Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Meet Andrew. He’s a smart, dedicated, engaged and highly committed manager. You can count on Andrew to be in his office in the early hours and you’re bound to find his car in the parking lot as you exit the building.
Andrew has so much potential. His unique abilities continue to prove invaluable to the company’s success. There is one challenge though. Since Andrew was promoted to a team manager role, the team’s engagement scores went drastically down.
Andrew is disappointed by the results. He does not understand the source of poor morale in the office. The staff gets paid so well, and he is always available to solve complex issues. “Why can’t they show some loyalty back?” He asked me while gazing at his phone. “There is so much to do around here. I don’t have time for small talk. Why should I waste my time asking people about their family and their weekend? I’m a private person. I don’t like to talk about my personal business”, Andrew explained to me in a low yet rapid tone. “I wish this team would be more considerate”.
Do you know an Andrew in your workplace? Is it common to find excellent individual contributors who struggle in management roles?
When I was asked to support Andrew through leadership coaching, I inquired about the leadership competencies for his role, his leadership expectations, and any assessments he has completed prior to the promotion. There were none.
No road map for success, no guiding principles, and no coach to guide the way. Yet, we expect Andrew to excel in this new and ambiguous territory. The job may be easy. Managing people is not.
Through 12 months of coaching, Andrew learned about his strengths, values, style, motivators, fears, and opportunities for development. Through team discovery sessions, we uncovered new possibilities for Andrew, and we co-created his development journey and four goals that Andrew was excited and willing to commit to.
Today, Andrew is the Director of Operations at a Global Logistics Company. His team’s engagement ratings are significantly above the company‘s norm, and he is one of the most admired leaders in his company.
In many organizations, Andrew was set to fail. His career growth would have been sabotaged due to his lack of self-awareness. So how can you help the Andrews in your company succeed?
1. Promote for balance: Invest in high potentials who have the right balance of process and people management.
2. Develop for success: Provide your high potential with the right development training and coaching tools so they can transform their mindset and succeed in a management role.
3. Set clear expectations: Engage in conversations with managers regarding the people side of the role. Offer new managers the right mentor to support them in their new role.
4. Coach for results: Use internal or external coaching services to support new managers in navigating the complexity of managing others with minimal damage to the team or their self-esteem.
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Written by Dr. Loubna Noureddin, EdD, PCC Executive Coach, NLP Master PractitionerExpert, Organizational Leadership & Change President-Elect, International Coach Federation SF Chapter www.linkedin.com/in/lnoureddin