Solve this -

In the role of a Manager

- Do you manage Work?
- Do you manage People?

As a manager, you have a tough job at hand. You have to manage Work through People. At times don’t you feel that you can do the work yourself better than through people. Well congratulations - You are a Manager, and your primary responsibility is to manage People and achieve results.

When it comes to managing People, you will invariably face issues that you would never have imagined. Attitude issues, behavioural issues, skill-related issues, employee relations issues and many more.

Here is a quick 2-minute Coaching model that I have used in past could be of benefit for Busy Managers. The 2-minute model is quite useful to handle emotional issues, or sometimes to disperse conflicts. Of course this model may not serve in many situations, but no harm in trying this model first before taking further steps.

Managers can apply this 2-minute model taking various roles.

  • - In the role of a negotiator, the manager solves problems that arise between an employee and the manager.
  • - The manager can take the role of a third party, and assist employees in resolving a problem that has arisen between two or more employees.
  • - The manager can be an arbitrator, after listening to the employees’ concerns, the manager tells them what the solution will be,
  • - As a mediator the manager helps the employees to create and agree to a solution themselves,
  • - In the role of a coach the manager hears the grievances of the employee, and helps that employee use the model to solve the problem.

The 2-minute Coaching model (C.X.O model) :

I call it the C.X.O model. There is a play script later in this article to demonstrate the model in action.

It has 3 simple steps

1. Build a Co-operation based setting :

"If we all put our minds to it, I am sure we can find a solution that everyone will be satisfied with”. In this step it is important in your role to acknowledge the employees’ concerns and issues. You will require “laser” questioning technique to get to the point promptly. Chances are that the employes will go on and on with her issue. In your role you need to allow the person to get to the point without hurting her.

In this step you will set the scene for WIN-WIN outcomes.

2. Identify Individual eXpectations :

"What do you want?" "What are you concerned about?” . In this step it is important to clearly identify the key expectations. Lot of time, issues arise or conflicts happen when expectations are not aligned. Encourage positive thoughts and handle negative emotions carefully. If possible try to set the negative emotions on the parking bay and bring the person to the focussed WIN-WIN outcome you have agreed in step 1.

3. Brainstorm Options creatively :

"Let's think of some other creative ways to solve the problem”. This is the step where creativity works the best. Allow the person to think out of the box. Consider an ideal solution. Then gradually bring the person to real solution. Agree actions to achieve the solution and also design ways to measure the solution success.

Note: If conflict persists, then deeper level of Value based exploration have to be done.

Lets try the model with a real-life situation. This conversations happens in less than 2-minute from end to end.

Scenario : Busy Manager as a Coach

Manager has just arrived to the office, early morning, Ms Natasha comes over and asks to meet him now. They both go to a meeting room. Natasha tells the manager “Since the time I have joined your team, none of the team members take me seriously, my ideas are not given importance, the male colleagues are more dominant. My work is not valued in your team, I’m feeling frustrated and stressed here”.

Step1 : Build a Co-operation based setting

Manager : Thanks Natasha, for having this meeting. I appreciate your interest to resolve this issue. I believe if we can talk about this little more, I am sure we can find a solution that you and the team will be satisfied with. What do you think? Is it possible?

Natasha nods in acceptance.

Step2 : Identify Individual eXpectations

Manager : “Tell me Natasha, what outcome do you want or what are you concerned about?"

Natasha : “I want my views to be heard and discussed in the team, I should be treated equal with others”.

Manager : (reflects back what was said in terms of interests, replays that) “So if I understand what you are saying is, you want the team members to consider your views, discuss the points that you make?"

Natasha nods in acceptance.

Manager continues : “What you are also concerned about is that, nobody treats you as a team member?”

Natasha again nods in acceptance.

Manager : “Is there anything else you want or are concerned about?”

Natasha : “I’m worried that if this continues it will impact my performance and my mental state”.

Manager (summarises) : "So you want to be a value added member of the team and want to achieve excellent performance in the team".

Natasha nods in acceptance.

Manager : "I appreciate you Natasha for your aspirations in the team".

Step3 : Brainstorm Options creatively

Manager : "Let’s think of creative ways to solve this issue”.

Natasha : “Can you tell all of them to take me seriously and make me part of the team”.

Manager (replays) : “You want me to tell them to take you seriously and make you part of the team?” “How does that sound to you as a solution?” “How does that solution impact your self respect?".

Natasha (realises) ; “No I don’t think that will work, it will show I’m a weakling”.

Manager : “So what do you think could be the most effective solution”.

Natasha : “May be I have to talk to them and also make sure I’m heard in the meetings. I will persist my point until I’m convinced that I’m heard”.

Manager : “So you will make an effort to be heard?, thats good”.

Natasha nods in acceptance.

Manager : “So do we have an action plan?, What is it?”

Natasha : “I will not give up, I will make myself heard, I will feel that I’m part of the team and contribute my ideas effectively.”

Manager : “Great - lets catchup in a fortnights time and see how you are getting along. Natasha as a manager, I assure you that I will be beside you and do things in the interest of the team goals”.

Thank you.

Vijay ketan Mitra

CEO, Founder and Executive Coach

Vijay is a visionary leader who drives the business and growth at PositiveShift International. Vijay is also a Business/Startup coach, who helps people to build scalable ventures.