Moving into Management & Team Leadership Roles

13Apr11

I had 3 meetings today but I am trying to find 2 hours every week to reflect on achievable goals for my library team. As a library technician with extensive experience with the library catalogue, I have busy year ahead of us weeding print resources while we consolidate collections. Gulp where am I going to find 2 hours? But it is a necessary step in the process of reflecting on goals, identifying my skills and later to be able to support my team’s objectives. By really understanding my own skills and assets, only then can I gradually align with team’s, department’s, and ultimately the firm’s goals. Then I need to check in again with reporting managers, as my vision of success will be different from their vision of success. Facilitator Rebecca Jones outlines a comprehensive plan to formulate a plan, with small steps and based on a time line. I had so many takeaways, but here are a few:

  • You can’t hear if you are speaking. I can be guilty of having my filter on and being biased by past experience. So I need to take a breathe and ignore self talk in order to slow down and respectfully listen.
  • What is success to me? Is that aligned as the same as success to my boss? Goals of library or firm may change over time, and am I living in the past? If so, it’s time to redefine success.
  • Dealing with resistance from staff, if a person starts to say “but” or “however” that is fear-based thinking and it a red flag to me as listener to pay attention to the message. Why are they anxious? If I understand where anxiety, fear and resistance is coming from, then I am moving closer to clarity of communication. Jones calls this keeping the windshield clean as a metaphor for clear communication and understanding the other person’s perspective.

Some other eye openers are results of survey asking about common pitfalls for new managers including doing too much, and how to delegate with staff who were once your peers or colleagues. As baby boomers retire or step back, increasingly we’ll see new managers who are home grown and got bumped up in the org chart.  If we only had 1 takeaway, Jones cautioned new managers to defer commitments for new initiatives. As every opportunity to say yes actually translates into a “no” for time spent on focusing on supporting your goals and a lost opportunity to pursue meaningful initiatives.

As pencil and paper person, I appreciate having the tools to plan out priorities and maintain some process in an unwieldy multidimensional project. I will be doing my homework tonight to maintain the planning and prioritizing momentum.

- Brenda Wong

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One Response to “Moving into Management & Team Leadership Roles”

  1. 1 Karen

    Great post Brenda! Lots of food for thought. I should make a few notes on this myself.



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