In most organizations, implementing a program to help new managers grow into their roles and responsibilities can be key to increasing organizational performance. People are promoted to manager after displaying above average performance as individual contributors, but often find the transition difficult and their new role more challenging and nuanced than they imagined.
CoachingOurselves provides a solution. By grouping new managers together for peer learning around CoachingOurselves topics they can help each other through this critical transition, creating a community of practice and speeding up their professional development.
A program for new managers can be structured over 6-18 months with one peer learning session per month. It’s important the first session uses a topic that grabs their attention, followed by subsequent sessions to break down preconceived notions and open up critical reflection and introspection. We recommend the topic Accountability: It’s a Tricky World as a starting topic for new managers. Let’s look closer at some effective topics for the rest of this program.
After the first topic, it’s important to break down participants’ preconceived notions of management and guide them into a more reflective state. For this we recommend any of the following topics:
Managing to Lead: This introduces young managers to the difference between task focused vs. people focused styles, guiding them through the nuances and introducing situational leadership.
Management Competency Raising: Expands perspectives on the real job of managers with a list of competencies that all managers must practice. Participants delve further into one or two competencies based on specific needs.
Managing on Tightropes: The Inescapable Conundrums of Managing: Destabilize managers by reflecting on the conundrums they will face; for example, how to connect when managing in inherently disconnected, how to go deep when the pressure is on to get things done, and how to be confident as a manager without becoming arrogant?
Managing on the Planes of Information, People, and Action: Participants reflect and discuss on the very essence of managing, or rather, what it is that managers actually do. They discuss the realities of their job using the three planes of managing model: through information, with people, and action.
After these initial sessions, we want to introduce participants to the nuances of managing. Topics such as:
Influencing Others: Leading through Trust This is a fantastic topic by Harvard professor Linda Hill that explores some classic managerial pitfalls in regards to influencing others and helps participants strengthen their influence through competence and character.
FeedFORWARD instead of Feedback Author Marshall Goldsmith has participants practice giving feedforward (or suggestions for the future), rather than feedback.
Developing Brand Leadership for Every Manager is used to help managers at every level in an organization understand and be able to articulate the meaning of their organizations’ brand and understand their role in shaping it.
Candid Conversations explores the nuances of candid conversations and has participants practice a candid conversation. This session finishes with a discussion on building a culture of candor in teams and organizations.
Practical Tips for Leading Meetings that Matter is a practical topic on leading meetings. It is immediately applicable to new managers.
Analyzing Employee Performance is one of the most difficult jobs of a new manager. This topic leads managers through a process to effectively analyze their employees’ performance and diagnose and determine why they may not be performing as expected.
Five Ideas about Teamwork guides participants through a discussion on teamwork to identify specific actions they can take to improve how their teams function.
Talent Management introduces new managers to one of their essential roles: rather than just getting things done themselves, they need to help their team members become better at getting things done.
Seeing Beyond Belief: Observation Skills for Managers turns a critical eye on how participants observe in order to shed light on how they manage.
The following topics can be be added into a program to align with broader organizational initiatives:
One Planet Business: Sustainable Organizations has participants engage in a dialog on how sustainability can be a driver of innovation and value creation and examines current organizational practices to help create practical steps for a more sustainable future.
I.T. Does Have an Off Button is a quirky, yet serious, discussion inviting participants to appreciate both the benefits and threats of modern technologies. How can they harness technology to improve the managerial effectiveness? How can they become far more effective managers by reducing their addiction to technology?
Gender Inclusive Leadership explores the importance of gender inclusivity in the workplace and helps participants develop practical actions that will help them develop and shape their organizational culture into one that is more welcoming and inclusive.
Building Purpose at Work and In Life invites reflection and discussion on how managers can help their team members and themselves achieve greater purpose at work and create a purpose-driven organization.
To end a new manager program, we recommend topics that has participants reflect, discuss, and act on the broader aspects of managing; change, culture, and strategy. These make strong closing sessions in new manager programs:
Ten Ways to Release Change presents ten methods to enact change in organizations. The methods will help participants reframe how they approach change and provide new ways to intervene.
Changing Things: What and How focuses on how to make one specific change happen in their organization, which helps them explore how individual leaders can catalyze change overall.
Understanding Your Organizational Culture will help managers understand why culture is important and why it should matter to them. Participants discuss and reflect on how recognizing their own organization’s culture can impact how they react and deal with problems as managers.
Managing Culture Change: Beyond the Status Quo has participants examine a current cultural change goal and use a “force-field analysis” to clarify the forces responsible for maintaining the status quo in their organization.
Strategic Thinking as Seeing enhances the capacity of participants to recognize strategic issues and work on addressing some of the key problems in their organization. This topic is a good introduction to strategic thinking for new managers.
A CoachingOurselves peer learning program will provide new managers with the space to reflect, share experiences and support their journey into management. For more information on how to set up a new managers program using CoachingOurselves in your organization, contact us.