Here Opportunity Comes, Ready Or Not!
After a company enrolls one of their key team members in the Leadership Development Lab (LDL), we ask their manager to complete a confidential participant survey so we have a view from both the manager’s and the participant’s perspective of where growth is needed, valued and important. I find these surveys to be extremely helpful as I endeavor to tailor each of the ten sessions of the Leadership Development Lab® (LDL) to the unique training needs of every participant. My job is to coach and support class members in the achievement of their class objectives for maximum career growth.
One short comment by a senior manager I recently read on such a Lab member’s survey said, “I think he’s ready to be a project manager (which would be an important move up for this Lab participant), I’m just waiting for him to ask.” What was so interesting to me was that when this participant introduced himself at Session 1 to his Leadership Development Lab®, he told us what he wanted to gain from the LDL, after talking about the important objective he wanted to gain directly from the LDL – leadership and communication skills – he said, “The pay-off for me: it will help me prepare for becoming a qualified project manager.” So this Lab member’s goal is to become a project manager – and his boss feels like he is ready to be a project manager; his boss is just waiting for him to ask for this promotion to this position of greater responsibility and contribution to the company’s success.
What about you? Is there some area of your life where promotion, advancement, increased responsibility, and increased involvement are available to you? Is someone waiting for you to ask? As we say in Repeat Business – 6 Steps to Superior Customer Service, you have to ASK to GET. You have to seek to find. You have to knock for doors to open.
This simple story may have more to do with need for open communication, than anything else. How could these two be so far apart? Why the guessing game? How do you communicate your expectations? How do you communicate your sense of worth for and expectation of each person on your team?
When do you talk about career planning and future advancement? What can be gained by this guessing game? On the other hand what advantage can be gained by regular open communication about career opportunities, career paths, career planning? Career planning and next step planning to ensure team members know how you feel about them; what you feel their strengths are and where their next areas of development are needed.
Here are a few questions to get your started:
- I have been pleased to see your ______.
- What part of your job are you enjoying most these days?
- What do you find most difficult?
- Where do you want to go next in your career?
- What strengths will you bring to this assignment?
- Where do you feel you need to grow to be ready?
- What are you doing to get ready?