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Coaching New Managers For Success Transcript

Many companies still take the sink-or-swim approach to training new managers. After a day or two of HR-mandated training, you’re on your own.

But today, no company can afford not to properly prepare its mid-level managers for their new roles.

Professional coaching is one of the most effective tools in helping new managers make the transformation from individual contributor to management.

This program discusses where and how coaching fits into management training and how it can increase the overall effectiveness of your management team.


* Dr. Michael J. O'Connor, Author, Managing by Values and The Platinum Rule

* Patrick Reilly, Principal, Resources in Action Inc.

* Michele Wolpe, Executive Coach

* Celia Young, President, Celia Young & Associates Inc.


Research shows that individuals new to management can have a variety of myths about how to be successful in a management role.

From not being able to see linkages and interdependencies across the organization to learning how to get commitment instead of compliance from employees, our experts discuss how these perceptions can affect how new managers perform in their first 3 to 6 months.

Guests explain how coaches can guide new managers in their process of self realization, as they adjust to their new roles.

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Coaching New Managers For Success Transcript

  1. 1. Insight on Coaching Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: IEC: Insight Ubiqus Reporting Educational Consulting
  2. 2. Time Speaker Transcript 0:14 Tom Floyd 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, the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and host of the Insight on Coaching radio show. Today’s show is dedicated to new managers, focusing on how coaching can help new managers make the transformation from individual contributor to management. Well to prepare for this show, we did some research to help set the stage, looking specifically for some of the challenges that new managers seem to be facing in their role. One article our team stumbled across was a gem from the Harvard Business Review titled “Becoming the Boss”, by Linda Hill. Some interesting points the article raised were: The skills required for success as a manager are totally different than the skills that were required for success as an individual contributor. As an individual contributor, success was measured on personal expertise and actions. As managers, it shifts to establishing and setting agenda for an entire group, which isn’t something most individual contributors have to do. New managers often have to unlearn mindsets and habits that served them successfully as individual contributors, and begin to define new ways of measuring success and finding satisfaction in work. The article also mentioned that new managers typically have two questions: “Will I like management?” and “Will I be good at management?” These questions tend to be followed by another question “Who I am becoming?” The article also had a great table that I liked titled “Why New Managers Don’t Get It” The table consisted of two columns – one was titled Myths, and the other was titled Reality Let me share each of the five myths, along with what the corresponding reality was: Myth: Authority: “Now I will have the freedom to implement by ideas” Reality: Interdependency: “It’s humbling that someone who works for me could get me fired.” Myth: Formal authority: “I will finally be on top of the ladder” Reality: “Everything but: “Folks were wary, and you really had to earn it.” Myth: Control: “I must get compliance from my subordinates.” Reality: Commitment: “Compliances does not equal commitment.” Myth: Managing one-on-one “My role is to build relationships with individual subordinates.” Reality: Leading the team “I nee to create a culture that will allow the group to fulfill its potential.” 2 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 2 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  3. 3. Time Speaker Transcript 1:20 Tom Floyd Myth: Keeping the operation in working order: “My job is to make sure the operation runs smoothly.” Reality: Making changes that will make the team perform better. “I am responsible for initiating changes to enhance the group’s performance The points above seemed to correlate well with a few challenges that another Harvard article listed in Harvard’s Working Knowledge for Business Leaders section, which listed two challenges are: The first big challenge for general managers with newly acquired or significantly expanded responsibilities is learning to see linkages and interconnections across the organization. The second is transitioning from the role of quot;doerquot; to the role of managing through other people—and that's a big change. Last not but not least, an online article by Carter McNamara titled “The Typical Experience of a First Time Supervisor” cited a few additional challenges as well: New managers rarely having adequate training New managers feeling intimidated with having to enforce a wide range of policies and processes New managers rarely having enough time to get everything done New managers often feeling very alone New managers feeling overwhelmed and stressed out Support and development is critical for new managers – that last fact of course, sounding like one of many things a coach may be able to help with. As with all of our shows this season, it’s going to be a panel discussion. ’m thrilled to welcome four guests to today’s show. Let me give you a quick overview of each of them. I’m going to start with Michele Volpe. Michele Wolpe is a certified coach, having completed the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara’s professional coaching program in November, 2004. Combined with her 18 years of corporate executive experience leading communications functions at firms including The Walt Disney Company, Barclays Global Investors, Charles Schwab and Silicon Graphics, Michele brings a strong and experienced business orientation to her coaching work with business leaders. As a coach, Michele has worked successfully with business leaders and executives to enhance their skills and capabilities in the areas of professional and personal growth and development, including leadership, communication, influencing and conflict management. Michele has a master’s degree in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management and a BA in French from the University of California, Davis. Welcome to the show Michele. 3 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 3 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  4. 4. Time Speaker Transcript 6:45 Michele Volpe Thank you so much. Great to be here. 6:47 Tom Floyd Great to have you. Our next guest is Patrick Reilly. Patrick Reilly is an Executive Coach and Consultant with more than twenty years experience helping people solves difficult business problems. He is a principal with Resources In Action, Inc. a firm that specializes in talent management, change management and executive coaching. He typically supports three types of executives: those who are new to organizations or onboarding and needing to get up to speed quickly, high potentials the organization is trying to develop in an accelerated fashion and those who are talented yet distinctive. He has worked extensively with leaders in the technology, health care, IT and energy sectors. In the recent past, he has developed a talent management methodology based on key customer failures in hiring, developing and retaining top talent. The approach effectively integrates best practices in recruiting, selecting and onboarding “A” performers in ways that increase organizational productivity and mitigate risk.. Welcome to the show Patrick. 7:44 Patrick Reilly Thank you very much. 7:45 Tom Floyd Our next guest is Celia Young. Celia Young, president of CELIA YOUNG & ASSOCIATES, INC. has provided coaching and consulting services to FORTUNE 500 companies for over 20 years. She helps her clients develop vision and strategies to manage “change” in their businesses worldwide. Celia coaches and develops globally competent and multicultural versatile leaders individually and in teams, so that they can mold a new organization that is open to and capable of fully utilizing the “diversity” of its people. Celia is a faculty member of the Gestalt Institute of the Cleveland, Organization System Development Center where she teaches the theory, concept and application of Gestalt in the development of individual, groups and organization. She is also uniquely qualified in the coaching and development of “Whole Person” leadership. Additionally, she is a professional speaker on Pacific Rim cultures, cross- cultural communication, organizational behavior, organizational change, multicultural leadership, diversity and creativity, and multicultural marketing strategies. Welcome to the show Celia. 4 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 4 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  5. 5. Time Speaker Transcript 8:48 Celia Young Thank you. 8:49 Tom Floyd And our last guest is Dr. Michael O’Connor. We’re thrilled to have Michael back. As many of you recall Dr. Michael J. O’Connor is an internationally recognized thought leader who has contributed several different types of breakthroughs for producing higher personal, group/team, and organizational performance as well as purposeful fulfillment. He is often referred to as a practical, problem-solving visionary. He is called upon daily to provide his expertise in the areas of personal, group, and organizational behavior. He has dedicated his life to helping others, of all walks of life, positions, and types as well as levels of organizations, through his speaking, coaching, consulting, training, writing, and published resources. Michael has authored several books, including Managing By Values and The Platinum Rule. In 2005, Michael introduced The Hiring & Developing Winners Process; The Online Total Personal Global Profiles System (GPS); and co-authored The Leader Within. Welcome to the show Michael. 9:48 Dr. Michael Thanks Tom. O’Connor 9:49 Tom Floyd As today’s show, as with our other shows, it’s going to be a group discussion. We’ve got about three minutes to our first break, and to kind of set the stage, and we’re going to come back to this when we get back from break as well, but to set the stage, the first question I have for all of you are, from your perspectives, when the typical person makes a move from individual contributor to a manager for the first time what does that typical experience look like? So, what I’m asking for is to really paint a picture here for us. What their first week and month look like. What activities do they typically start performing as they ease into the role? How are they typically asked to go about performing their jobs? Things like that. Michele, let’s start with you. 5 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 5 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  6. 6. Time Speaker Transcript 10:33 Michele Volpe I think one of the common practices I see a new manager getting involved with right away is figuring out how do I be successful and focusing right away on the immediate goals in front of them and how they can achieve those goals. So there’s a myopic kind of tendency sometimes to jump in really fast and try to roll up the shirtsleeves and get going on a goal in order to prove themself. And so from a coaching perspective, one of the opportunities there is to help the new manager maybe slow down a little bit before jumping into action and get a better sense of the overall picture. Who do I need to get to know? What is the culture I’m part of now? Who is my team, and how do I engage them in this process? What do I need to learn from them before I move forward so that we’re working together as a team? And that kind of goes back to that first overview you gave about managers, and one of the key facets of leading is moving the team forward rather than relying solely on your individual skills and talents. 11:36 Tom Floyd Some visuals that were coming to my brain as I was listening to you, I almost saw dust, like a dust cloud going everywhere out of the office, or also the analogy of kind of bull, bull in a china shop. 11:48 Michele Volpe Exactly. 11:49 Tom Floyd Can it be like that? 11:50 Michele Volpe Or the roadrunner zipping as fast as possible down the road and not necessarily seeing what’s on each side of the road that they need to pay attention to. 11:59 Tom Floyd Got it. I’m hearing the music for our first break. Let’s go ahead and go on pause. 6 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 6 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  7. 7. Time Speaker Transcript 14:54 Tom Floyd And we were just starting to paint the picture when we started off in terms of what it looks like. What does the typical experience look like as a new manager starts to ease into their role? We talked about it being a little bit like the roadrunner or almost like a bull in a china shop in some cases, as a new manager is really trying quickly to show some wins and successes and accelerate things. I want to turn to some of our other guests and get some of their thoughts on that as well. Celia, what’s been some of your experiences around that? 15:40 Celia Young I’ve been thinking about this question every since you asked it. I think it really depends on if this new manager just got hired into this organization or had been growing up in this organization. Because there are two different things that he or she will have to worry about. If you’re brand new, you just go hired into an organization; obviously, the first thing on the job is you really have to get to know your people. And inside the article you talk about it. Can I even be having any relationship with the people who have been here because they’re the ones who carry the existing culture? And so, as a new manager I’m having to really work hard to obtain my entry into this system so to speak. And if a manager has been growing up in the system and sort of just got promoted, he or she will have to worry about yesterday, these were my coworkers, today all of a sudden, and I’m somehow having more positional power over these people. So what should I worry about then? And so my coaching has often focused on relationship building and sometimes that’s a subject that doesn’t get looked at very often and falls down quite a bit just like the Business Review talked about. At some point in time people that’s just way too soft and didn’t have to worry about it so they worry about tasks earlier instead of worrying about relationships. 17:15 Tom Floyd It’s interesting that you bring that up too because when we talked about the on-boarding process last week in terms of giving new hires on-boarded as well, that same feedback or piece came up. It was really important for folks to focus on building relationships at all levels within the organization when they’re in that new position. 7 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 7 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  8. 8. Time Speaker Transcript 17:35 Celia Young Absolutely. And often when we do leadership development work we always ask them to take a look at the percentage of time they spend doing their work versus managing their career. Often because the emphasis that I have is around diversity, I find that, especially managers who are not white or not men, tend to spend more time in doing their work instead of managing their career. So when they finally got promoted they continued to think that the best thing they can do is work harder. And they forget to know that there are so many other people around them. 18:16 Tom Floyd So it’s almost like they’re going heads down, so to speak, not realizing that in the process of managing their career they need to be managing and cultivating some of the relationships— 18:24 Celia Young Yes. Absolutely. 18:26 Tom Floyd Interesting. Patrick, what are some of your thoughts? 18:29 Patrick Reilly I’m just going to link right into this relationship conversation because I just find that it just happens again and again and it really is most often an oversight for people, and it just seems to be critical for success. In fact, the term that I’ve come to use in this area is actually the building of a covenant. I’ve tried to elevate the conversation that for new managers a critical success factor is really facilitating meeting the right people and developing relationships with people on their team, their boss and their peers and creating agreements around expectations, how decisions are made, how you socialize ideas, that sort of stuff, so that you get to the place early on where people are more comfortable with you and more respectful of you. Because it’s only at that point that you can begin to be effective and to get results. So I find that that’s really important. 8 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 8 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  9. 9. Time Speaker Transcript 19:39 Tom Floyd It’s almost like it takes down walls and barriers that people might have if a new manager didn’t go through that process. 19:46 Patrick Reilly Well, let me use myself as an example here. I remember a time I was hired for a job. I walked into the first team meeting with the staff and I was just being myself. And I was being very excited and sharing ideas and saying what I was going to do and I walked out the door and my new boss pulled me aside and he said, that’s it. Don’t say anything, don’t be so helpful, and don’t try to show what you know. He said, just be quiet for the first three months and listen to what it is that people want and need and have them become comfortable with you and then you can go out and be effective. But until they’re comfortable with you and see that you’re capable, they are not going to let you run and the walls will not be down. And it really got my attention and was very, very helpful in getting me personally off to a quick start in that position. 20:49 Tom Floyd And that actually kind of builds upon a theme that has come up with new hires last week too is that Joanne, one of our guests on that show had said that a lot of times for new hires they’re in observation mode and so they’re really kind of observing and taking things in and learning. And it sounds like for many new managers, it’s a good idea, I should say, to be in that role as well. 9 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 9 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  10. 10. Time Speaker Transcript 21:10 Patrick Reilly It is. It’s a very good idea and most of the literature that I see these days makes that suggestion. Though it’s very hard for people who are paid and have a history of being paid to perform and to get tasks done, to put the brakes on themselves and to not do what it is that their instincts suggest to them are the right things to do. It’s very hard for me to personally; when I begin to do something in a certain way, to say, huh, now I need to change direction and to do things very differently than I’ve done before. Just one more quick comment since we’re quoting references, there’s a book that I find very, very helpful, The Leadership Pipeline by Rom Churan and others and why I find it useful is that in that book they layout the six fundamental tasks for managers, activities, sort of key areas of focus for coaching for managers at different levels. And the thing that fits right in with this is that almost each time a manager as she or he moves to the next level has to stop what they were doing and to a great extent, reinvent themselves. And the only way that I’ve found you can do that well, at first, is by sitting, observing, and listening at the beginning. 22:44 Tom Floyd Got it. I just wrote down the name of that book too. Well, Michael, let’s go ahead and move on to you and I want to change the question. From your perspective, what are some of the typical complaints, on average, that you hear average new managers complain about or bring up during their first 90 days? 23:07 Dr. Michael Typically it’s a function of the manager themselves. It goes back really largely to that O’Connor article you talked about. What we find are individuals who have moved into this position because of their expertise and also the desire they have to have authority or control of situations. And then you have others that have sought this out or have been recruited because of their ability to get along with other people. So essentially what we find is individuals who have a high authority interest and low relationship interest and the reverse of that. And after working with thousands of managers and doing assessments of them, what we’ve found, U.S. and internationally, is that individuals who have high authority and low relationship interest tend to over-supervise, and what happens there is that they find is less involvement by the team members and, of course, that people are likely to pull back at that point in time not knowing what to expect in the self-protective mode, and that affects productivity as well as morale. 10 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 10 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  11. 11. Time Speaker Transcript 24:19 Tom Floyd So is that some of the folks who might not be as relationship focused, just want to get stuff done, are they saying things like all of these meetings, for example, these meetings are driving me crazy I can’t get anything done or so and so needs so much hand-holding I don’t have time for this, I need to get things done. Are those some of the complaints that would come from a manager who is more from that context? 24:42 Dr. Michael Yes. O’Connor I think largely what happens, the biggest complaint really you find in terms of high authority, low relationship is trust issues, and they’re not sure whether this person is a manager who wants to help me or hurt me, whether they’re dealing with their agenda or concerned with helping us achieve ours. And when you flip it around, the person who’s high relationship and must be everybody’s friend, is somebody that, again, people are not sure whether that person has the capability to lead them because they’re not looking for friends, they’re looking for somebody they can respect that they think deserves the job. 25:18 Tom Floyd Let’s turn that question and take another light on it as well. I want to turn to the entire group for this question. What are some of the typical things that employees complain about when it comes to their new boss in the first 90 days? 11 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 11 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  12. 12. Time Speaker Transcript 25:33 Patrick Reilly This is Patrick. If I could start off with that because I’ve thought a bunch about this and I have found again and again a consistent pattern of four things over time that I’ve heard. One is that I want my manager to help me and support me in my career and that’s an active piece, is that’s part of what they can do for me or what I expect. They’ve been around longer, they’ve been in the company longer and I really need them to help me figure out how I can develop myself and move ahead. The second thing is just that I really need them to protect me to be able to my job and to not let unwanted intruders get involved in corporate politics, pulling resources away, meddling or intervening in the work that we’re doing before it’s completed. So I need them to create a protective cocoon around me once we’ve agreed that the work that I’m doing is important, let me do it. The other two are fairly simple and business-like in my experience, which is we need you to help us go to budget meetings and make sure that we have enough dollars to do our work and that’s something that we really value. And then we also need you to go out and get Rexfield or find us the right resources if we needed an additional engineer for a particular thing. Help us find those people. 27:13 Tom Floyd So it’s almost like their kind of falling into two categories. One is what they need to kind of grow in their career and the others are this is what I need to get my job done, kind of the logistical side of things. 27:22 Patrick Reilly That would be about it, yes. 27:24 Tom Floyd I’m hearing the music for our next break, so we’ll go ahead and go on pause. 30:40 Tom Floyd Where we left off right before our last break, we were talking a little bit about some of the complaints that new managers have their first 90 days and on the side of that what employees tend to complain about the first 90 days about their new boss. Michele and Celia, I wanted to turn to both of you. Patrick shared some great examples of some specific things in terms of employee needs that they tend to express. Do you have any stories or examples or anything that you can share when you think of, one time there was a situation where this is what the employees were upset with, this is what the manager was upset with, and what that was like? 12 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 12 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  13. 13. Time Speaker Transcript 31:25 Michele Volpe Yes, one of the complaints that I’ve heard a lot about from employees about new managers is, again, that the new manager comes in and in the effort of trying to prove him or herself and get some wins under the belt, they try to make decisions really quickly without necessarily involving their team. So the employees themselves can feel left out and often have a lot of good ideas and answers and experiences to lend to the manager’s efforts, but can feel left out if the manager doesn’t include them and engage them in the problem-solving process. I have an example of that where a new manager came in from outside the organization and had a lot of experience but didn’t really know the new company’s culture or what that particular team had been going through. She knew how to get the job done in the other environment where she had come from but assumed that it would work in this new culture, when in fact there were a lot of factors that would probably make that approach not workable. She started off assuming a lot of things and putting together a vision and then she presented it to her staff, and lo and behold, found out there was a lot there that wasn’t going to work. They were resisting her work. They were not particularly engaged and had to kind of backtrack and start over again and sit down with the team and simply do more of what we talked about earlier in the show, listen, ask questions, and rely on the expertise in the room. And that in turn created a lot more trust from her team members and buy into her leadership. It kind of comes back to what we talked about, listening to your team and being a learner and having beginner’s mind when you start out as a manager. 33:14 Tom Floyd And going back to the observation mode, so to speak. 33:16 Michele Volpe Exactly. 33:16 Tom Floyd Got it. Celia, anything that you would add? 33:19 Celia Young I have found very specific things that worked within the last 20 years because most of my clients’ employees are moving around the globe. What happens is, the area of help they really need is cross-culture. Crossing over cultural boundaries. How to manage a team that’s actually not all Americans, and so their framework is coming from American centric framework. 13 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 13 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  14. 14. Time Speaker Transcript 36:57 Tom Floyd Thanks for hanging in there. We had a bit of a technical glitch there. Where we left off we had had a conversation about some of the complaints that new managers and new employees typically express in their role. And we were starting to get into a discussion about how a coach can help with some of the myths that have come up around that. Michael, I started with you and I think we got cut off because we had a little glitch there. I’m going to ask you to step back. The first myth really was around now I’ll have the freedom to implement my ideas, was the first myth that the article had highlighted. Can you talk a little bit more about that in terms of why new managers tend to have that myth? Where it comes from and how they go about kind of acting on that? 37:47 Dr. Michael I have two individuals we’ve been working with coaching recently. Both of whom are O’Connor newer to this organization, but one is a brand new manager, who was a high individual contributor. The other is a seasoned manager, but again new to this organization. Both of those individuals are really experiencing a lot of trouble because of this myth that they tend to have the belief in their own head that they have to be in charge or in control. And they were given assessment feedback at the start in telling that their success would be a function of whether or not they could collaborate and build the other team members into a more productive, high-morale group by effective listening and encouraging people, getting input, and things we’ve been talking about, and working together with them to foster team building. At this point in time school is out because the two of them have gone back to their old habits, which tends to be over-supervision and they can’t wait 90 more days. That’s something they knew going in but as a habit they chose not to change and now they’re at risk. 39:03 Tom Floyd Let me go ahead and turn to the rest of the group. Anything come to mind there? Anything that you would add? 14 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 14 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  15. 15. Time Speaker Transcript 39:09 Michele Volpe I think it’s a great opportunity, that example that Michael just shared, for a coach to help a manager see the big picture. Most of us tend to go into our comfort zones when we’re under stress. When you’re a new manager and those behaviors aren’t serving you, as it sounds like in the case of his clients, a coach can help the client see the cost of relying too heavily on those old behaviors that are not suitable for the new environment. You’re a manager now, you’re expected to perform in a different way, and here’s the cost if you can’t make the adaptation. The coach can also help that new manager practice those new skills, role-play them, so that they can get more and more comfortable over time in implementing them. 39:55 Tom Floyd So the coach is almost like a sounding board I that case? 39:57 Michele Volpe Yes. 40:00 Tom Floyd Got it. 15 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 15 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  16. 16. Time Speaker Transcript 40:01 Celia Young This is Celia and as a coach we often help our client to discover their own resistance. Resistance actually is framed in a very actually positive way from the way I’ve been working on. Resistance means that there is something that they’d rather spend energy on, so those are their habitual patterns, like Michele was talking about. The habitual pattern only got them so far and they hang onto that particular success formula and now they’re in a different environment. What do they need to do to expand themselves? Earlier in the show somebody mentioned about you go from being an individual contributor and now you’re a manager, what are some of the different things you had to rely on, maybe that had nothing to do with the past. It means all the success you got up to this point may not help you any further than this. Especially in the area of technology, and I’ve worked with so many scientists, and they have the worst problems of becoming managers because they really don’t want to. And so now they’re there because the system said to them, one, and a success indicator is for you to take the promotion, and what they really want to do is really discover the next best formula. So how can they enlarge their repertoire a little bit to say that now they really have to rely on other people in the team to really make the success happen, not just themselves? 41:41 Tom Floyd So they’re just starting to realize that they’re not in it alone, specifically. 41:44 Celia Young No, they’re not. 41:45 Tom Floyd That they can actually use the members of their team and other folks they have there to help them. 41:48 Celia Young Yes, and this is internal work. This has nothing to do external. This is internal. Someone has to really have time for reflection about connecting who they are to the kind of work they want to contribute. 16 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 16 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  17. 17. Time Speaker Transcript 42:05 Tom Floyd Okay. In terms of that same myth, the article had also mentioned the reality, which is exactly what you just got at. The interdependency. Curiosity question there is, do new managers ever express fear when they kind of feel that humbling feeling that the article gets at in terms of those people who work for me could get me fired. Does that manifest at all in the coaching relationship and do you find yourself kind of talking to the new manager about that and helping them deal with that fear? Patrick, anything come to mind there? 42:40 Patrick Reilly You asked us to talk about this specifically offline a couple of minutes ago, and I have a pretty clear example that occurred just last week. I have a coaching client with whom I’ve been working for a while who just a week and a half ago reassumed her old position for the entire organization. She had been managing a smaller piece of it. And I had a meeting scheduled with her sometime one day last week, and a few hours before that I got a call from one of the people with whom she works as a peer, who said, she’s back to her old habits. I then had 45 minutes just listening to him and trying to calm him down, and he said, you know, as soon as she got control of a larger organization responsibility for the whole thing she went back to where she was six months ago. At the end of the day what was interesting is that some of it was true, some of it came from the prior perceptions that she had created around herself, particularly negative ones, which people had held onto. And the third piece was quite situational which was that because she, in the first few weeks in this new expanded assignment, was working remotely with doing a lot of management from a different location, and therefore, was sending a lot of emails to people, which she didn’t do when she was actually in the office. And that immediately pushed people’s buttons and they got alarmed that she was sending out a whole lot of emails again, which people took as she’s trying to control things again. 44:37 Tom Floyd It was almost like they were viewing her as maybe micromanaging some, being very controlling— 17 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 17 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  18. 18. Time Speaker Transcript 44:41 Patrick Reilly Oh, yes, yes. Since that was the habit set that we’ve worked on mostly to try to get her to be seen as a more effective and powerful leader, and that’s what happened. And interestingly enough, my coaching conversation with her lasted about five minutes because she said, what you’re telling me on a scale of 1 to 10 is about a 12. And with permission which I had secured previously, she actually talked to the person who had called me and they talked things through and that seemed to solve at least 50% of the problem. And, in fact, as we speak she is meeting with this gentleman and his entire team this morning to iron this all out. 45:28 Tom Floyd It sounds like she, did she take the feedback well once it came out? It sounds like she definitely wanted to rectify it. 45:36 Patrick Reilly What I’d say is that one of the issues with this particular client is that she always takes feedback well. What we’re trying to do together, or what I’m trying to help her do, is to be more proactive and to recognize before she does or not does what it is that shouldn’t be done or should be done as opposed to focusing so much in a world of apology. There’s always receptive feedback but really with this particular client having her take more informed action the first time is really one of the goals in this case. 46:16 Tom Floyd Got it. I wanted to move on to on of the other myths. In some of your story there it hinted at that a little bit and it had to do with control and that was another one in the Harvard Business Review article I pointed out. And it was the one that sounded so robotic to me, almost like, for Star Trek fans-the Borg almost, you will become a part of the Borg, and what that myth was is I must get compliance from my subordinates. I want to throw that out there to the entire group. Is that something that you’ve seen new managers try to really enforce that and what challenges or hurdles tend to come up for them when they start to do that? And I’ll open up that question to anyone. 18 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 18 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  19. 19. Time Speaker Transcript 47:03 Celia Young This is Celia. Let me jump in on that one. I’m not so sure I must have compliance is even the first thing that the managers have as a consciousness. I think more like they are so eager to have the team go in the direction that they felt like they’re being held accountable for, so what they ended up doing is over-teaching, over-prescribing, as if that’s the way to get their employees to follow them. What happens when they do that is it sometimes has absolutely the opposite effect, and we talk about being a coach to these managers. I would think that we would try to make them coaches themselves. Make them become developers and coaches so they can get folks to be willing to participate and bring the best idea instead of bringing nothing but teaching and prescribing. 48:02 Tom Floyd It’s almost like as a coach, where you’re helping the manager learn the art of getting people to self-realize. 48:11 Celia Young Exactly. Otherwise, yes, this whole mode of compliance, I haven’t heard that term outwardly, in other words managers don’t use that term but they wanted is for people to all sign onto the same thing, go the same way, follow the path so they could be successful. But the way they do it is having the opposite effect. 48:37 Tom Floyd Got it. Michael, anything that you would add? 48:41 Dr. Michael What I see is that really, most of the new managers, they are anxious. O’Connor That would be the common characteristic, and based upon how they’re wired, they have different sources of anxiety, and it’s real because the vast majority of people who are either new managers or existing managers don’t have a sound model for managing and they don’t have a proven process for effectively coaching performers to higher performance. 49:14 Tom Floyd Okay. 19 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 19 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  20. 20. Time Speaker Transcript 49:15 Michele Volpe Yes. I would piggyback on that too, Tom, because what I see with new managers is the fear of failure driving them sometimes to exercise that control factor, and it really works against them. There’s an assumption there that I have to have all the answers rather than an assumption of the team may have much of the wisdom and the answers that I need and the more I can engage my team, trust my team, and align my team, the better chance we will all have of being successful. So part of the coaching opportunity is to help the new manager realize you don’t have to assume you have all the answers, and try not to let fear drive your actions so much, as empowering your team, engaging your team, and using the whole team’s wisdom to move forward. It creates more of a trust issue there. Building trust with the team and the leader and that ultimately paves the way for more success. 50:17 Tom Floyd I kind of feel like I’m on The Apprentice asking this next question, but it was kind of popping in my head as you were talking. Do you see situations where sometimes you’ve got a new manager who is actually successful if you look at the facts in terms of what he or she got done, they get a lot of things done, were successful there, but what actually ended up being their downfall, the reason that they left the organization or were asked to leave, is because everybody hated their guts? 50:46 Patrick Reilly This is Patrick. Absolutely. Tom, I would just say, Donald Trump has done fine being on The Apprentice, so I wouldn’t be concerned about that. You make me think of a particular client who was brought in because he was a closer. He knew the business, he could generate clients and customers, he brought lots and lots of money in the door, and he just did not know how to manage himself around other people. He was not a quick learner in the new culture. He didn’t pick up very quickly or readily on the signs and signals, and his final coup was he irritated with his style a very important customer as well as a senior member of his own organization who pretty much they said; I’ve had enough of him. And it was all about his inability to manage his relationships successfully, not at all about his task accomplishments or the amount of cash that he brought to the organization. People just didn’t want to work with him. 20 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 20 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  21. 21. Time Speaker Transcript 52:07 Tom Floyd Interesting. I had a feeling I was going to hear some examples of that coming up. Any other stories or anything that anyone would add along that note? 52:16 Dr. Michael What I would say Patrick’s comment and your question, Tom, are really talking about O’Connor managers who are task leaders but they are not morale leaders. In this day and age to succeed you’ve got to be good at both high productivity and high morale and those individuals typically don’t leave the organization, they get promoted up, the ones that people really respond to because those are the key resources. 52:44 Tom Floyd Okay. 52:44 Celia Young And I could add to that. I would say that some of these managers get promoted all the way to the top and then at that moment it’s really a reflection of the entire organization culture. They basically reward and promote folks who are task-oriented, I call the giant machine. You just had to follow the machine and everything works perfectly if you work the machine, and people sacrifice their relationship and their own well-being because they know this is the trade-off, if I am an employee I want to work in a particular organization for all the goodies and benefits I could get. I’d be willing to sacrifice my soul almost to do it. And I’ve went into so many of these kinds of organizations in the last 20 years. They’re extremely successful, so if you ask any particular manager, they would say it ain’t broke why fix it? Actually it’s not true because underneath of it people are bleeding. So if you are a new manager, you walk right into something like this and you want to be successful you’re going to have to follow the same rule and be the machine. 53:57 Tom Floyd And so, if you have a machine though, it’s got blood and bones all over it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good machine. 21 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 21 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript
  22. 22. Time Speaker Transcript 54:03 Celia Young It’s not. Eventually it’s going to catch up. The way that it catches up is when the organization realizes the business climate is changing and all of a sudden they had to go look for a different kind of customers and that all shows up. All these people who are making machine work realized that they can’t help anymore. They lost all the creativity with this kind of machine. 54:26 Tom Floyd Got it. 54:26 Michele Volpe If I could add one more thing because there was an earlier— 54:29 Tom Floyd I hate to cut you off here. We are right at the end of our show unfortunately, and gosh, I feel like this show alone could become three in and of itself, but huge thank you to all four of you. And as always, a big thank you for our listeners as well. For more information about our show, you can of course, look us up on the Voice America Business channel, you can visit our website at, you can also look us up in Apple iTunes, just go to Music Store, click Podcast, and enter Insight on Coaching. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you next week. 22 | Confidential October 22, 2008 Page 22 Coaching New Managers for Success Transcript