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  • Toby Sinclair

Curated Insights | Friday 12th March 2021

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Happy Friday,

This weeks insights include:

  • Your advice is not as good as you think 💬

  • An Operating System for great one-on-ones 👥

  • Atomic Habits Visualized 🖼

You can give one-click feedback at the end of this edition.

With Gratitude,



Your advice is not as good as you think 💬

Alternatives to giving advice

I was once working with a leader on how to improve their presentation skills.

It was an important pitch to a new client and pressure was high.

With pitching experience, I was asked to help the leader prepare.

We worked on the pitch for two weeks. I took a hands-on approach, advising what should be said, when and how.

The result?

The pitch was a disaster.

In the debrief the presenter shared they didn't feel like it was their presentation. As a result, they struggled to connect with the material and deliver it in an authentic way.

I learned from this to be aware that your advice isn't as good as you think.


Giving advice feels good. When people approach you for knowledge and expertise you feel valued. In simple situations sharing your advice can be beneficial. It helps people find shortcuts to solving problems. Many situations however are complex, especially when people are involved. This means that your knowledge and expertise is not always directly transferrable or relatable. Your advice is not useful in this context. Compounding the problem, in complex situations, people seek certainty so are more likely to seek out advice. When this happens its tempting to jump straight to giving the advice people desire. Instead of giving direct advice, this video shares the six alternatives I now use. The more comfortable you become with these alternatives the better you can lead your team.


An Operating System for Better One-On-Ones 👥

Operating System for One-on-Ones

I can remember the first one-on-one I did as a manager. I was eager to impress. My team member at the time was much more experienced. He wasn't too impressed with my approach. A little too "over-ambitious" were his words. It was an awkward conversation.

Over time I improved with mentoring and support from other managers.

As my responsibilities increased a new challenge emerged, how do you have one-on-ones with 15 people every week?

Over the past 12 years, I've learned tips and techniques for great one-on-ones.

I've curated this knowledge into an Operating System for One-On-Ones.

Built with Notion, it's an online system for managers to prepare, deliver, track and improve their one-on-ones.

It contains:

  • A guide to great one-on-ones

  • A conversation template

  • A tracker and scheduling tool

  • A collection of coaching exercise templates

For a limited time, I'm offering free beta access for newsletter subscribers.

This is the first time I've ever built a product like this. So in return, I'd love you to tell me about the bugs, features and ways I can improve it. 😃


Atomic Habits Visualized 🖼

This week I partnered with Sathya to visualize my popular essay on How to Use Atomic Habits at Work.

Sathya created wonderful visuals of the big ideas from the essay.

Watch this space for more partnerships in the future


Quote of the week

"Staying busy doing things that pleasure our ego but don’t align with our purpose."

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