Hey, it’s reunion time!

When we last saw each other, I was handing you a Pluck-up. You had just graduated our 2-day training and you were headed back to your desk with some new skills, some polished ones and a whole bunch of new friends.

But there were things we never got to cover. And, as you know, your job has kept changing. (Wiley, those management jobs, aren’t they?)

So we’re having a reunion for all graduates of So Now You’re a Manager. It’s part HEY! YOU AGAIN! and it’s part Jen Teaches Us and it’s also part Alumni Wisdom. Because your colleagues (maybe even you?) are going to be presenting talks this time.


Wednesday, May 13: Evening drinks

Thursday, May 14 – Friday, May 15:

  • Tech Phone Screens w/out Coderpad (Julie Kang, Mailchimp)
    You. A stranger. 45 minutes. How do you assess someone’s technical, communication, and teamwork abilities in such a short amount of time? As a participant of hundreds of phone screens, I have resented the experience “in the hot seat” as an interviewee, and been frustrated as an interviewer from the lack of correlation between tech screen performance to on-site interview performance and success once hired. Luckily, I started working for a company who seems to share my values in this realm, and I now have a process that has resulted in ~80% screen-pass-to-offer rate. <Cue Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It.”>


  • Taking Cues from Remote 1:1s: a workshop (Ashleigh Thevenet, Rightpoint & Ryan Abeling, 10up)
    Remote managers do not have the benefit of daily, in-person interaction to read non-verbal cues. They must rely on 1:1’s to identify any concerns their reports may not be forthcoming about. Attendees of this session will learn how to create a safe space in their remote 1:1s and use non-verbal cues to identify issues. We will review these techniques in a sample 1:1 with our two presenters, and then attendees will have an opportunity to practice with an exercise.


  • The Impossible: What Diabolical Video Games Can Teach Us About Career Paths, Persistence and Learning (Noam Chitayat, Remitly)
    In this talk, I’m going to discuss the niche of hilariously difficult video games, and why I throw myself at them despite failing hundreds of times. I’ll talk about how they inspired me to become a manager and to speak at Encore! (how meta is that?!), and what failing at something hundreds of times can teach us about how people learn and grow.


  • Adventures in Inclusive Hiring (Kate Dramstad, Stitchfix)
    Just about everyone is interested in making their hiring practices more inclusive, but how do you actually do that? I’ll share some lessons of how we reimagined our hiring process at Stitchfix for early-career software engineers and what we learned from doing that.


  • Caring for Reports In Difficult Times (Holly Quarles, Plucky)
    Your report’s Mom just passed away, they are returning after paid family leave, a natural disaster just destroyed half the town, they just got an unsettling diagnosis or are undergoing intense medical treatments. These are just a few examples of some of the things you might have your people bringing into the workplace. Our offices may send cards, meals, or some kind of condolences gift, but what happens when your direct report (or co-worker or boss!) comes back into the office during a hard season of life? We will explore some of the ins and outs of grief and explore concrete ideas of what to do (and NOT do) when caring for those around us.


  • Managing Up: Shaping Relationships with the Higher-Ups (Sara Gardinier, Research Square)
    If you’re at a startup, you might have many more years of people management than your boss does! Founders tend to be folks who saw a product/service hole and want to patch it up. In this talk I will present my experience of working for someone who had no prior people management experience and how I learned to make it work. Topics discussed will include: traps/pitfalls, how to successfully navigate “teaching” someone how to be a better manager for you, when to pull in an objective outsider, and tips for creating a rewarding supervisor/employee relationship as the subordinate.


  • Building a Web (Ben Cullen-Kerney, Stitchfix)
    What new mindsets and skills become necessary when a technical organization gets so big, that you don’t know everybody, or their work, or even their goals? Successful technical orgs grow naturally. What can you do as an IC or a manager to hold together the collective’s knowledge and awareness as you grow and scale out? This talk will share actions that you and the people you lead can do to draw a web of communication, collaboration, and knowledge over your org.


  • Manager Phrase Toolkit (Emily Theis, Upstatement)
    All professional development opportunities will tell you to communicate openly and clearly, but how do you *actually* do that? This session will share actual words, tools, and metaphors to use in common situations at work: building trust and rapport; responding to a hectic report of trouble, calming down frantic people, and alerting trouble (without being a mega wet blanket); helping set up quick, confident decisions for yourself other people; and getting your way.


  • The Anatomy of Power (Jen Dary, Plucky)
    What we think Power looks like: the responsibility to fire someone, the ability to grant a raise, new business cards with boss titles, a seat at the table in the Big Conference Room. What Power actually looks like: leveraging silence, calm and collected patience, unbroken confidence in oneself. We’re going to wade in deep to discover what our own impressions – and historical baggage – can teach us about the power behind leading.


  • Swimming Upstream: the art of managing UP (Jen Dary, Plucky)
    “You know who should come to this training? My boss.” This is the most common feedback I get about SNYAM. What gives? Why are the people at the top (recklessly?) untrained and sometimes seemingly resistant to learning? In this session, we’re going to talk about how to pace yourself while managing UP. We’re going to handle self-care and redefine success, based on the needs of the people who sign our paychecks.


  • Supporting Underperformers (Jen Dary, Plucky)
    How the hell do you decide when all the chances have been given? A human with seemingly valid reasons is struggling… but how long is too long? When do you prioritize the team over the report, the profits over the person? Businesses must make these hard calls all the time. And, as a manager, you’re in the hotseat. We’ll walk through a decision tree, we’ll share anecdotes of victories and failures and we’ll appreciate the hardest decisions we make together.


  • … plus surprise activities


  • … including breakfast, lunch & snacks!


Location: McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Portland, Ore.


The point: To learn, to unwind and to come together again as another version of the community you met the first time around.


Need a scholarship to attend? Apply here.

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Here’s What Our Clients Have to Say

I've always said that being a (good) manager can make you a better communicator. Attending SNYAM can make you a better human being.
Jared, The Turnout

The size of the group was incredibly important - small enough to actually get to know everyone, hear each person's story, and feel connected.
Cristy, Skillcrush

I felt so empowered afterward, mostly because I thrive in community, and I'm so excited to have a group of people to lean on through my manager journey. And, of course, I learned so much.
Evelyn, Paradigm IQ

Come prepared not to receive a set of rules but, instead, a new perspective on how to apply yourself. I was surprised by how much I learned from the stories and experiences from other, real managers.
Eran, Three Five Two