How do you talk to the AIs you've tried out? Do you treat them like a person you're messaging, like pressing buttons on your microwave, or typing a search query into Google?
Well, it turns out HOW you ask makes a big difference in the results you get from AI. And the words you should use specifically to get the best results will surprise you. (and not in a cheesy BuzzFeed kind of way... like we've got real data here!)
In today’s edition, we share an awesome interview question to ask managers you're considering hiring, talk about some fascinating AI research, and look at how to best announce employee departures.
Let’s dive in…
Table of contents:
- 🥘 Food for Thought on Interviewing Managers
- 📰 News & Reports for Managers on EQ for AI?!?
- ❤️ Last Chance to join us for Lead from the Heart
Note: This is a preview of our weekly leadership newsletter, Lighthouse Leadership Weekly (LLW).
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🥘 Food for Thought
"Are you someone whose happiness can come from someone else's success?"Mark C Crowley, Leadership Coach, best-selling author, top 1% podcaster, and former top financial industry executive
I saw this tweet from long time friend of Lighthouse, Mark C Crowley, and knew instantly it was going to be our Food for Thought this week:
This is such a great question to ask yourself, fellow managers, and especially any managers you're considering hiring.
...someone else's success?
What a great question. It's one of those questions where the answer tells you a lot more than most individual questions would on their own.
Let's take a look at the depth of that question.
If you answer yes to this it likely means:
- You have a caring mindset. You want to see your team members succeed, and in a way where you don't worry about any monetary reward.
- You'll share the credit. Few things poison a team like the resentment that builds when a manager steals the credit or spotlight from their own team. You can't trust a manager like that.
- You are a coach. If you enjoy the success of others, then you very likely enjoy coaching people to have that success. Enjoyment in others usually comes from knowing you played a small part in it.
- You think long term. In the short term, the better strategy is to be selfish. Focus on yourself and the credit and accolades you can get, but long term we know that will blow up in the selfish person's face, while a caring, coaching leader thrives and builds great loyalty.
- You have the experience to truly understand it. I know managers who are selfish, those that have reformed and care now, and some that always "got it". I've never heard of someone changing and becoming selfish/Machiavelli again, because once you get it, you can never go back.
That's why it's such a great question.
Remember to follow up by asking them for an example
Stories and anecdotes are a great way to understand how a person thinks. In this case, you'll be able to see which of those 5 areas we just went over resonate with them most. Their example will likely highlight some mix of them.
It also ensures they didn't just say, "Yes" in hopes that you'll just assume they mean it. If they can't cite an example or two of how they've done it, then you should be very skeptical.
The fact is, you don't have to have been a manager to have examples. Mentoring someone, helping friends or family, or any number of other situations can allow you to help someone else succeed. No manager title is required. That means *anyone* you interview for a manager role should be able to understand and answer this question and expound on it when asked.
With this in mind, I would encourage you to note this question down and add it to your list of questions you like to ask in interviews. It may help you avoid a bad hire, or build conviction on the right one.
📰 News & Reports for Managers
📌 Being a respectful, encouraging manager to AI works just as well as your human team members
I've shared data and my own experience with AI a few times in this newsletter, and today, I want to share a really interesting pattern that I don't think any of us could have expected: AI recognizes when you're kind and generous.
No one is actually tipping their AI, but the promise makes a difference in their results as the chart above shows.
And it continues with other approaches in the same vein. For example, showing emotional intelligence helps improve responses from AI:
"Our automatic experiments show that LLMs have a grasp of emotional intelligence, and their performance can be improved with emotional prompts (which we call "EmotionPrompt" that combines the original prompt with emotional stimuli), e.g., 8.00% relative performance improvement in Instruction Induction and 115% in BIG-Bench.
In addition to those deterministic tasks that can be automatically evaluated using existing metrics, we conducted a human study with 106 participants to assess the quality of generative tasks using both vanilla and emotional prompts. Our human study results demonstrate that EmotionPrompt significantly boosts the performance of generative tasks (10.9% average improvement in terms of performance, truthfulness, and responsibility metrics)."
And it goes even further...asking the AI to, "Take a deep breath and work on this problem step by step" has a positive effect, too: (source)
"Take a deep breath and work on this problem step by step" to be the most effective prompt when used with Google's PaLM 2 language model. The phrase achieved the top accuracy score of 80.2 percent in tests against
GSM8K, which is a data set of grade-school math word problems. By comparison, PaLM 2, without any special prompting, scored only 34 percent accuracy on GSM8K, and the classic "Let’s think step by step" prompt scored 71.8 percent accuracy."
And while these were all measured in a controlled setting, I know they work in real world settings, too. In my own experience and some of my friends, we have gotten better results when we've created long AI instructions/prompts and asked the AI to take a deep breath before proceeding.
Be Kind, even to AI.
The lesson here is that it can work in your favor to be kind to AI. Just like you should default to kindness with your team, bringing the same tone and mindset to your prompts to AI can make a difference.
And why not?
I could probably expound on some reasons for why this is the case for LLMs, but I'm not going to. It shouldn't matter.
Instead, it helps us all to be more consistent. Be kind to your team, and be kind to the AI. Be kind to people on other teams, and other aspects of your life. We all need boundaries, and sometimes a firm standing against a problem, but you can still start from a frame of kindness.
❤️ Your Last Chance to join us for the Lead from the Heart program
We're back for a 3rd and final run of the much beloved Lighthouse Lessons program, "Lead from the Heart."
For this program, we teamed up with long-time friend of the blog, Mark C Crowley. We've taken the best insights from his book, podcast interviews with great modern leaders, and my personal conversations with Mark, while sprinkling in the kinds of research, how-to tips, and actionable advice you've come to expect from Lighthouse's blog, newsletter, and Lessons courses.
You can learn to Lead from the Heart
This program takes you on an amazing personal journey.
You start out reflecting on yourself in deep and powerful ways, and then we help you bring that introspection and reflection outward to better lead your team.
We also teach you Mark's favorite leadership tactics that brought top-of-organization results (Mark was awarded "Leader of the Year" at the bank he worked at in 2008), and challenge you in ways that make a major difference in who you are as a leader and how your team will respond to you.
That's why a past participant, Daniel Mecha Garcia, an engineering leader at Roche, had this to say about the Lead from the Heart program:
“This was the perfect mixture of simplicity, insights, guidance, and expertise…at the perfect dosage (weekly).
I also loved the additional resources you curated for the program via books, videos, podcasts, and more, so that I had additional paths to continue learning about what you were teaching me.
I have enrolled in other leadership programs, and this one stood out as the most helpful and actionable in helping me navigate the unique challenges of leadership roles.”
Don't miss out. Get the best price now.
You'll want to reserve your spot now, because we offer early bird pricing. Right now is your best chance to join us at the best price.
Managers always reach out asking for discounts, so this is it. Once the price goes up Tuesday, it will never be this price again. And the price will keep going up until the start date, when we'll retire the program for good.
So what are you waiting for?