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Leading Your Leaders | February 2011

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With guest speaker Cyndi Mitchell, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks Studios.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Leading Your Leaders | February 2011

  1. 1. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 2 LEADING YOUR LEADERS: HOW TO MANAGE UPWARD Cyndi Mitchell, Managing Director, ThoughtWorks Studios Jo Miller, CEO, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc
  2. 2. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 3 Corporate Subscribers
  3. 3. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 4 Jo Miller CEO, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc •Over 12 years providing leadership coaching and seminars • Coached hundreds of women worldwide • Seminars for women’s networks at Intel, Oracle, Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel, Rockwell Collins, UBS, and more •Silicon Valley’s “Women of Influence”, 2008
  4. 4. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 5 Cyndi Mitchell Managing Director ThoughtWorks Studios •Joined ThoughtWorks in November 2002, and has served in a variety of roles including development, consulting and general management. •Prior role was as Managing Director of ThoughtWorks UK. •Over the past sixteen years of her career, Cyndi has been helping businesses use software to innovate and create value. •Has provided hands-on software development, consultancy and advisory to a number of Global 1000 IT organizations. •Prior to joining ThoughtWorks, Cyndi was a Senior Architect with Sun Microsystems in New York, Chicago, and London. •Started her career with Andersen Consulting in Chicago.
  5. 5. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 6 Cyndi Mitchell Managing Director ThoughtWorks Studios •Cyndi has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. •Is married and lives in London. •Enjoys yoga, and theatre.
  6. 6. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 7
  7. 7. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 8 What are some things you did early on in your career, that helped you to be recognized as an up-and- coming leader?
  8. 8. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 9 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you 4. Know when to challenge your leaders 5. Build skills for dealing with difficult situations
  9. 9. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 10 Have you had employees who ‘managed upward’ well with you? What did they do that you appreciated?
  10. 10. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 11 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals
  11. 11. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 12 1. Understand your leaders and their goals • Success in any role begins with understanding your leaders and their goals. • Check in with them frequently to ask about their most important goals and greatest challenges. • Find out what business goals they are responsible for. • Aim to understand what motivates them, and to discern their personality type and communication style.
  12. 12. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 13 What steps do you take, to understand your leaders and their goals?
  13. 13. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 14 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive
  14. 14. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 15 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive • Do they prefer to communicate via email or in person? • Is it more effective to schedule time, or catch them in the hallway? • Do they like high-level overview, or deep dive into the data? • Do they like to hear the entire story or just the bottom-line? • Do they want to be informed of the entire plan or the end result? • Do they prefer to make decisions quickly or think it through? • Who are they influenced by: Are they a lone decision-maker or do the crowd-source decisions? • Is it best to share bad news Monday morning or Friday afternoon?
  15. 15. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 16 What advice can you share, on communicating persuasively with leaders?
  16. 16. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 17 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you
  17. 17. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 18 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you • Know thyself! Communicate with your leaders: • What is the best way to manage you? For example: • Do you prefer management that is hands-on or hands-off? • Do you like specific directions or the overall picture? • Do you prefer frequent check-ins, or being left alone?
  18. 18. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 19 How should a person approach their manager to negotiate a management style that works for them?
  19. 19. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 20 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you 4. Know when to challenge your leaders
  20. 20. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 21 4. Know when to challenge your leaders • Build trust and respect first! • Always ask permission.
  21. 21. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 22 Can you tell us about a time when you had to challenge a leader or disagree with them? How did you handle that situation?
  22. 22. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 23 Have you ever have to give your manager feedback on their performance? How did you communicate the feedback?
  23. 23. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 24 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you 4. Know when to challenge your leaders 5. Build skills for dealing with difficult situations
  24. 24. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 25 5. Build skills for dealing with difficult situations Become resilientresilient… and know how to stand up for yourselfstand up for yourself… while remaining diplomaticdiplomatic.
  25. 25. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 26 What advice do you have, for dealing with a difficult situation involving a leader?
  26. 26. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 27 EXERCISE: 1) Review the 5 skills in today’s Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 2) Identify which of the 5 skills you plan to work on.
  27. 27. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 28 Leading Your Leaders A Tool-Kit for Managing Upward 1. Understand your leaders and their goals 2. Communicate in a style they find persuasive 3. Negotiate a management style that works for you 4. Know when to challenge your leaders 5. Build skills for dealing with difficult situations
  28. 28. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 29 Q&A
  29. 29. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 30
  30. 30. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 31 Cyndi’s Keys to Success 1) Have a vision for yourself and what you are trying to achieve 2) Surround yourself with people who inspire you 3) Have fun!
  31. 31. Copyright 2011, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. 32 Discussion Questions 1) In your company, what are the best ways to get to understand your leaders and their goals 2) Share an example of communicating in a style that a leader finds persuasive 3) What management style works best for you? 4) When is it OK to challenge your leaders? 5) Share an example of skills to use when dealing with difficult situations with leaders.

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