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Self-Management #1 Growth Opportunity for New Managers

Frustrated in New Job? Part 2 – Self Management

Leadership Self-Management

In my previous blog post on the new series Frustrated in New Job? 4 Growth Opportunities for New Managers, -  I named self-management as the #1 growth opportunity for new managers. Demonstrating professionalism and the corresponding behaviors are critical to success for young or inexperienced managers – so it helps to train how to self-manage.  Supporting leaders here will show strong impact on performance of the individual and their team.

The areas involved  can range from setting boundaries,  execution of appropriate professional behavior, managing moods and tempers, engaging in gossip,  and time management – amongst others.

Picture this: Susan and Jenn have been working in the same store for several months. They are peers – frequently working similar shifts in a fast food franchise. They have developed a friendship, and they often take their breaks together and chat. Naturally, the topic of issues in the store comes up, and they also talk about fellow employees. Sometimes they laugh, other times they vent their frustrations about other staff in the store. Since Susan has been in the job for a while and has proven herself to be a capable and talented employee, she applies for and is promoted to the position of assistant store manager.

Where are the professional boundaries? Susan has stepped into a new position and needs to step into completely new behaviors – no one has prepared her for it. How will existing relationships with peers or her boss change? How will this new position and the new responsibilities change their behaviors and their accountabilities? Is everyone clear? What new actions and routines are expected of Susan in her new position?

Then Susan’s stress increases. Her husband gets into an accident and  Susan has a hard time managing the stress of worrying, caring for him plus performing in her new position. She feels she needs to offload some of the stress by confiding in Jenn and a couple of the other staff members she has known for a while. Pretty soon the gossip mill is active and word is getting around that Susan is being very moody and emotional.  Her boss tells her that several employees feel she is becoming ineffective in her role and not able to maintain professional behavior under stress. Susan is furious, not to mention extremely hurt. How is it that could no one could understand her situation?

Several pointers and perspectives are helpful in self-management skills:

  • New positions need new role understanding and new behavior. Discussions what this new role demands from Susan should be arranged with the boss as well as, to a lesser degree with her former peers. Transparency around her new duties and accountabilities will make it easier for everyone to adapt to the change in the management team.
  • Susan needs to get clear on her professional boundaries. What does it look like/sound like/feel like to be a professional in her position? Her manager and/or a coach can help to sort this out. A good start is this question: Whom does Susan consider to be professional? What does the ideal role model look like? Managing tempers and not sharing every emotion may also have another silver lining: not indulging in our most desperate feelings and concentrating on certain everyday tasks at hand can help distracting us a little from the home stresses for a few hours – which can serve as a relief of sorts.
  • New managers frequently revert back to performing some of their old responsibilities, rationalizing that they can do it so much better. This may be true, but it is not what they are paid for. Effective time management is a function of planning plus effective delegation – the art of saying  “no” to tasks that should be done by someone else, and “yes” to new responsibilities, even if there the learning curve is still tough, the tasks feel uncomfortable and the execution is initially clumsy. The “muscle” will only get stronger with exercise!

There is much more to self-management work, but I’d love to hear from you.   What are you experiencing? We welcome your comments and insights,  as always! Here on this blog, you will get commentluv. This is a plugin that allows you to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.

Until next time,

Sabine

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What to Look for When Hiring a Coach


There are many reasons why people hire a coach, and we covered several in our blog post titled Why work with a coach?.

If you have never worked with a coach before, it’s worthwhile to give some thought as to what you want your selection criteria to be. The quality of the relationship between coach and client is a key success component – the level of trust between both, and how “safe” the conversation feels to both is crucial in

Here are a few questions you should ask when searching for a coach:

1.      How much experience does your coach have in their work? What relevant or interesting pre-coaching career experience that the coach have that may interest you?

2.      What training have they taken? Are they certified and/or credentialed by a reputable training organization?

3.      Are they a member or the International Coach Federation (ICF)? The ICF is the governing body of professional coaches, so members of the ICF are governed by professional practice and ethics guidelines. This is an important point.

4.      Are they a full time coach? These day many people “borrow” the name coach, but they might actually work in other areas, or are trainers or facilitators.

5.      Do they meet with you in person or by telephone/email? Find out the price difference in case they offer both options.

6.      If your prospective coach offers a free practise session, take them up on it. Look for level of ease in the conversation flow, professionalism, rapport between you, and listening skills (who talks more, the coach or you? It should be you!|). Also: A real professional does not need to do a hard sell!

7.      What is your budget? More experienced coaches typically charge more than junior coaches – but there are a number of trade-off’s to offset the price differential that come with more experience and training.

Finally, you need to know that working with a coach is most often an enjoyable, rewarding, enriching and often life changing growth experience. Who else focuses entirely on you in any of your conversations, with no other agenda other than to have YOU be successful – however YOU define success for yourself? Listen to your gut when you are ready to make the final decision – it is almost never wrong. Integra Leadership keeps in touch with numerous coaches with various skill sets and background experience, so there is always a choice for you. You will know when you have found the right person.

For those of you who have searched a coach before, what did you find?

Do you have additional selection criteria to add? Let us know – let’s add to the list!

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Why Work with a Coach?

The coaching profession has grown tremendously in the last few years – worldwide revenue produced by coaching was $1.5 billion (USD) per year in 2009.  According to a 2009 ICF research study, the top areas where clients felt the “overall positive impacts of coaching” were:

  • Self-esteem/self-confidence
  • Relationships
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Work performance
  • Work/life balance

So when does it make sense to hire a coach?

Here are the top 10 reasons we see people retaining coaching services:

1.      You feel stuck and want help finding direction to move forward purposefully. A coach will help you get clear on your goals, identify your obstacles and help you overcome them.

2.      You have leveled out in your career, or you are put into a new position demanding different competencies from you, and you want to prepare yourself for the next level of success. Retaining coaching services, sometimes with involvement of your supervisor, is an effective way to advance professionally.

3.      You have learned something new and want help implementing it effectively. A coach will support you by designing strategies for application to deepen the learning.

4.      You are unhappy with certain interactions with people at work or at home, and you are stressed by the conflict you need to manage. A coach helps you identify underlying issues, develop helpful perspectives, and helps you find and execute options to deal with the issues at hand.

5.      You are so busy and stressed that you cannot see the forest for the trees. A coach helps you identify priorities, and supports you in planning for more effective time management.

6.      You are bored and uninspired, maybe even resentful of certain areas in your life. A coach can help you find your areas of passion so you can return to living with positivity and purpose.

7.      Your family or relationship is in a state of change or crisis, causing stress and anxiety. Hiring a coach for you, the family or a couple, will alleviate the stress by involving a neutral third person to take the heat out of the discussions. Your coach helps to identify the key issues as well as core goals for everyone, and then helps everyone reach their goals.

8.      You have a goal but want help getting there. A coach focuses you, acts as a cheerleader and a sounding board and reality check, holds you accountable and celebrates interim results with you until you reach your destination.

9.      You are successful in your career but your personal style often leads to negative interactions or results. You feel you have blind spots you want to explore and manage. Your coach will act as a confidential critic, helping you understand what behaviors, conscious or unconscious, are preventing you from reaching your objectives. You will practice new more effective behaviors and approaches.

10.  You are new in your position, and you feel lack of confidence, confusion and overwhelm. Your coach helps you transition into the new role by identifying patterns to adopt and those to leave behind. You will also work on designing effective new relationships to support your new role.

If you find yourself anywhere in those 10 scenarios, get in touch with us and we will discuss how we can help. Or forward this blog to someone who might be looking for some support.

So – have you worked with a coach before? What was it like? What worked for you, and what didn’t?

If you are thinking of retaining a coach,and you want tips on how to look for a coach that suits your style and needs, read our blog post on What to look for when you hire a Coach.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Albert Einstein

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The Corporate Valentine

It is here again – Valentine’s Day! Roses, chocolate, intimate dinners, handholding, gazing into each others eyes – it is so wonderful to connect at this intimate level with a loved one. It really is a little piece of paradise – a cloud of wonder and delicious bliss that surrounds us at that moment.
Ok – so you are at work, and you don’t have a loved one to share a moment like that with. No reason to cry the blues, because here is the good news…you are ALWAYS in relationship, whether you have a lover or not. If you are at work, you are certainly in relationship with a number of people and concepts. Booooring – you say. No romance here. Well yes, abstaining from office romance may be a good thing – depending on your corporate etiquette.
What I am talking about is taking a close look at relationships around your place of work.

First, what are the relationships like with the people at work? What about your business partner? How would it be if just for today, you brought a little more of YOU to those people…what if you showed up with a side of you that your colleagues don’t know and would really enjoy? You just may give opportunity to some transformation to a relationship. All relationships are work in progress – any positive input you provide will generate a positive return – whether you see immediate rewards or not.

Secondly, let’s look at your relationship with the work you do. What kind of leadership are you exercising over the way you manage your job? Is what you are doing congruent with what you want to be doing? Where are you in default mode? What results might you achieve if you were intentional about those areas? Effective leadership, personal or managerial, means self-awareness and a measure of control. Look closely at why you chose the work you do, and how you feel about it currently. Analyze the gap.

Last but not least, how is your relationship to your employer – the firm or corporation that you trade your waking hours with for pay? How committed are you to their goals and strategies? When you contemplate that question, do you feel blah, or are you energized by reconnecting with their core business mission? What is it costing you and the firm to have you feel the way you do? What would it take to improve this?

How engaged you are at work every day is based on your overall commitment to the company and/or its people. Engagement has so very much to do with commitment – and every solid, successful and profitable relationship has commitment right at the very core. As corporate coaches we see how people’s business relationships can be rescued from a downward spiral, once they are addressed. Maybe you don’t feel much commitment at all towards your employer or the people you work with – there is much information there as well. You always have the relationship with your Self. What are YOU committed to? What do YOU stand for? What are the “Must Have’s” in your life?

Today, on Valentine’s Day, go and indulge a relationship – have some fun, show up with a hidden side of you, and transform someone’s day, as well as your own. That is a surefire way to have a Happy Valentine’s Day, no matter where you are.

“The true voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

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