Your team member has proven themselves to be a strong performer; so much so that they have earned a promotion. That means things will change. Not just their status and their pay-grade, but the expectations (yours, theirs and other stakeholders’).
So coaching is important to support them through the change, to figure out all of those new expectations and follow through on them.
If they are moving from being an individual contributor to managing one or more people, the change is even more complex. As The Leadership Pipeline explains, our mindset needs to change, alongside the way we spend our time and the skills we need to display. Too often, organisations assume that just because a person has contributed well as an individual, they will be able to figure out the managerial side of things by osmosis. THEY CANNOT!
I have seen people floundering too often because they are trying to be a manager of people with the same mindset, skill set and time allocations as they had when they were an individual contributor. That will never work. So your job is to support them through this transition.
The same happens at each promotion to managing more people, bigger functions etc.
You might try asking questions such as:
- What new skills do you feel you need to develop in this new role?
- How might you develop those?
- What training do you need to help you with that?
- What other resources?
- What beliefs might be useful to you in this new role?
- What beliefs might you need to jettison?
- What do you need to do more of, less of, and continue doing?
- What tasks will you jettison to make room for the new expectations of you?
- How will your time be spent differently?
- What will you prioritise?
You may find yourself changing hats here, between teaching, mentoring and coaching. Be clear when you are changing hat, asking permission before you do so. It’s likely that they will want you to tell them what to do. Be cautious about this, and your role is to help them to develop into their own brand of leader, authentically aligned with who they are as a human being, using their strengths.
You may benefit from reading my other blog posts in this series, here are a couple to get you started…