Coaching For A Promotion Transcript


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Managing a major promotion is second only to divorce in terms of life stress, according to research from HR consultancy DDI.

Failure to manage your step up the ladder could not only affect your morale and make you lose confidence in your abilities, but could cost the company if you're not able to take on the challenges your promotion requires.

What does it take to get ahead and how can a coach help ambitious employees reach this goal?


* Fernan Cepero, VP of Human Resources, YMCA of Greater Rochester, NY

* Jane Cranston, Executive and Career Coach, Managing Director, Executive Coach NY

* Anne Loehr, Executive Coach, Riverstone Endeavors, LLC

* Susan Whitcomb, President, Career Coach Academy & Leadership Coach Academy


According to an April 17th, 2007 article in Personnel Today Magazine titled “Manage a Major Promotion” HR consultancy DDI concludes that “managing a major promotion is second only to divorce in terms of life stress,” as supported by DDI research.

Simon Mitchell, a director at DDI, advises that if you are about to or are going through a promotion, you need to anticipate this stress. Your organization should help you cope with the changes in your new role, with minimum disruption.

However the article notes that just one in three leaders indicated their company provides any type of support to help them make the mental shift required for a big promotion.

What strategies can people apply to successfully get promoted? And how can professionals manage the stress associated with promotions?

What work are professional coaches doing to prepare their clients for promotions, as well as overcome challenges and hurdles once they land the job?

Our panel of experts address these questions and more.

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Coaching For A Promotion Transcript

  1. 1. ( Insight on Coaching Coaching for a Promotion Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: Insight Educational Consulting Ubiqus Reporting (IEC)
  2. 2. Time Speaker Transcript 0:24 Tom Floyd Hello everyone and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I'm Tom Floyd, I'm the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today's show. This week our topic is Coaching for a Promotion. We'll talk about the stresses of managing a promotion. We'll provide a big picture overview of how to go about getting a promotion. We'll talk about some of the challenges that can arise before, during and after a promotion. And of course we'll talk about the work that professional coaches are doing in guiding individuals during and after a promotion. With me today to explore this topic are four guests. Let me give you a quick overview of who we have with us today. Our first guest, Fernan Cepero, is a recipient of the 2007 Future HR Leader Awards by Human Capital Magazine and is a thought leader in the area of human resources, empowerment and organizational development. Fernan serves as vice president of human resources for the YMCA of Greater Rochester and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Organizational Development Special Expertise Panel. He is on the faculty of several of colleges including Roberts Wesleyan College, Monroe Community College and the University of Phoenix. He’s also authored a chapter in Linkage, Inc.’s quot;Best Practices in Organization & Human Resources Development Handbook”, which provides a high-level, detailed look on Xerox’s Empowered Work Groups Initiative. Welcome to the show Fernan. 1:49 Fernan Cepero Thank you. Glad to be here. 1:50 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Jane Cranston, is the managing director and owner of Executive Coach NY. As an executive and career coach, Jane works with success-driven executives and professionals who want to take their careers to the next level, earning a better title, more money, plum assignments and increased recognition. Jane brings to her coaching over 20 years of senior corporate experience and training as an educator and as a psychotherapist. Jane started her first career in the fashion and retail world which she spent eight years holding several managerial and executive positions for such companies such as Liz Claiborne and Banana Republic. Jane is the author of many articles on workplace issues and job search skills. She has been cited in Newsday and has appeared on CNN. 2 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 2 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  3. 3. Time Speaker Transcript Welcome to the show, Jane. 2:33 Jane Cranston Thank you. My pleasure. 2:35 Tom Floyd I just realized Jane I got your company name wrong. Executive Coach New York, correct? 2:38 Jane Cranston No. Executive Coach NY, you were right. 2:41 Tom Floyd NY? I was correct. 2:43 Jane Cranston You were. 2:44 Tom Floyd Well it's Monday morning and I'm still having my coffee here. So that's my excuse for it and I'm sticking to it! Well our third guest, Anne Loehr, has been coaching entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and individuals for more than 20 years in the process of moving to the next level of sustainable success. A partner with Riverstone Endeavors, LLC, an organizational-development firm in Washington, D.C., Anne specializes in the hospitality industry, partnering with clients such as The Away Network, OARS, International Hotel Marketing Services, The Nature Conservancy, and Carlson Destination Marketing Services. Anne recently co-authored “A Manager’s Guide to Coaching: Simple and Effective Ways to Get the Best out of Your Employees” published by the American Management Association and now available on Amazon. She also has written monthly business columns for national publications such as Travel News and the Washington Business Journal. Welcome to the show, Anne. 3:38 Anne Loehr Thank you so much. 3 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 3 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  4. 4. Time Speaker Transcript 3:40 Tom Floyd And last, but not least our fourth guest, Susan Whitcomb, brings over 20 years of experience to the table when it comes to landing a new job or a promotion. She trains executive leadership and career coaches through her organizations, the Leadership Coach Academy and the Career Coach Academy. Susan is also the author of six careers books, including 30-Day Job Promotion: Build a Powerful Promotion Plan in a Month and the best-selling quot;Magic Seriesquot; published by JIST, including Interview Magic, Resume Magic and award-winning Job Search Magic. She has been a careers columnist and featured chat guest for and America Online and, as an industry expert, has been cited in U.S. News & World Report, CBS, the Dow Jones' National Business Employment Weekly, and numerous national publications. Susan is also the author of a 400-page career coaching reference accompanying the Certified Career Management Coach program offered through Career Coach Academy. Welcome to the show, Susan. 4:37 Susan Thank you Tom. Whitcomb 4:39 Tom Floyd Well as we do with each show, I'd like to begin by sharing some data that our research team pulled together to set the stage. Now according to an April 17th, 2007 article in Personnel Today Magazine titled “Manage a Major Promotion” HR consultancy DDI (Development Dimensions International) concludes that “Managing a major promotion is second only to divorce in terms of life stress,” as supported by DDI research. Simon Mitchell, a director at DDI, advises that if you are about to or are going through a promotion, you need to anticipate this stress. Your organization should help you cope with the changes in your new role, with minimum disruption. DDI found that one-fifth of first-line and senior-level leaders struggle to adjust to getting work done through others. According to DDI's survey, just one in three leaders says their company provides little or very poor support to help them make the mental shift required for a big promotion Susan, I would like to kick off our show with you today. Really just a big picture question about some of the data from DDI. Is this article true? Is managing a promotion second only to divorce in terms of life stress in your opinion? 4 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 4 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  5. 5. Time Speaker Transcript 5:59 Susan I think you'll probably get different responses from different people on that. Whitcomb I think that because we spend so much time in the workplace that yes, those things that are happening in the workplace are going to be very stressful for us or for the people that are getting promoted. I think a lot of it has to do with the culture of the organization. There are some cultures that are very aware of the support that's needed for the person that's being promoted. But by and large, my experience has been that you are sort of hung out by yourself and expected to figure out all of these new skills and abilities that are required for a successful promotion on your own. I think it's really up to the individual being promoted to be really proactive and to look for mentors. A nd to really open up the lines of communication with their manager about what the expectations are because there are a lot of expectations but they're not spoken in many cases. 7:01 Tom Floyd So it sounds like the stress isn't just before they get the promotion or wondering if they're going to get the promotion. It's actually after they've gotten the promotion the stress is actually continuing? 7:12 Susan Yeah, I think so. Now you've got to deliver big time. Whitcomb In many cases, people that have been promoted have been promoted because they've been these great individual contributors who have really managed to get things done on their own strengths. It's sort of the Lone Ranger in some cases. When they get promoted into, let's say, a Director or V.P. role all of a sudden their individual contributing skills are not the most important thing. Now the most important thing is that they have to be able to pull a team together and get much more done through all of these people. So if they haven't really been honing management skills and team development skills along the way, they can really find themselves in this almost identity crisis in terms of who am I and how to do I get things done. As well as just the reality of the pressures of bringing in the business or meeting the deadlines. 5 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 5 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  6. 6. Time Speaker Transcript 8:10 Tom Floyd It's almost like they're finding out some of the skills that served them really well when they were individual contributors, suddenly they're promoted and there's a whole different set of skills that are required. Suddenly, if it's managing people or something like that, it might be unfamiliar territory for them. 8:25 Susan Absolutely. Yeah. Whitcomb 8:27 Tom Floyd Okay. Well big picture question. This is definitely a big picture umbrella type of question but in your opinion as well, in today's environment what does it take to get ahead in the corporate world? Is it certain actions, is it certain traits, is it certain personality types? 8:46 Susan That's a broad question. If I had to pick a couple of things, I would say it really takes Whitcomb the sense that you are the one that's in charge and not expecting that HR is going to do it, your coach is going to do it or your manager is going to do it for you. You really have to be the one that takes hold of the reigns and says “this is where I want to go.” And have a vision of what you want the future to look like. Then be able to communicate that to your managers and to the powers that be. So I think really having that individualistic, I'm in charge of my life, internal locus of control sometimes they are referred to. So that's one piece. I think another piece that's really important, especially the higher up you go in the organization, is to really start looking broadly at the global organization and how you fit into all of those cogs. Not making it just about me and my personal agenda. But making it about the corporate agenda and what's going to be best overall for the organization. Part of that is really reaching out to the other department heads. Having that intra- network. A lot of people think about networking and they think about externally from the organization. But internally making sure that you have good solid relationships with the VP of Finance, the VP of Operations and the VP of Marketing, if indeed you're getting promoted into that sort of a role in a different discipline. So really looking out beyond yourself and taking the time to reach out and do that, which is challenging because the expectations are so high and you get so sucked into trying to make things work and deliver the results that sometimes the network suffers as a result of that. 6 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 6 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  7. 7. Time Speaker Transcript 10:39 Tom Floyd So it sounds like, just to summarize, it's several things in terms of what it's taking to get ahead. It's being proactive. It's also making sure that the person is kind of seeing the big picture overview within the company. And seeing how they can fit in and add value to the overall organization as a whole. It also sounds like just being able to really connect with people and building relationships. Whether it's with other Vice Presidents in the company or people in other departments, if there is a specific department that you're targeting. Things like that. 11:10 Susan Absolutely. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the value and Whitcomb then the relationship piece. And always looking at all of those people that you're interacting with in terms of what's in it for them, what's really going to be a value for them in terms of us having a really strong working relationship. 11:26 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. Another question, what are the typical motivators for someone to want to get a promotion today? Are they necessarily the same motivators as they were ten years ago? 7 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 7 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  8. 8. Time Speaker Transcript 11:41 Susan I don't know that I have data on something like that. I can speak from experiences. Whitcomb It seems that most people sometimes approach a promotion because they think, I need more money, and that's certainly the case with economic times. I need more money is often the first motivator. I think the other motivator that is sometimes there is sort of this ego piece. I have an ego and I want to be growing my career. So there's that aspect of it. I think the thing that's probably going to be the most valid, I don't know if valid is the right word I'm looking for, but the most impressive to the people that are going to promote you in terms of the motivators is what I call the “itch.” The “itch” is really just that sort of innate, human desire that all of us have to grow and stretch and continue to do something new and bigger. Because if not, we start getting stagnant and getting frustrated. I think if the powers that be, those people who can have the ability to promote you, see that the reason you want to keep moving up is not just a monetary thing and not just an ego thing. Instead, it kind of encompasses all of those, and especially with the “itch,” that they're going to feel a lot more comfortable about your motives for wanting to get promoted. I think those three all play together, with “itch” being awfully important. 13:13 Tom Floyd I really like the way you described that. 13:14 Anne Loehr Tom, this is Anne. 13:16 Tom Floyd an “itch.” It almost sounds like that motivation definitely has a lot to do with that, too. That motivation to grow and that motivation to succeed. So I really like that term. I'm definitely going to remember that. Jane I'd like to turn to you— 13:29 Susan I think Anne had a comment. Ann did you have something? Whitcomb 8 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 8 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  9. 9. Time Speaker Transcript 13:31 Anne Loehr Yeah. Tom, this is Anne. I just had a quick one. I don't have any data with me either but all the research that I've been seeing and actually seeing it in organizations. People are really looking for now in terms of Generation Y and the Millennials is what Susan was saying about the “itch.” Their number one reason right now to be promoted is they want to be developed. So they don't really care so much about the money, although Susan did say it's very important in today's economic times. But for them, especially Generation Y, it is about development and about growing. So we're going to see that more and more as the Generation Y is becoming 30 and 40, and there's going to start to be a clash of that soon. But for people who are managing the Generation Ys and the Millennials, that is really what they're going to be looking for. 14:17 Tom Floyd So that actually is a question that I was going to ask later in the show. Because it constantly amazes me how much generational issues come into many of the conversations that we have on this particular show. Would you say then that the motivators for Generation X, for example, or Baby Boomers, tend to slightly be different? Are they as developmental focused or do they kind of come back more to money and ego and things like that? 14:43 Anne Loehr This is Anne again. I would say exactly as you said, Generation Y is the first generation that we're seeing that is really more focused on being developed, learning new things, growing. They have no problems with switching jobs after a year and a half or two years because it's going to give them the opportunity to grow. Whereas Baby Boomers and even Generation X, are a bit more linear. They're not necessarily after the money, but they are much more in terms of they want to make a difference, they want to grow perhaps within their family, within their community and make a difference that way. 9 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 9 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  10. 10. Time Speaker Transcript 15:16 Tom Floyd Interesting. Have you found in your experience, does Generation Y, because this topic is related to Gen Y and the Millennials have come up as well, do you tend to find that they have unrealistic expectations about getting promotions at all? So perhaps getting them very quickly after they've been there for six months or anything like that? Does that come up or show up at all? 15:40 Anne Loehr I think it depends on how you define expectations and unrealistic expectations. For a Baby Boomer it is unrealistic to think that they're going to get a promotion in two years. But for Millennials and for Generation Y, they don't see it as unrealistic. They think “I've got the capabilities. I can do it, why can't I get promoted?” And that's where the conflict is happening. 15:59 Tom Floyd And what are some of the best ways to manage that conflict particularly around a promotion? 16:05 Anne Loehr There's a number of ways to do it. As Susan was saying, managing expectations is very important, assuming that it's a Baby Boomer who is the manager at this point managing a young Millennial or a Generation Y, it's managing expectations. It's allowing them to grow but also being realistic of here's where you can go. “We're going to allow you to grow this much. You can grow here and here and here and this is the agenda that you're going to be using to do it.” Just letting them know ahead, this is the way it is. If you want it, great, we want to work with you. And if you don't want it, then let's figure out something else. 16:39 Tom Floyd Okay. Jane, I'd like to turn to you next. Now just in general, we've already talked about this a bit in terms of people who are motivated really have that passion to want to grow. But anything you would add in terms of the characteristics that employers look for in promotable people, so to speak? 10 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 10 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  11. 11. Time Speaker Transcript 16:58 Jane Cranston I think there are a number of things. I think that being smart and I'm talking about street smart, book smart, work smart. This is a world that demands that people have a high intelligence level. Partially because there are so many changes going on. So are you intellectually flexible as well as flexible in your attitudes towards things so when we put you in a department? Because when we're talking about a promotion, we're not necessarily saying that you're being promoted in a linear way. You could be moved to a completely different area. And suddenly, can you pick up the basics of that area very quickly? 17:45 Tom Floyd So it sounds like adaptability to change is certainly something that would jump out to folks, to people? 17:49 Jane Cranston Yes. And I think that's a big issue today. We all talk about change but most people hate change. They like change in other people but they don't really want to change. But there are people out there who are quite good at it and really generate that kind of energy that says “yes, I am willing to change. I will go into an organization maybe where I don't know absolutely everything and I will lead people who know more than I do in certain areas.” 18:19 Tom Floyd With my change management hat on, I'm definitely smiling. It's interesting the ability to accept change and kind of evolve with it also comes up a lot. Actually, I had a conversation once with Carolyn Kepcher when she was still on The Apprentice. One of the questions that I asked her is “the folks that won The Apprentice -what are the traits that they had? Do you notice certain consistencies?” And her response was that honestly the people that do well on the show The Apprentice, are those who can quickly change and can adapt very quickly and on the fly. They're leaders but they know how to be a part of a team as well. They can take all of those different changes and things coming at them. So it's interesting how that comes up. 11 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 11 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  12. 12. Time Speaker Transcript 19:00 Jane Cranston So they didn't care what the assignment was. They figured they'd do well no matter what, whether it was selling flowers or doing an event or whatever. They always performed well because they didn't get bogged down in the details of the assignment. They looked at the big picture, which is, “I have to win this.” 19:18 Tom Floyd Exactly. And they kept their mind and their focus on the prize, so to speak. Another question for you and this is one that I get asked a lot in my professional life and my personal life by friends and colleagues. Should people feel comfortable promoting themselves in terms of highlighting why they feel they should be promoted? 19:40 Jane Cranston I think you have to promote yourself. I don't think this is creating a banner and putting it on your office door. But I think there's a certain amount of promotion that has to be done. Really what I talk with my coaching clients about is that your signature has to be on everything you do. I'm saying that people would know, when they heard a presentation being done. Regardless of who the person is that's actually saying it, they'd say “wait a minute, that's Bill's work. I know that's Bill's work and getting credit for it.” So I think there's a big part of that. The other place where I think people really down play themselves is formal performance evaluations. I see clients who don't write them, write them at the last minute and don't take the time to sit down and say “wait a minute, what did I do for this organization in the last year?” Dollarize it, quantify it so that in fact somebody can say “wow, he or she really did contribute this year.” I think that's how you self promote. 12 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 12 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  13. 13. Time Speaker Transcript 20:45 Tom Floyd Interesting. In some of the performance management work that our company does, you will also see some situations where somebody particularly folks from Generation Y will rank themselves really high on their assessment but they can't provide examples. So it's “I'm off the chart in all these areas. Perfect in every single skill, so much that I should be the CEO” - but no examples. Do you ever see that, too? 21:10 Jane Cranston Yes. I have seen that, it's a type. I don't think it's specific to a generation. But there is a generation who were told they were wonderful at everything they did from the day they went to preschool all the way through. That's not the way the world is. We all could be better at things. So I think there's a balance. Also I think you have to look at cultures. I work with certain organizations where self- promotion is seen as a very negative thing, you're seen as not a team player if you do that. So that has to be a little different. There are other places where you really have to be pretty overt about it otherwise you will get lost in the shuffle. 21:54 Tom Floyd Okay. Got it. Fernan, I'd like to go ahead and loop you in the conversation. What are your thoughts so far? Anything that you would add? 13 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 13 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  14. 14. Time Speaker Transcript 22:01 Fernan Cepero Yes. I would with respect to self-promotion. One of the things that I speak with my employees with when they come to me as far as “I want to get promoted,” is I talk to them in terms of think outside of the box. Because I see the typical list of this is where I worked. Then I go back to them and say what did you do or what were your accomplishments, what were your contributions? What I find quite often is that most people don't stop to think about what they did to contribute. They want to talk about where they worked as an event and they're hoping that leads them to a promotion. I have them talk to about what is it that you did that contributed to the success or the organization of the department that you worked in. I also talked to them about what is your plan should you get the promotion? What's going to happen in the 30, 60, 90 days after that? I do that because many people are expending their energies for the promotion event. Then the promotion happens and “oh gosh, what do I do from this point on?” So I have them think about what you're going to do if you get the promotion. You would use that in your interview for a potential promotion or as you're marketing yourself to another organization or to another department. You need to think beyond the event of the promotion itself. I think many people that I have talked to are stuck in “I have to work towards the promotion,” but are not thinking beyond that. 23:37 Tom Floyd It sounds like it's quantifying it. “This is exactly what I've done,” back to that piece. But also it's really having that vision and sort of saying, “okay, this is what I will do when I do advance to this position, X, Y and Z.” 23:50 Fernan Cepero Absolutely, absolutely. It's about having the vision and asking yourself what's fulfilling to me. “How am I going to utilize my skills, competencies and attributes for that next assignment?” “How am I going to bring that forward should I land in that particular seat?” 14 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 14 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  15. 15. Time Speaker Transcript 24:07 Tom Floyd Well another big picture question. It's actually one that somebody, a friend of mine in my personal life, said “make sure you ask this question.” I don't know the answer to this question. It's somebody who is actually in their job search right now and kind of struggling with some of the things going on in the economy right now. The question really is, in your opinion is this year's economy and pretty much recession I think in the mind of a lot of people, is that going to have an impact on promotions and other advancement opportunities in the workplace, in your opinion? 24:41 Jane Cranston This is Jane. I would say not is it going to, it is having an impact. Jobs are being eliminated. I'm in New York City where Wall Street has been hit very, very hard. The jobs have not only been eliminated but people are not being replaced. So you don't get a promotion but you get more work. 25:02 Anne Loehr This is Anne. What I would say to that is that I agree with what Jane said. But there is an opportunity, though, for someone for self-promotion to say, “okay, here I'm going to be doing all of this.” And at the end of it, negotiate 60 day, 90 day, some kind of salary increment if you can. Use that opportunity as a benefit. 25:22 Tom Floyd So it definitely is having an impact and there are fewer opportunities available than there have been previously? 25:30 Anne Loehr Yes. 25:31 Jane Cranston Less but there are still opportunities. As I say, I have yet to hear a leader say “I have too many good people hanging around here.” 25:42 Tom Floyd Got it. I'm hearing the music for the first commercial break. Let's go ahead and go on pause. Stay tuned everyone, more from Insight on Coaching when we return. 15 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 15 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  16. 16. Time Speaker Transcript 28:07 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I'm Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching for a Promotion. With me are Fernan Cepero, Vice President of Human Resources for the YMCA of Greater Rochester New York, Jane Cranston, Managing Director and owner of Executive Coach NY, Anne Loehr, partner with Riverstone Endeavors LLC and co- author of A Manager's Guide to Coaching, Simple and Effective Ways to Get the Best out of Your Employees, and Susan Whitcomb, President of the Career Coach Academy and Leadership Coach Academy and author of 30 day Job Promotion, Build a Powerful Promotion Plan in a Month. In this segment of the show, I'd like to focus on some common challenges and pitfalls that can occur in adjusting, managing or preparing for a promotion. Some more data to kick us off here. According to the 2007 Manage a Major Promotion article referenced earlier in our show from Personnel Today Magazine, there are several challenges and pitfalls that can arise. One of the most common pitfalls is finding you can't adapt your mindset to your new role. A major promotion usually involves taking on vast new responsibilities. The skills you need and how your time is allocated to certain tasks will alter significantly. Avoid falling foul of organizational politics. This requires you to recognize that your former peers will see you differently and they might even be jealous. If that's the case, cultivate a new peer group. Building up your new network will help you cope with this. Realize that your primary responsibility is to develop your team by creating a framework and giving them direction, so you will be able to spend more time thinking strategically and devote more time to coaching From another article According to Tech Republic writer John McKee in his August 9th, 2007 article, “Pigeonholing can kill your chances for promotion.” “But at some point, you need to adapt and move away from being regarded as “the” expert to one who is able to help others to become experts as well. If you don’t, you’ll get pigeonholed. The company bosses will be concerned about taking you out of such an important role with no one else able to fill it afterward. You’ll be held back because you’re too good at what you do. So start developing your replacement and make a point of showcasing him/her whenever you can. Let everyone see that you can move up with little disruption. And it shows that you’re good at developing others to move up as well. Bosses like that in an executive.” “Bottom line: To move up the ladder, you need to be able to rally people behind your vision and state your case crisply. This applies to those below you and those above you. And the ones above you are the decision makers. If you really want that promotion, learn to match your communication style to that of the decision makers. Trying to show them 16 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 16 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  17. 17. Time Speaker Transcript “a better style” will only result in frustration.” Well Fernan, I'd like to start with you for this segment. Can you speak to us about the challenges of adapting to a new mindset once you land in the role that Personnel Today magazine refers to? 31:10 Fernan Cepero Yes. What I have seen is when somebody is promoted they're very good, as we mentioned in the previous segment, of managing change for others but not managing change for themselves. They need to start with the change management process even before they get promoted. As they are thinking about getting promoted, as they're thinking about their next assignment, think about what that's going to mean to them personally. As far as changing and adapting their style, as you mentioned, to that new assignment. An example I can think of is moving into a role in Finance where previously to that they were in Human Resources. One of the challenges I would coach them on is have you learned to speak the language of Finance? Have you sought out a mentor from somebody other than the career path that you're on right now? In other words, again I challenge them to get somebody or align yourself with somebody who's not in the same capacity or same job function that you're in. If you're looking to move into a promotion climate into Finance for example, find yourself a mentor in that career field. So you can get to understand what are expectations, what is it that I need to do, what is it that I need to learn to prepare myself for that change. Preparation is key. So once you land in that role or in that assignment, you're better able to facilitate and manage through the change management process more effectively and efficiently. Rather than getting there and then trying to figure out “what is it that I have to do next.” 33:01 Tom Floyd It kind of sounds like too, really seeking out using the example that you used, moving from HR to Finance, somebody who is already working in this space. It's almost like you have a subject matter expert in your own back pocket, which is almost like a security blanket, so to speak. How I think that would make me feel? I’d definitely feel a little bit safer. 17 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 17 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  18. 18. Time Speaker Transcript 33:23 Fernan Cepero In a way it actually makes you feel a little bit uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is okay because the security blanket would, for me, be “I seek out a mentor who is in Human Resources. They can speak my language, they can understand where I'm coming from.” Get yourself a mentor who is not in the career that you're currently in. If you're looking to Finance or maybe even Marketing, get yourself a mentor that's going to ask you the tough questions. What is it that you think that you're bringing to the table? What are the things and skill sets that are missing? What are the competencies that are missing? So it's going to make you think and prepare as opposed to somebody that you're already comfortable talking with. I like that uncomfortableness to prepare somebody. 34:12 Tom Floyd So it's really stretching people out of their comfort zones. And in the process of doing that, though it might be painful for them at first, it actually can result in a lot of good things in the long run. 34:22 Fernan Cepero Exactly because I tell them better to have the pain as you're preparing than to have the pain once you get there. 34:28 Tom Floyd Okay. One of the other challenges that came up was organizational politics, another topic that comes up a lot on the show. Susan, I'd like to direct this question to you. Once someone has been promoted, what challenges does he or she typically face? Let's use co-workers who were formerly peers but who are not direct reports as an example. What are some of the situations or challenges that can come up in that scenario? 18 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 18 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  19. 19. Time Speaker Transcript 35:01 Susan I'm thinking immediately of someone that I was coaching not too long ago who was Whitcomb very much friends with someone else. Then she got promoted and all of a sudden the person that she was now managing started talking about her and started getting quips going against her. What I thought was wonderful about that, and I think this can generalize to any situation, is that all of those things that happen are just wonderful opportunities for the person to say “I'm going to turn this problem into a possibility. I'm going to find new ways to be able to stretch and grow my leadership skills.” Whatever it is, whatever politic, whatever situation that comes up, it's just an opportunity for the person to start looking at “how can I stretch?” “This has been put in my road, in my path so I'm able to increase my leadership skills in some way.” In most cases, what they need to do is really have very direct conversations with people. Focus the attention not on them self or even the person that's causing the problem, but to focus the group on this is what we're trying to accomplish as a team. This is where we are going. This is the vision and this is what it's going to take to get there. So focusing more on those positive things. At some point, yes there may need to be some kind of courageous direct conversation with the person that might be causing trouble. In general, it's just a great place to stretch those leadership skills. 36:40 Tom Floyd Do you try to avoid the conversation and focus on the positives? By avoiding the conversation, I mean-- my instinct would be to sit down with the person, if it was the former friend or still current friend, hopefully at least. Sit down and say “hey what's up? I'm kind of hearing this in the halls, you're a little distant.” Do you still have that conversation or do you focus on the positives and hope that that behavior will change as a result of that? 19 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 19 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  20. 20. Time Speaker Transcript 37:08 Susan I think you need to play that carefully and just watch how things play out. Whitcomb I think it's probably going to be at some point you're going to have to have the conversation, though. And probably sooner rather than later so that you don't let things get farther than they need to get. To do it in a really respectful way that just says “relationship is important.” Also looking at where we're trying to go with this organization on a broader scale and recognizing that that vision for this organization is above my agenda or above anybody else's agenda. “This is what I need from you to be able to be a part of that” and encourage them to want to get on board and move forward with that. I think if you get into too many details that sometimes that can suck you into a place that you don't need to be as a leader. 38:08 Tom Floyd Understood. 38:08 Susan Maybe some other people have some other thoughts on that? Whitcomb 38:12 Tom Floyd Another slant, and I'll pose this question to the entire group, another slant on the political angle. The Tech Republic article referenced as well the importance of somebody who got promoted to build a new network or expand his or her existing network with new peers at their level. So as they go about building that network, are there any typical challenges or landmines to look out for? Are there politics at that level also? 20 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 20 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  21. 21. Time Speaker Transcript 38:42 Susan Most assuredly there are going to be politics at that level as well. Whitcomb I'm thinking again of another client that we were coaching together. His goal was to really reach out and develop those relationships just as you had mentioned. His goal was really to be able to go and take that person out to lunch. And yet, it sounded almost too pointed to just pick up the phone and say “hey I'd like to take you out to lunch.” Instead what he did is he just very carefully and strategically listed all of the new director level people that were going to be within his network. He found ways to touch base; pick up the phone and just say “I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm the new Director of such and such,” and have a conversation. Then from that conversation, eventually then he was able to invite them to coffee or breakfast or something. So that there was a greater face-to-face kind of connection as opposed to just jumping right in and saying “hey, let's go to lunch.” It was done, I think, very politically sensitively. I guess is the word I'm looking for. 39:49 Tom Floyd So it sounds like it was a softer approach to it. It's not like he just went in and bulldozed them. “Hey we're going to lunch now!” 39:54 Susan “Hey we're going to have a relationship, let's get started!” Whitcomb 39:54 Tom Floyd It's kind of fragile and sensitive on their radar. Anything anybody else would add? 21 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 21 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  22. 22. Time Speaker Transcript 40:04 Jane Cranston This is Jane. I always think about and encourage people to observe without prejudice. So when you're first in it, sit back and watch what's going on. Not using your former lens and not using the lens you're going to think you have. Just what is going on here? Also I would caution people reaching out too much might not-- you need the people in your camp, the people that are working for you and around you. I would focus on them first. And then I would try to get on projects with other people in the organization. I always find that working with someone is the best way to really get to know them rather than having meals with people. 40:50 Tom Floyd Okay. I'm hearing the music for the next commercial break, let's go ahead and go on pause. Stayed tuned everybody, more from Insight on Coaching when we return. 43:32 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I'm Tom Floyd. For those of you just getting tuned in today, today the topic is Coaching for a Promotion. With me are Fernan Cepero, Jane Cranston, Anne Loehr and Susan Whitcomb. In our last segment I like to discuss the work coaches are doing with folks as they guide them and manage them through the promotion process and certainly after the promotion has occurred as well. Some more data to quickly set the stage. According to the June 15, 2007 issue of Management Issues magazine, the most powerful rules of relationships are often the ones that are unwritten. Unwritten rules will allow you to advance where as often time written rules will only tell you what you can or can not do. For instance, following company rules to the letter will not necessarily to move up the ladder but having the trust of your superior will. Writer Patricia Suldaddy [phonetic] discusses five invisible rules of success including results matter but relationships matter more, develop a strategic frame of reference, package yourself to stand out and fit in, promote thyself and grant yourself permission. According to the June 15th, 2007 issue of Management Issues Magazine, “The most powerful rules or relationships are often the ones that are unwritten. Unwritten rules will allow you to advance whereas oftentimes written rules will only tell you what you can or cannot do.” For instance, following company rules to the letter will not necessarily allow you to move up the ladder, but having the trust of your superior will. Writer Patricia Soldati discusses 5 invisible rules of success: 22 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 22 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  23. 23. Time Speaker Transcript Results Matter, But Relationships Matter More Develop a Strategic Frame of Reference Package Yourself to Stand Out - and Fit In Promote Thyself Grant Yourself Permission Well Anne I'd like to start with you to kick off our last segment of our show today. First question, when we're talking about the coaching work that you or others do specific to promotions, are we talking about coaching as a skill in terms of helping newly promoted individuals develop this skill providing coaching and feedback to direct reports, etc? Or are we talking about coaches as individuals or professionals? In other words, specific people who focus solely on helping individuals land new promotions and other advancement opportunities? We're talking about both. There's a role for both. 46:03 Anne Loehr Definitely people might need an outside coach, an external coach to help them. But another thing that is very, very important in terms of getting promoted is that you become an internal coach. One of the things that we teach our managers that are just getting promoted, is what we call the success equation. In the success equation we talk about the three As, basically it's Aptitude, Attitude and Available Resources. Aptitude is the know-how, the skills. Attitude is the drive and the confidence. Available Resources is the tools and the equipment. This equation will work well as long as all three of those variables are there. So when we're teaching people how to coach their employees - and it can be a five- minute conversation, it doesn't have to be a big 30, 45 minute session - they're going to be looking at the attitude. Because most people have the aptitude. They have the know-how; they have the skills. That's why they got hired. Most people have available resources. They often grumble they don't have enough but they do have the resources. But attitude, that drive and the focus, that's where the five-minute conversations that a new manager who just got promoted can have with his or her employee. And work with him or her to improve their attitude. Research has shown that an increased attitude can compensate for deficiencies in aptitude or the available resources but the converse is not true. So a new manager is really looking at having effective coaching conversations to 23 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 23 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  24. 24. Time Speaker Transcript work on the drive, the know-how, the focus, the commitment of their employees. But an outside coach is definitely needed at certain times as well. 47:37 Tom Floyd Okay. Got it. One point I wanted to quickly bring up from the Management Issues magazine article. It made this point around written rules versus unwritten rules. As a coach, do you ever have situations where you work with individuals to define and understand what these rules are, so to speak, in managing a promotion? 47:58 Anne Loehr I'm not sure I would say unwritten rules but there's definitely I would call the pink elephant in the room. Whether you are facilitating a meeting, you have to talk about what people are not talking about. There are certainly ways in a coaching conversation to figure out what it is that people are not talking about but yet everybody knows about. 48:15 Tom Floyd Okay. Another point to bring up from a coaching perspective, and this has already come up a few times in the show too, it's the importance of the relationships. Have you coached people to develop more strategic and successful relationships in the workplace in their path toward promotion? Absolutely. 48:31 Anne Loehr Coaching is really about two things. It's about awareness and it's about action. Awareness is figuring out what's going on and what's really the issue here. The action is what are you going to do about it. In relationships, a typical manager response. Say an employee comes in and says “I missed my sales goal.” A typical manager might say, “yeah, I saw that, what happened?” Whereas a coaching one that will help to develop the relationship might be, “so what got in your way?” So you're opening up the relationship, you're adding some transparency and some honesty in there. In the long term, it will build a relationship as well as coach the employee to more success. 24 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 24 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  25. 25. Time Speaker Transcript 49:11 Tom Floyd So you're being a little more authentic and focusing more on really cultivating a conversation around it instead of just interrogating them with yes, no types of questions? 49:22 Anne Loehr Exactly. You want to have open ended questions that are short and simple, that build awareness of this is how I got in my own way and missed my sales goal because of whatever. Now this is what I'm going to do to get out of my own way. 49:35 Tom Floyd Okay. Jane, anything that you would add? I often with my clients draw these centric circles. 49:40 Jane Cranston In the center is your comfort zone; that's what you know, that's what you like, this comes naturally to you. Next circle is your growth zone. And this can be exciting or it can be terrifying. But the growth zone and outside of that is the fear zone. I always say to them, we want to move from comfort to growth, never really intentionally going into fear. And I think when I coach people and manage people in my management life, that's what I want. I never wanted them to get to a point where they were scared but I didn't want them to sit in comfort. So if you can say to somebody, like the example that Anne said, “what could we do to take you from this comfort zone to your growth zone?” That sounds exciting to somebody. If I say to somebody “what could we do to really scare you?” What they do is they hide. 50:39 Tom Floyd Well yeah. If somebody came up to me and said “I'm going to scare the bejesus out of you in the next three months,” I would probably do the same thing! 25 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 25 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  26. 26. Time Speaker Transcript 50:44 Jane Cranston And there are managers who do that; the yelling, the screaming; the threatening and all of that. That does not work. 50:52 Tom Floyd If you could summarize for folks out there from your experience and your opinion, the ways that a professional or executive coach can really help someone during and after a promotion. Can you summarize what those ways or benefits would be? 51:09 Jane Cranston I think the thing that happens most in coaching is we accelerate everything that's going to happen, mostly because we're focused. I am objectively in my client's corner so I don't agree with everything they say but I have their best interest. It's a totally honest relationship. I don't think people are totally honest with anyone in the workplace; it's too dangerous, especially in a new situation. So we're pushing things forward. I will challenge people and say “that's interesting because last week you said this and now you're saying that. I'm wondering what's changed.” To make people aware of maybe they're falling back into that comfort zone when they really should be in their growth zone. The other thing is that I can say things to a client such as, “have you thought about what you're going to wear on the first day on that new promotion?” I dare say their supervisor's not saying that to them. 52:12 Tom Floyd Interesting. So it's like focusing on everything to kind of the aesthetic to the internal to really the whole picture, the whole person. 52:20 Jane Cranston Some of it very concrete and some of it is a mind shift. 52:25 Tom Floyd Anne, anything that you would add? 26 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 26 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  27. 27. Time Speaker Transcript 52:28 Anne Loehr No. I would agree. Again, it's awareness and action. So in terms of the mind shift, that's the awareness. And then the action is exactly as Jane said, what are you going to wear? How are you going to get that new outfit? Actually get the accountability piece in there as well because accountability is very important to coaching. 52:46 Tom Floyd We've got about a minute left before we wrap up. I just want to ask a question about a success story. Jane, I'll turn to you for this. Can you share an example of somebody that you've coached who did end up getting a major promotion? Can you tell us what that looked like and what the results were? 53:04 Jane Cranston Yeah. I'm thinking of a man that I was working with. I worked with him actually to get the job and then we worked up through the ladder. It was very strategic. This person was a kind of put their head down and do the work guy, and really wasn't interested in relationships. The big shift for him was getting to know the people at the next level. They actually asked for him. The promotion came to him once they were aware. Then once he got in that position, the next was to start managing people. Because it's hard to call yourself a manager if all you're managing is yourself. We worked this over a five-year period. This person has been promoted, each and every year, to the next level because he has encouraged relationships, had a plan, followed the plan and then not stayed on it because we had to re-adjust the plan as he went up the level. 27 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 27 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript
  28. 28. Time Speaker Transcript 54:08 Tom Floyd Well I hate to interrupt you. That's a fantastic example. But we're unfortunately at the end of our show. Huge thank you to the four of you for joining us today. As always, big thank you to our listeners as well. For more information about our show, of course you can look us up on the Voice America Business channel, you can visit our web site at . And don't forget you can download the podcast version of our show in Apple iTunes. Just go to the iTunes store, click podcasts and enter Insight on Coaching in the Search field. Thanks everyone, we'll see you next week. 28 | Confidential May 14, 2008 Page 28 Coaching for a Promotion Transcript