I’ve Just Been Promoted – What Should I do Next?

Congratulations on your promotion! Your management team believes you have the potential to take on a management or leadership role in your organization. Making that transition from worker to manager can be a difficult one. It requires a different skill set. It’s no longer about what you know – it’s now about your ability to teach someone else. It’s no longer about you – it’s about them and what you need to do to help them be successful. If your team succeeds, then you succeed. If they fail – it’s because you failed to give them the tools they needed to complete the task and accomplish the goal.

Worth Remembering … “You establish some objectives for them, provide some incentive and try not to direct the detailed way in which they do their work.” – David Packard, HP

I’ve spent over 40 years as a general manager for a major retailer, college professor and independent business owner, so I can tell you from my own experiences that managing and leading others is a learned behaviour.

Here is what I recommend you should do next.

  • Learn to communicate in a style that they like. No one wants to be talked down too.
  • Take the time to listen to what others have to say. You don’t have to agree with them, but you need to respect that they have an opinion and have a right to express it.
  • Be empathetic. See things from their point of view. There may be somethings going on that you aren’t aware of.
  • Be flexible and open minded. It doesn’t have to be just your way to complete the task. Allow others to have input.
  • Be patient. It takes time for people to learn new skills. Be there to offer your support. It would help if you were their biggest cheerleader.
  • Relationships are important. People like to work with people who make them feel that they are wanted and appreciated. Take the time to get to know the people you are working with.

Worth Remembering … “Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger, or more intelligent easily leads to an excessively egoistic psychological adjustment.” – Albert Einstein

It’s important to know what you know, but I think it’s more important to acknowledge what you don’t know. You don’t have all the answers. How could you? You’ve just been promoted. Managing and leading others is all new to you. Soft skills, your ability to interact more effectively with others, are more critical to your success than your technical knowledge.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Learn To Count To Ten

According to Wikipedia patience is the ability to endure difficult circumstances such as perserverence in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is a much needed 21st Century skill. Some have it in spades, others have to work at it. Picking up a 2X4 and smacking someone on the side of the head may not be the way to go when you are frustrated. You need to learn to count to ten.

Worth Remembering … “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Do you need to develop more patience? Here are some things to keep in mind.

1 – Expect challenges. Expect delays. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Something will go wrong and when it does, work around it or climb over it.

2 – Go slow to go fast. You don’t want to end up doing things twice. Get all the facts before making a decision, but make a decision in a timely manner. Procrastination is a killer.

3 – Be empathetic. People will make mistakes, everyone does. When things go wrong, fix it, don’t dwell on it.

4 – See the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in the weeds. Keep your eye on the prize. A minor set back is just that. Keep moving forward.

Worth Remembering … “He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Those that know me best know that patience was never my strong suit. It’s something I have had to work at. I’ve had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion. If you want to be a more effective 21st Century manager or business leader then you need to learn to count to ten.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

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Are You Asking The Right Type of Question?

Are you looking for answers? Not getting the answers you are looking for? Maybe it’s because you aren’t asking the right type of question. If you learn to ask the right type of questions and listen, really listen to the answers, chances are others will tell you everything you need to hear.

Worth Remembering ... “I listen to understand – not necessarily to agree” – Dale Carnegie

Depending on what you want to know, you have four basic types of questions that you can ask.

Open Ended Questions – If you are wanting to promote dialoge then you need to ask an open ended question. Ask a question that requires more than a one word answer from the other person. – Example: “What kind of options are you looking for?”

Closed Questions – When a one word answer will do. A closed question gives the person limited options as to how to respond to your question. – Example: “What colour?”

Clarifying Questions – A non-judgemental question when you want to verify what was said. – Example: “So if I heard you correctly you said …..”

Problem Solving Questions – Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese Industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique. If you are looking to solve a problem try asking “Why”until you discover what problem, or problems need to be solved before you get the desired results. Some solutions may be simple, while others may be more complex. You might uncover more problems then you think you had. – Example: “The shipment didn’t get delivered on time – Why?”

Worth Remembering … “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Robert McCloskey

Are you asking the right type of question?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Avoidance Is Not Conflict Resolution

You can’t ignore a conflict in hopes that it will go away. Avoidance is not conflict resolution. Conflict and disagreements are unavoidable. Whenever you have more than one person in the room you’re going to have some type of conflict or disagreement. Two people can’t be expected to agree on everything. When dealt with in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for both parties to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Problem solving is a having the ability to directly and positively face and resolve difficult situations.”

If you are going to resolve it, you must first understand what caused it. Was it competitive feelings, personal jealousy or resentment, the desire to sabotage someone else’s idea, dissension caused by poor listening skills, lack of good communication skills or a lack of trust? Remember – avoidance is not conflict resolution. It is not going to go away by walking away. You need to deal with it.

Here are five things you can do to resolve conflict.

1 – Provide more information to make discussions productive rather than contentious. Lack of information or not the right information could be the reason behind the conflict.

2 – Ask for solutions. I would never let anyone come to me with a problem and not ask them what would they do to resolve it. If their solution sounds reasonable, and is doable, then go with it.

3 – Establish common goals, In the big scheme of things the differences may not be too far apart. You may discover you both want much of the same thing.

4 – Managing your emotions and keeping your ego in check is key to resolving conflict. Make saving the relationship your number one priority.

5 – Do not force a consensus. Develop a plan of action that is right for both parties. Something that you can both live with. Learn to pick your battles. Sometimes the conflict is not worth damaging or destroying a relationship.

Worth Remembering … ” An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My final thought on resolving conflict. We are emotional beings, and sometimes we say things in the heat of the conflict that we wish we could take back. Words are powerful. They can leave an invisible scar. We can use them to build people up or tear them down. Choose your words wisely.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com