Manager's Honeymoon: Part 3

    So, it’s time to complete the analysis of the case “The manager’s honeymoon or action plan when you were appointed team leader.”

    In the previous parts ( 1 , 2 ) we talked about that. what is born in the heads of people at this organizational change, how to build conversations with those whom this situation affects and about 9 universal recipes that make it easier to go through this difficult period.
    Schemes of conversations when increasing
    Today we’ll talk about meetings with the customer, fellow managers and why 1: 1 meetings are needed.

    1. Recall the conversation scheme:
    2. Conversation with the departed manager
    3. Conversation with HR
    4. Conversation with the boss
    5. Conversation with the team
    6. A conversation with team members 1: 1
    7. Conversation with the customer
    8. Conversation with new colleagues
    9. Conversation with the boss

    We examined the first 5 conversations in our previous articles ( part 1 , part 2 ).

    6. Conversation with the customer

    The customer is, in my opinion, one of the most offensive roles. Often everyone is dissatisfied with him: either this villain changes his requirements on the fly, he tries to shove his Wishlist in the middle of the iteration, then he requires strange reports. In general, it interferes with how you can work!

    As a result, the customer is often called "inadequate", which seems to me rather annoying for the person who pays for this entire banquet. (In food companies, the role of the customer, which everyone is not happy with, often plays marketing.)

    By the way, 7 years ago I discovered a terrific recipe for how to put myself in the shoes of a customer and begin to understand his behavior. It turns out that once you make repairs to your apartment with the help of a contractor, your world will change forever. An inexhaustible source of managerial experience, yes ... (I once wrote about one of the episodeshere .)

    Back to the customer. Since this is a person who is holding a faucet of the project’s cash flow in his hands, you need to be especially careful in managing his expectations / concerns / questions. After several years of communication with managers, we came to the following conversation scheme:
    1. Where and why did the previous manager go
    2. To say that everything is fine, I get in the know, I understand
    3. Make an appointment if possible
    4. Do you like the current format of work - communication, reporting, what else?
    5. What were the agreements with the previous manager
    6. Are there any problems - which ones and what can we change?
    7. What is burning right now?
    8. Document flow (contracts, additional agreements, accounts, acts)
    9. Opinion about the project - how and why does the project evaluate this way?
    10. Engineer replacement and money issue - how will this affect the project budget?
    11. Customer Contact
    12. Ask about long-term plans
    13. Speak out key points
    14. What haven't we said yet?

    Based on the results of the conversation, you will traditionally have the date of the next conversation + a list of actions that you heroically take upon yourself.

    7. Conversation with new colleagues

    As you already know, when reforming a team, certain dynamics are launched - the team starts to storm a bit (from the Forming stage it goes into the Storming phase. But you still have to get to Norming and Performing). To quickly pass the stage shtorminga, we can recommend something like this:

    put down. If this is appropriate (and you can find out in a conversation with the previous manager and your new boss): at the first team meeting of managers you can ask: “Since I'm a new manager, please tell me how it is customary for us to be put down now or later?”

    If put down appropriately, then you have a chance to quickly get acquainted with the entire team of managers in an informal setting in an expanded communication channel. You will learn a little more about these people, they will learn about you, there will be common points of contact and reasons for further conversations.

    And for the future, it would be nice to start lunch with these colleagues.

    An example from life. When I worked at Intel, my dinners were almost strictly scheduled. Usually I had lunch with the team, and I tried to pull out each member of the team at least once a week for a joint dinner.

    On Mondays, we had a manager's lunch, when all the branch managers from our unit went to some cafe and ate there. At the same time discussing news, rumors, scandals, intrigues and investigations.

    Joint dinners greatly helped not only in terms of exchanging information, but also in terms of introducing newcomers to the team (both in my team and in the management team).

    The fact is that during lunch, people get older and begin to communicate a little more openly and informally. That is, the stage of storming gives way to satiety and contentment.

    Meet 1: 1 with each of your colleagues. Your colleagues after your appointment may be worried about a variety of things. Moreover, it is not a fact that they will come to discuss these things one on one - they are not yet accustomed to this format of communication with you.

    Therefore, some of the questions can be submitted to the general managerial meeting or to the general postal alias. And to discuss publicly difficult issues is difficult. It is better to speak proactively and ask each colleague for a 1: 1 meeting to discuss:
    • Their arrangements with the previous manager
    • What suits and does not suit your team
    • What is the best thing to focus on right now
    • ...

    No one makes you promise anything right away. You can hide behind the “status of a new manager” and take a break for a while while you understand the situation. But it is important to listen to all this as soon as possible so that your colleagues have the feeling that you are ready to listen to them. Then it will not be necessary to arrange public education sessions for the new manager.

    Ask for advice. You can use the universal tricks from the 2nd part of our article in the same way . For example, ask for advice on a matter. Thus, you will show the person that you are not encroaching on his authority, but on the contrary, you are ready to listen to him and learn from him.

    Become a Chip and Dale Help when the others are silent.Repeatedly observed the picture at management meetings. Someone says: “Colleagues, we don’t have time to do this and that ...” A painful pause hangs - no one wants to take on extra work. It may just be your way out - go out and help the next manager. Yes, you take the time. But it will be a very good investment in a relationship with this person.

    Only suggest useful changes YOU are prepared to make. Since you have been working in this environment for a long time, you probably have accumulated a lot of ideas on how to improve the life of your unit. For some reason, ideas that need to be implemented by neighboring teams are especially well accumulated:
    • “I wish our testing team ...”
    • “I wish system analysts ...”
    • “I wish the customer ...”

    If this is an idea for you, then for the one to whom it is embodied - an extra pain in the neck. And if you start to get these ideas at a management meeting, will this help reduce the storming in the team? Unlikely. Therefore, at the first stage, offer ideas for improving the life of the unit, which you are ready to implement. In this case, you do not bring a pain in the neck, but bring improvement, and it becomes clear why this team of managers needs you.

    8. The second conversation with the boss

    It would be nice to prepare for the second (as for any other) meeting with the boss:
    • According to what you promised to do at the first meeting (including according to his expectations from you at this stage)
    • According to the status of the project (which is good, what are the problems, how do you plan to solve them)
    • For questions on which you may need support + what would you like to discuss with your boss
    • Think about what else he might ask you at this meeting.

    And then you have the courage to move into the den of Ivan Ivanich to receive the first feedback - both positive and constructive. And yes, these meetings, like all other 1: 1 meetings, should become part of the regular work process - more about that below.

    Meet 1: 1

    At our recent PRO + People conference, there was just a one-on-one talk about the meetings: 10 basic mistakes, how to and what to do right now. It turned out for almost 2 hours - probably no one can handle such a long article :) Therefore, briefly about the main thing:

    An example from life. I once went into the office of my technical staff, and found him in great agitation: Fedor waved his hands, trying to write a caustic and sarcastic answer to our overseas colleagues. further about a dialogue like this:
    - Fed, what are you doing?
    - Sasha, look at what goats they are!
    - Uh, what happened?
    - Yes, here ...

    It shows a letter from colleagues: “Good afternoon! We suggest using the STZ framework ”
    - And why?
    - Sasha, you don’t understand! Remember, a month ago we suggested using the RYS framework?

    Rewinding in my head back for a month. I recall that something like that was, yes ...:
    - Well?
    - Then they did not understand our framework, because they were not competent! And now they push their own! Well, not the goats ?!

    Please note that there are two facts in this story: a month ago, ours suggested using our framework, these now suggest using another. But around this and you hypotheses: "they did not understand it," and value judgments to you: "they are not competent" and, in general, "goats" - which is not there!

    This always happens when we stop communicating personally and often. Because the text is too narrow a channel for transmitting information. Somewhere research of psychologists came across (how they measure is incomprehensible) about the fact that about 10% of information is transmitted by text. Another 20% -30% is transmitted by emotions (tone of voice) and the remaining 70% through non-verbal (posture, gestures, eyes, etc.)

    By the way, using emoticons has become easier. For example, we write to our colleagues: “Well, you give a pancake” and according to the kind of emoticon we put at the end of the phrase, the colleagues conclude:
    • :) - okay so give!
    • :( - not really give ...
    • no emoticon - it is not clear how we give

    So, if we do not communicate face to face and do not clarify what has accumulated in our heads, then different things will begin to accumulate there:
    • Waiting for how your work should be evaluated - in your head
    • Evaluation of your work - in the head of the boss
    • Your opinion about what is happening in the company, the behavior of management and the customer
    • Interest and motivation to work - rising or falling
    • ...

    In one form or another, this is expressed in words (personal or private). And once it was not voiced by words, but it was said by actions: increasing or decreasing productivity, and sometimes leaving the company.

    In my opinion, 1: 1 meetings are needed by everyone and everyone, especially managers for 3 goals:
    • Reporting and receiving feedback on work
    • Clearing up accumulated problems
    • Clarification of human condition

    (Since we once again fall outside the scope of the article and the availability of free time, it came to my mind such a revolutionary idea - to hold a free webinar about the topic of meetings 1: 1. It's easier for us - because the script and slides are already ready).

    Date: November 26, 20:00 Moscow time

    Topic: 10 errors in meetings 1: 1
    • 10 main mistakes that are made at 1: 1 meetings, and why this tool does not take root
    • How to properly implement 1: 1 meetings in your work practice
    • Meeting Plan 1: 1
    • Additional meeting tools 1: 1
    • The first steps in meetings 1: 1 immediately after the webinar

    Cost: free of charge subject to registration

    Broadcast link: (they will require you to enter your first name and surname and e-mail)

    (Attention, the broadcast works on Windows, MacOS and tablets, but not on Unix).

    PS If you have questions about working with people. that you would like to make out at the webinar - write them in the comments. We do not promise to answer everything, but we will try to cover the most interesting situations.

    PPS We will try to make a webinar recording, but we do not promise to post it quickly.

    PPPS Stratoplan's blog has moved to a separate site: - see you there!

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