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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 145 – Career Care & Showing You Want More For Your Team Members

Dear leaders, I often receive replies to leaders letters asking specific questions, typically around an issue or an experience and for my take, last week I received an email about “showing I care for my team members”. 

Management is hard and getting harder, this is why managers have to choose to lean into IQ and EQ (and teach PQ aka political intelligence where applicable) and decide to go further, this is what I call career care. It is how to prove you are looking to support a team member’s career, not just when they are in your team. The sign of a good manager is how many of your team proactively ask you for specific feedback on mid and large projects and how many ex-team members reach out when they need support. 

Here is a list of actions you can take to show you care: 

  • Build long-term relationships with them: offer insights, and stories and introduce efficient 1-2-1’s and consider lunch and learns. Be formally informal, have coffee breaks, have walk-and-talks, and don’t make it always ultra-formal, you need to know them and their motivations, in formal settings these are lost. Sitting in a meeting room or just over video calls can feel too formal when situations can and do need more personal touches. 
  • Introduce internal or external mentors: that will help guide them when they need to bounce ideas, consider new approaches and have a mentor process that guides you both 
  • Act as a sponsor: when its the right moment for them 
  • Listen, Listen Then Speak: it is time to listen not once but twice, listening especially when they aren’t saying anything is a sign of a great manager, this also shows you care. Remember those good teachers, lectures or managers, they reach out when you haven’t said anything and notice change, not the change
  • Encourage coaching: (this is an excellent use of L&D budgets) from the right internal or external coaches 
  • Support decisions: Often a manager can over-coach or dictate what to do when, this is often a bad base to build support and show you trust them, offer ways to support their decisions and help shape their decision-making by offering frameworks like one problem two solutions framework 
  • Spot the spark:  This was my favourite element of being a department and business lead, spotting the spark within team members and helping them drive towards it. Spark is what makes someone interested, invested and keeps them intrigued for the future, spot that spark and help remove barriers, this won’t go unnoticed. 
  • Unleash the superstar: Your job as a manager is to unleash everyone’s superstar, yes this sounds big but it is the best piece of coaching I give managers and department heads struggling. Unleash the superstar in your team member, enable them to be the best they can be. 
  • Clear Paths To Success: As recommended in the previous newsletter two up two across matrix, this focus framework helps you to shape the next two steps up (if available) and two steps across, this is often the way you help a team member progress their career in your department or org or help them progress into another business line and help them to grow. 

Management is an investment in time, energy and most often patience, these three skills are essential for both your success and their success. Making the time and showing your team member they are important and that you are fully committed is essential for you both. 

Have a great week and remember you have the same rights as a leader (even as a CEO you have a boss or board guiding you) to go and seek mentors, invest in a coach and understand how to improve and where you can develop. 

Thanks, 

Danny Denhard

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