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Archive for June 2009

Solving the Middle Manager’s Constant Dilemma: More To Do’s Than Time

Photo by Jalon Nichols

Photo by Jalon Nichols

Ugh, it’s been longer than I wanted it to be since my last post.

Notice that?

I’m beating myself up over something that didn’t get done.

Not very helpful, is it?  True statement, but not helpful.

Inspired Workplace Q&A – Why Can’t I Get Promoted?

Photo by Josh Harper

Photo by Josh Harper

Q: I am a middle manager in a mid-sized technology company.  For the last three years, I have received an “exceeds expectations” on my reviews.  I am at the top of my job grade (band), and I’ve applied for positions with higher responsibility twice.  Both times, I was passed over.  Once, it was for an external candidate who’s now come and gone.  That time, my manager told me that the company was looking for someone “more seasoned.  “The second time, the position went to one of my peers whom I don’t think was as qualified.  The excuse they gave me was that I needed to improve my communication skills.  I’ve always been known as being an excellent communicator both verbal and written.  What’s going on?

Stuck in the Middle? Unleash Your Inner Cool Cucumber

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Last post, we investigated our perceptions about truth-telling and perceived leadership maturity.  Today, we’re examining the role of emotion and maturity.

Why’s this important?  One of the many challenges for middle managers who are trying to move up or keep off the firing line is to be pereceived as someone who’s a “must” for the future of the organization.  Most middle managers think this is yet another thing that’s out of their immediate control, but as a coach I’m here to tell you that there is a lot we can do to influence perceptions of us.

When Honesty = Lack of Maturity

Photo by  j. cliss

Photo by j. cliss

A long time ago, far, far away, I was sitting in my SVP’s office having a one on one.  I suppose his leadership coach told him that’s what he needed to do to connect with the up-and-coming leaders, or whatever they wanted to call those of us who were on the fast track.

Kicking Myself – 6 Missed Opportunities

Photo by Molly Steenson

Photo by Molly Steenson

Ever had one of those moments when someone told you something that you aleady know, but you’ve let it slide or you’ve never implemented it?

I hate to admit it in public, but I had one of those moments this week.

I pride myself on my business networking savvy.  Mind you, my friends Jeff Klein, Jim Penny, Liz Lynch and Dean Lindsay are the experts, but still, I would like to think that I’ve incorporated many of their best teachings into my business system.

How to Keep the Feedback Conversation Out of the Ditch (Part 4 of The Fact & the Fundamental Lie)

Cat Fight Photo by Kevin Steele

Cat Fight Photo by Kevin Steele

Recapping parts 1-3…

Janice* runs the governance group for her company, and Rhonda* works for Janice in that group.  Over the course of time, Janice has developed a healthty distrust of Rhonda, although she’s never addressed it directly with Rhonda.  Anyone with two eyes and half an ear can observe that something isn’t right in that relationship.  Rhonda doesn’t really understand why Janice doesn’t like her, but she’s never engaged in that conversation, either.  Rhonda thinks she’s done her job well and doesn’t understand why she can “do no right” by Janice.  The last conversation started with Janice saying to Rhonda, “You always try to sabotage me”  and ended with two angry people who both think they are right.

The Fact and The Fundamental Lie (Part 3)

Photo by Tiffany Trewin

Photo by Tiffany Trewin

Where we left off in part two, Janice*, the manager of her company’s governance group, has provided Rhonda*, a program manager who works for Janice, with some feedback about her performance.

…which started with “You are always trying to undermine me.”

The conversation degenerated into Janice trying to tell Rhonda all the ways that her circumventing the PMO’s process proved her intent to harm and into Rhonda’s defense of her own character.

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