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The first time and mid-level managers have a special place in my heart for various reasons. I’d like to explain one of the top reasons. I see a phenomenon that occurs when someone is moved into management for the first time. He has been highly competent and dedicated in performing job tasks of a particular area. She is loyal to the company. It makes sense that there is a natural progression upward into a management position. In most cases, the employee knows the department well. He could probably work any position in that department. However, working in the department and managing the department are two different things. Furthermore, employers, upper management, CEOs, and owners do not have the time to mentor the new manager.

The new manager begins to ask these questions:

  • “How do I supervise all these people who used to be my peers?”
  • “How do I meet these new demands from my superiors?”
  • “How do I get the most out of who I am in charge of? Especially when they do not work as hard as I do?”
  • “Am I supposed to do their jobs and mine?”

Needless to say, the first time managers many times feel left out on an isolated island. I have heard many first time managers say. “I know the ins and outs of this department but nobody prepared me to supervise these people.” When you got hired or promoted, you were given a task list, the keys to the office, a group to oversee, a pat on the back with a statement like, “Go get ’em.” Your employer doesn’t have the time to mentor you in supervising, motivating, refereeing, holding people accountable, etc. It’s basically a “Figure it out” situation.

Here is a day in the life of a manager: You have a set of daily tasks to begin working. Someone comes in and needs you. You take care of that and then go back to your tasks. On your way back, someone else grabs you. You take care of his needs. Now, back to your tasks. Shortly in, you get a call from your superior to come in and talk. Once you have finished that, it is time for your weekly production meeting. Now, it’s lunchtime. Back from lunch you begin to start on your tasks again and someone else needs you. This repeats all day. When your day is done, you have only finished about one quarter of your tasks. Welcome to management. Ugh!!!

What do I do with the “Rock Star” employee that brings in the numbers but is difficult to deal with? How do I wade through these excuses? How do I hold these people accountable without inciting a riot or creating a mutiny? Everyone wants a piece of me and there is not enough of me to go around.

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Note that I am not a cookie-cutter type of coach. I don’t have some program that I am selling to everyone. There are some major fundamental areas that stay constant as I coach and train. But, I take company expectations, marry them with who you are and make you better.

One-to-one coaching:

My favorite avenue, and in my opinion, the most effective is one-to-one coaching. Getting with a person weekly/bi-weekly and looking into who he/she is and how he/she approaches the position helps me lead him/her to incorporate and apply tools and tactics to everyday work. Using real time scenarios and coaching someone through those is the most effective way of making shifts and drawing out potential.

Group coaching:

Similar to one-to-one, coaching a group and using real time scenarios allows for us to build an effective team, a supportive environment, and use application successes and short-falls to adjust, train, and apply.

The combination of training and coaching:

One hour training sessions 3 times a month followed by 30 minute to one hour sessions of individual or group coaching bi-weekly. This allows an introduction to new information during each training session followed by applying and implementing what was presented into everyday work scenarios.

1 day and 2 day seminars:

Training seminars for participants to take techniques and tools back to the work place with them. These seminars are not only informational but experiential as well. Each seminar has time set aside to work through round-table exercises with teams of people from your company and/or with others from other companies. Seminars can be conducted exclusively for a single company or open to many.

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