Good leaders don’t give advice — they coach

Stop prescribing advice and start helping people come up with their own solutions.

All managers want to see their employees thrive, but it can be tricky to maintain a balance between guiding and hand-holding.


While some managers might think the best way to lead is to constantly offer their employees advice, recent research suggests that coaching employees, or helping employees maximize their own performance potential, is a more effective leadership style. Unfortunately, the percentage of managers who use coaching as a leadership strategy is slim. In fact, a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that the majority of managers act as consultants, rather than coaches. In other words, they lead their teams by micromanaging and prescribing advice — not by helping them learn to come up with their own solutions.

Although managers who constantly give advice might mean well, the best managers are those who help their employees set actionable goals, give constructive feedback, and practice compassionate directness. Here are three simple Microsteps (small, science-backed, too-small to fail behavior changes) to help you avoid management pitfalls and become a better, more effective leader.

Start each of your meetings by telling everyone what the goal is.

There's nothing worse than ending a meeting with the feeling that you didn't accomplish what you set out to do. An easy remedy for this is to begin each meeting by setting an actionable goal for your team, and allowing your employees to work towards that goal as a unit. By immediately and clearly stating the meeting's purpose, managers are able to foster a sense of team unity around achieving the shared goal.

Before your next one-on-one, pause to reflect before giving feedback.

Considering your employee's point of view is a crucial step in the feedback process, but reflecting on your current state of mind is just as important. If you're feeling stressed, rushed, or burned out, you're more likely to deliver feedback without compassion or empathy — even if that's unintentional. In your next meeting, before you offer any feedback, try pausing and taking stock of your emotional well-being before offering any constructive feedback. As a leader, this is your opportunity to point your employees in the right direction and allowing them to find their own paths towards success.

Each time you have constructive feedback, share it with compassion.

Above all, remembering to always practice compassionate directness is key to being an effective leader and strengthening employee-manager relationships. Compassionate directness — or empowering employees to speak up, give feedback, disagree, and surface problems in real time, rather than waiting for structured employee reviews — allows teams to foster a healthier, more trusting company culture. Even when delivering criticism, always remember to be straightforward, kind, and understanding. This lets employees know that you're not trying to put them down, but rather give them the feedback they need to grow as individuals. Giving compassionately direct feedback is how we course-correct and come up with many of our best ideas.

Reprinted with permission of Thrive Global. Read the original article.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
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A map of America’s most famous – and infamous

The 'People Map of the United States' zooms in on America's obsession with celebrity

Image: The Pudding
Strange Maps
  • Replace city names with those of their most famous residents
  • And you get a peculiar map of America's obsession with celebrity
  • If you seek fame, become an actor, musician or athlete rather than a politician, entrepreneur or scientist

Chicagoland is Obamaland

Image: The Pudding

Chicagoland's celebrity constellation: dominated by Barack, but with plenty of room for the Belushis, Brandos and Capones of this world.

Seen from among the satellites, this map of the United States is populated by a remarkably diverse bunch of athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs and other persons of repute (and disrepute).

The multitalented Dwayne Johnson, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dominate the West Coast. Right down the middle, we find actors Chris Pratt and Jason Momoa, singer Elvis Presley and basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. The East Coast crew include wrestler John Cena, whistle-blower Edward Snowden, mass murderer Ted Bundy… and Dwayne Johnson, again.

The Rock pops up in both Hayward, CA and Southwest Ranches, FL, but he's not the only one to appear twice on the map. Wild West legend Wyatt Earp makes an appearance in both Deadwood, SD and Dodge City, KS.

How is that? This 'People's Map of the United States' replaces the names of cities with those of "their most Wikipedia'ed resident: people born in, lived in, or connected to a place."

‘Cincinnati, Birthplace of Charles Manson'

Image: The Pudding

Keys to the city, or lock 'em up and throw away the key? A city's most famous sons and daughters of a city aren't always the most favoured ones.

That definition allows people to appear in more than one locality. Dwayne Johnson was born in Hayward, has one of his houses in Southwest Ranches, and is famous enough to be the 'most Wikipedia'ed resident' for both localities.

Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, IL, but his reputation is closely associated with both Deadwood and Dodge City – although he's most famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which took place in Tombstone, AZ. And yes, if you zoom in on that town in southern Arizona, there's Mr Earp again.

The data for this map was collected via the Wikipedia API (application programming interface) from the English-language Wikipedia for the period from July 2015 to May 2019.

The thousands of 'Notable People' sections in Wikipedia entries for cities and other places in the U.S. were scrubbed for the person with the most pageviews. No distinction was made between places of birth, residence or death. As the developers note, "people can 'be from' multiple places".

Pageviews are an impartial indicator of interest – it doesn't matter whether your claim to fame is horrific or honorific. As a result, this map provides a non-judgmental overview of America's obsession with celebrity.

Royals and (other) mortals

Image: The Pudding

There's also a UK version of the People Map – filled with last names like Neeson, Sheeran, Darwin and Churchill – and a few first names of monarchs.

Celebrity, it is often argued, is our age's version of the Greek pantheon, populated by dozens of major gods and thousands of minor ones, each an example of behaviours to emulate or avoid. This constellation of stars, famous and infamous, is more than a map of names. It's a window into America's soul.

But don't let that put you off. Zooming in on the map is entertaining enough: celebrities floating around in the ether are suddenly tied down to a pedestrian level, and to real geography. And it's fun to see the famous and the infamous rub shoulders, as it were.

Barack Obama owns Chicago, but the suburbs to the west of the city are dotted with a panoply of personalities, ranging from the criminal (Al Capone, Cicero) and the musical (John Prine, Maywood) to figures literary (Jonathan Franzen, Western Springs) and painterly (Ivan Albright, Warrenville), actorial (Harrison Ford, Park Ridge) and political (Eugene V. Debs, Elmhurst).

Freaks and angels

Image: Dorothy

The People Map of the U.S. was inspired by the U.S.A. Song Map, substituting song titles for place names.

It would be interesting to compare 'the most Wikipedia'ed' sons and daughters of America's cities with the ones advertised at the city limits. When you're entering Aberdeen, WA, a sign invites you to 'come as you are', in homage to its most famous son, Kurt Cobain. It's a safe bet that Indian Hill, OH will make sure you know Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, was one of theirs. But it's highly unlikely that Cincinnati, a bit further south, will make any noise about Charles Manson, local boy done bad.

Inevitably, the map also reveals some bitterly ironic neighbours, such as Ishi, the last of the Yahi tribe, captured near Oroville, CA. He died in 1916 as "the last wild Indian in North America". The most 'pageviewed' resident of nearby Colusa, CA is Byron de la Beckwith, Jr., the white supremacist convicted for the murder of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers.

As a sampling of America's interests, this map teaches that those aiming for fame would do better to become actors, musicians or athletes rather than politicians, entrepreneurs or scientists. But also that celebrity is not limited to the big city lights of LA or New York. Even in deepest Dakota or flattest Kansas, the footlights of fame will find you. Whether that's good or bad? The pageviews don't judge...

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Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

Image: Abel Suyok
Strange Maps
  • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
  • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
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Psychedelics change how you read faces. That may help alleviate anxiety and depression.

Even more intriguing is the reason: recognizing facial expressions.

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new systematic review states that serotonergic hallucinogens help users recognize emotions in facial expressions.
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