April 14, 2020

98: Finding Balance as a Manager with Bekka Prideaux

We’re all in search of the perfect balance of our responsibilities as a manager and getting our own work done. But is this elusive balance even possible or will we forever be pulled in too many directions?

Bekka Prideaux is a Leadership Development Coach and Consultant. Over the past 25 years, she has worked with some of the most recognizable brands in the world to develop great leaders, deliver successful projects and impressive business results. Her clients value her pragmatic and fun approach and the unique blend of experience and expertise that she brings. She believes that success starts with leading yourself and your teams and loves working with people to make that happen.

Bekka and I talk about how to balance getting your own work done and being available to support your team. We get into the three key domains of a manager, dig into effective delegation, and the important nuances of communicating effectively with different team members.

Read the related blog article: How to Balance the Three Roles of a Manager

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • There is no perfect equation to balancing the role of a manager. But, there is an ideal balance for you and your team at this moment in time.
  • The Curious Choice model says managers have three core responsibilities that overlap in a Venn diagram: (1) leading or setting vision, (2) executing and ensuring others get work done, and (3) coaching and supporting team members.
  • The amount of time you spend doing various activities within the Curious Choice model will depend on your team members, the goals you’re working towards, and other context. It’s important to check in every few months to be sure you’re allocating your time appropriately.
  • Look for activities you can do that hit more than one of those core responsibilities in order to optimize your time.
  • Delegating is a sweet spot as you can do all three at the same time: hand off work and ensure it gets done, explain how this work aligns to the bigger picture, and support the team member to develop new skills or know-how to do this work.
  • Be specific and explicit about what you need from each of your team members. Make it easy for them to give you the right information at the right time, and set them up to successfully complete their work.
  • Get to know your people by asking them questions and truly listening. When you align work with their personal interests, skills and goals, people do their best work.
  • Be clear about when you’re available, and under what circumstances, and when you’re doing your own focused work. Set “office hours” or otherwise signal when people can interrupt you.
  • The job of a manager is not to be putting out fires or rescuing people. Your job is to enable others to solve problems and get work done.
  • Build relationships with your team members to understand what motivates them, how you can support them, and how they want to grow.
  • Communication is a two way street. You must communicate in a way that the other person understands and is able to act on the message. If the other person doesnt understand and cannot act, you’ve only transmitted, not communicated.
  • Encourage your team to give you feedback, to let you know when you aren’t being clear. Graciously accept their questions and feedback so you can learn and do better.

mamie@mamieks.com

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