“Leadership challenges are fundamentally interpersonal in nature; thus, their solutions are as well.” Monique Valcour
Samantha is a good technician who has been promoted into a management position. She is very adept at fixing problems. This has served her well so far. Won’t the same fix-it mindset work with management issues?
In the technical world, when something is broken, there are typically one or two ways to repair it. It has always been Sam’s responsibility to handle the situation.
This is not the case in the management world. Management issues are complex because they always have an interpersonal relationship component. Sam must learn to accomplish tasks through other people.
For example. Sam gives a direct order to implement an immediate change to fix a problem. She will be faced with staff pushback if not open rebellion. Sam needs to realize that people are easily frightened by change. She will have to go slowly, allow her staff to vent their concerns, address those concerns, and involve her staff in planning the change. Only then will they be willing to buy into the change and accept their responsibility for implementing it.
For example. Sam has a staff person named Raul who has always been an excellent performer. However, for the past month, his performance has been subpar. Sam may feel that it is her responsibility to fix this problem and choose to micromanage everything Raul does. She will be very unhappy when she discovers that her approach simply makes matters worse.
Sam needs to realize that it is Raul’s responsibility to improve his performance. She must initiate a productive discussion, explore the reasons for Raul’s poor performance, get his perspective, and then coach Raul so he will own the problem and propose a solution.
Peer Learning for a Management Mindset
Change management and coaching are typically not in a technician’s wheelhouse. There is no reason why Sam would know how to do either. But she needs to know now.
Small inhouse peer learning groups can provide the focus, support, practice, and accountability so those managers can learn what to do when dealing with a current management challenge.
Help Sam and the other technicians who are promoted into management positions become good managers. Contact Deborah Laurel of The Peer Learning Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sam will stop being so frustrated and her staff will thank you.
Question: Does your organization help technicians promoted into management positions become effective in their new roles?
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