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Meet our Modern Manager Panelists | Pansy Lee

Join us on Wed. Sep. 27 for a lively conversation about how to motivate employees in the modern workplace. Learn more and RSVP here

This week we’ve been profiling the panelists for our next Modern Manager meetup. Next up, Pansy Lee! Head over to our blog to meet the rest of the panelists, and our moderator.

Pansy’s natural curiosity has led to some pretty diverse passions. Tech, design, complex spreadsheets, restoring furniture, women in tech and the list goes on. It has also led to a diverse career path. Over the past 15 years, she has held marketing and sales positions at Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte and was the Director of Product at RL Solutions, a patient safety software company. She is currently a Principal Product Designer at Intuit working hard to help people live financially well.
Favourite 1:1 Question: How are things (at home, with your partner, with your kids, etc)?

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How Pansy Learned from the Burn 🔥

Modern Managers learn by doing. And sometimes that means we get burned. I sat down with Pansy to hear about a time she got burned, what she learned and how she avoids making the same mistake again: 

Tell me about a time you were burned in the past. I had a person on my team who was consistently producing low quality work. I tried to treat the “symptom” of low performance with skills based exercises to try and boost performance. For months I kept trying to keep them on this improvement track with little success. When I finally sat down to understand what was going on, I realized that they weren’t performing because they weren’t motivated by what they were doing and so they weren’t putting in the effort to do a good job. In the end it was because they didn’t understand how what they were doing mattered in the grand scheme of the project. 

What did you take away from that experience? Low performance is sometimes linked to lack of motivation and it’s easy to think that putting someone on a performance improvement plan will solve the problem. Everyone wants to do meaningful work. No matter how menial the task people need to understand why it’s important.

How do you avoid making the same mistake again? I rarely start a 1:1 meeting talking about work these days. I take the time to ask about their personal life and how they’re feeling about work in general. Taking the time to care about them as a whole person helps to uncover why they have been unmotivated. Sometimes it’s work related, sometimes it’s something going on in their personal life.

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