Rob manages multiple teams, a total of 50 people. He explains bluntly:
„It seems as if nobody listens to me. They’re restless. As if I don’t reach anyone. I’m the manager, am I not? Sometimes it seems as if I’m not the manager at all… It doesn’t feel that I’m in the right place anymore.“
I give him a flip-over and ask him to draw his teams, and focus on the people/business/departments/customers/services that are important to him. Don’t think too much, draw off the cuff and follow your instincts.
TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE
He starts drawing busily, using many different colors.
After about 10 minutes I ask him to stop drawing and look at his picture from a distance. „Tell me what you see,“ I ask, „as if you’re a layman.“
He drew a square. One corner housed most of his team members, the other corner himself. They looked away from each other. He says: „Yes, that’s what it’s like. I kind of hide myself. Don’t show my face enough. Sometimes, I’d rather not be there.“
Then I ask him who the person is who’s positioned in the middle of the drawing, a big person standing between him and his team.
TURN OBSTACLES INTO OPTIONS
His answer is resolute: „That’s Mark, the director. He always stands in the middle of everything. Meddles in everybody’s business. I don’t stand a chance.“
I cover the director with a blank piece of paper, as if he’s not there. Then, Rob gives a sigh of relief. „Yes, that would be better. I could see my team again.“
To the question of what his next step may be, he answers: „I’m going to talk to Mark, and I’m going to let him know that I want to take my part in both hands. I am the manager of those teams.“
This is how Rob takes the first steps in (re)claiming his place in the organization.
INCREASE YOUR IMPACT AS A MANAGER
Claiming your place as a manager is important for yourself and your team. You create peace, you become more effective and you will thrive. This will benefit everyone.
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Niño Jacobs eats, sleeps, and breathes leadership and customer experience every day, dreams about it every night, and writes about it once a month. Follow Niño on Twitter for more!