Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Not About You

Focus: Management Success, Professional Success

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Transcript - print now
WC: 341

Many managers come into situations where they inherit a team or a new team is formed due to their promotion.

Want a very important survival mind-set? It’s not about you! When you begin to interact with your new team, you’re going to get some reactions and those reactions many not be all good. In many cases, initially, the team member is not necessarily reacting to you, BUT to their former conditioning….even as far back as their childhood! 

Think about it; how could they be reacting to you when they don’t even know you! What they are reacting to is the behavior that is a trigger to a similar behavior from their past experiences. They are reacting to what that behavior triggered in them...NOT YOU!

Now, after many months of managing them, where a relationship pattern has been established, it may then be about you. But initially - more than likely – it’s not!

You may want to put a post-it note on your computer that says exactly that, “It’s not about me!”

Related to this concept is that of newness and fear…

This is also important to consider when working with new team members:  understanding the role that fear plays in the context of new. It’s all very subtle you know, but in many cases when a relationship is new, particularly when there is power involved, there is an unconscious fear of the unknown.   The level of fear, by the way, depends a lot on the maturity and self esteem of the person involved.

What are they afraid of?...what kind of manager you will be, how you will use your power, will they be able to work with and get along with you...etc. Knowing this is very useful, acting on it is even more so!

Coaching tip: I would encourage you to actively develop a rapport of trust as quickly as possible so that the fear does not become an issue. By the way, the absence of “active development” can actually feed the fear, because the unknown persists.

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