By Dr. Ginny Trierweiler
In our last post, we addressed three keys to becoming effective in a new middle-management position, which were:
1. Get Clarity about Your New Role
2. Acknowledge Power Differences
3. Give Clear Expectations and Feedback
In this post, we explore 2 more keys:
4. Coach Employees to Success— a coach has great confidence in the people she coaches, believing that they have the answers within. In addition to believing in them, coaching employees to success involves:
- being clear about goals and measures for success
- asking good questions to elicit their best thinking
- helping employees anticipate and work through challenges that arise, and around obstacles
- listening to hear what’s working and what isn’t
- figuring out how to capitalize on employees’ and teams’ strengths
As a coach, you don’t necessarily accept or reject your staff’s initial understanding of why something isn’t working. You must keep your brain engaged. Do they need help? If so, what kind of help would truly be helpful? Do we need to readjust our expectations? Or do we need to take other work off them in order to succeed at the new goals?
5. Choose Your Battles–whether you defend your perspective and your intention depends on your focus. You neither need to win, nor concede, every battle with your supervisor(s) nor every battle with your supervisees. When someone is strongly disagreeing with your direction based on principle, no one will win if it becomes a contest of who is most determined to win or who can throw their weight around more.
Let’s say your supervisor is requesting that you get your staff to take on some new responsibility and you feel they can’t succeed at the new responsibility on top of everything else at this time. You voice your concern but the C.O.O tells you to “just get it done, would you?” At this point, you don’t know if this new responsibility has become the organization’s top priority or if the C.O.O. is just not up to reconsidering this decision at this moment.
Usually, you can give the message “this sounds important- I would like to think about how to approach it and talk again tomorrow” and buy yourself some time to consider how important this battle is. Think about your most important focus and the organization’s current priorities. Who and what will be served if you fall on this particular sword? One of my colleagues recently decided the battle was worth losing her job over– and she did. It helped ease the pain that she had decided she was going to take a stand on this issue, no matter the price.
Our next post will identify more keys for successful transition to management.
What was a valuable lesson YOU learned about choosing your battles?
Dr. Ginny Trierweiler is a leadership coach and organizational consultant with expertise in human growth and development and 20 years’ experience mentoring leaders, managers, and executives.
Please call or email if you would like to talk to me about consulting or coaching. Get in touch at email@example.com or 720-443-5056