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Coach Paradise: Becoming the Manager You Want to Be

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Dear Coach Paradise,
I'm a manager in an organization where I supervise 12 people. I always seems to have at least one employee who is challenging. No matter what I do, this person (and sometimes more than one) just doesn’t seem to get it; and I find us locked in a power struggle that is aggravating, prevents my team from achieving the performance levels I am expected to meet and keeps me awake at night.
I am frustrated and just can’t figure out how to work with this person in a productive and positive way. This isn’t the first time this has happened and I could use some help. I have heard that coaches can help in this kind of a situation and I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I am losing sleep and this person is making me look bad to my superiors.
Signed,
Up Against the Wall
Dear Up Against the Wall,
I want to acknowledge you for being an amazing manager who is genuinely seeking a new way to be and do which will lead to team playing and producing great results. I just discovered a quote that fits perfectly: “You never change the existing reality by fighting it. Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete” (Buckminster Fuller).
I am suggesting a new model of management – a new you. I don’t know how flexible your workplace or company is, but you can always make decisions about “whom” you want to be and “how” you want to show up – in this case as an inspired manager.
Do you know how to ask powerful questions? Do you know how to really tune in? Do you use your performance appraisal as a real performance-enhancement tool? Does your staff buy into your vision of the organization? Do they know what your vision is?
Being a good manager involves being a good coach, and I would suggest that getting a coach and learning some coaching skills and tools would be a big help.
Instead of locking in for power struggles, it is important that this “challenging person” be seen and appreciated for their strengths and what they can bring to your organization. People like their jobs when they have the opportunity to do something they do well and be appreciated for it. People like to have input and feel as though they are a part of something in which they also have a voice.
It has been found in numerous studies that when individuals and teams are included in the overall vision of an organization and included in creating and enhancing this vision, they are more engaged, committed and cooperative. They are more creative and may actually come up with strategies and input that is extremely valuable. This is in proportion to how they feel valued — not only as employees and cogs in a bigger wheel, but as whole people with lives outside of the organization that the organization recognizes as important.
As you are open to being coached and operating from a new model and way of being and seeing, you will be a great model for your staff and will be able to use your new tools to coach your staff and become the kind of manager who will shine in everyone’s eyes.
To your outrageous success,
Coach Paradise
Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.

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