The Key To Making The Switch From Manager To Leader

by | Dec 8, 2021 | Coaching Tips Series | 0 comments

I’ve said this before, and I know I’ll say it again, but the biggest challenge facing many directors, managers, and team leads is letting go of being technically good.

Being an excellent developer does not make you a good team leader.
Being a fantastic supply chain planner does not make you a good manager.
But these technical skills probably got you promoted into that leadership position.

And because we are soooo good technically, it’s so easy to “manage” the work and your people.
To put it bluntly, it’s easier to come up with all the answers and just tell your team to do what you say.
Sounds kinda bossy? It can go there really quickly.

So you’re technically amazing, you’ve become a manager, and the work piles up. There is so much to do, to figure out, then give clear instructions or secretly keep doing a lot of it yourself.
Because you know the answers. because you can do it in 5 mins and it will take longer to delegate.

I see you. It’s the guilty secret of so many good people: doing too much ourselves.

Which is why this coaching tip is so important. It’s going to save you so much time after the initial learning hump. Not going to lie, whenever you do something different it takes more time at first. But this initial slow down has an amazing ROI of time saved, trust built, shit getting done (by others) and targets hit.

This tip is what you can do instead of doing all the work.

Coaching tip: You listen and ask questions to help your team find the answers

When you listen, and ask them where they are stuck, how they want to resolve it etc, your team will do all the work (this is why I love coaching so much).
And the first part is Listening. So here’s how to listen better.

What you can do:

Active Listening: all your attention is on the other person. What are they saying, what do they think about it? What matters? Listen beyond the story and the details. Listen to understand, not respond.
Powerful Questions (open questions): what’s the sticking point? How do you want to approach finding an answer? Who can help you? Where do you go next?

Practical exercise:

For one week, when people are talking, listen for their values. You don’t have to be right!

Now stop working, and start listening.

This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Want to talk it through with me? Use a free Experience Coaching session and I’ll help you.

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