Technical expert makes the transition

When Gareth was appointed to manage managers he was well respected as knowing the business inside out. In coaching Gareth set himself the objective to make the shift from technical expert to people manager and to work out how to communicate successfully with his boss. He had five managers reporting to him and realised that each of them had different needs and that he needed to learn how to work with them to achieve the results required. Gareth worked on clarifying with those managers
  • the expectations he had of them, and
  • the expectations they could have of him

Which management skills were needed?
Gareth practised naming the management skills which managers needed to improve and was able to work with them to build their skill and confidence in dealing with their staff.

Seizing the moment with the boss
Gareth's boss has a much more fluid style than his own and Gareth was often not clear what had been decided between them and what deadlines had been set. He tended to hold back in these situations believing that the boss would eventually clarify decisions made. When that didn’t happen Gareth faced the need to learn how to seize the moment with the boss and to clarify what she expected and by when. Gareth was willing to try communication styles other than his own natural style. He learned how to lob the ball back over the net to his boss when she raised new ideas and to steer her from quick solutions to brainstorming several solutions so that all options were on the table.

Getting proposals acepted
Four months into the job Gareth committed to becoming a persuasive, assertive leader who has earned the respect of his boss and fellow managers.  He was able to get proposals accepted in meetings and front up to his direct reports and his own boss.  Six months into the job Gareth reported that his boss said she was really stoked with the ways things were going in his cluster. This gave Gareth the confidence to push ahead with raising issues about the way management decisions were being made within the management team. Gareth learned the skill of how to suggest a review of current process in a way that achieved buy-in and effective results.

After ten months into his new role, Gareth was asked to manage a project for his boss while she took leave. Transition achieved.

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