I had an interesting comment shared with me during one of my leadership coaching programs.  A manager, who is new to leading a larger team, said “I don’t know the value I’m adding to any of my one-on-one calls with my direct reports”.  She went on to say, that yes, they exchange the usual back and forth of who is doing what, etc.

I was taken aback.  Value added?  As managers we have the distinct honor of showing our team members that we are interested in what they are doing, sharing with them what is going on in the organization (in other words, information they may not know), helping them solve challenges, giving them direction on work they are doing, assigning new and different projects, and saying “thank you” for their contributions. And this is the short list of what managers can discuss during a one-on-one!

I should not have been surprised.  Many managers aren’t always sure of their role, don’t know what they should be doing with their team, and how to do it.  Who showed them, told them, guided them?  Some of us are literally promoted into roles well beyond our capabilities or even if we are capable, beyond our current skill set.  Then, we have to fend for ourselves as organizations are less and less likely to proactively offer development opportunities.

What I love about this manager is the courage she had early on to ask for help with this assignment.  To make sure the organization knew, that although willing to take on the expanded role, she needed help to do it well.  Fortunately, they were able to invest in leadership development efforts.  [Tweet “Organizations need to invest in leadership development efforts. “] And, in her work with me she isn’t afraid to really say what she doesn’t know.  Brava. 

More managers need to have this level of courage and vulnerability, allowing them to to show up fully for their team, themselves and their organizations.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to ask for it often.

 [Tweet “Managers should ask for help and ask for it often.”]

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As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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