-Self Management program when you become a member of the Modern Manager community at Plus, take advantage of the holiday Buy One – Get One holiday special. Get one month of free membership to give to the person of your choice when you become a member before December 31, 2020.

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Read the related blog article: How To Help Your Employees Become Their Best Selves

Key Takeaways:

  • Managers can help employees become their best selves by combining psychological safety with the growth mindset.
  • To create a healthy environment of trust and psychological safety, employees need to feel like they can speak openly without negative repercussions.
  • Move from the Victim/Villain/Hero Triangle mindset into a space of curiosity called the Coach/Creator Mode by entering a conversation with curiosity about the problem rather than a fixed opinion.
  • Ask yourself: “Am I Above The Line (curious and open) or Below The Line (fixed and blaming)? Employees will react defensively if you go into situations with a rigid perspective.
  • Seeing “The White Space” means seeing an employee’s strengths and the potential for who they could be. A manager who believes deeply in an employee’s abilities despite their struggles can transform someone blocked by self-doubts.
  • Focus on developing your staff’s strengths rather than improving weaknesses. Find where their natural talents and passions overlap – called the Zone of Genius to create fulfilled, productive teams.
  • Be wary of falling into the trap of the Zone of Excellence, in which the person is good/skilled at the activities but it’s not their passion.
  • Embrace your own imperfections as someone on the same growth journey. Admit your own vulnerability and show your team that you are also journeying together with them to become your best selves.
  • Growth mindset only works when combined with an environment of psychological safety. Focusing only on growth can leave employees feeling burdened by “never being good enough.” They need to know that they can share their struggles and you’ll be there to listen.




Twitter: @dhassell

Podcast: Best-Self Management podcast –

Best-Self Management program:

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