Today we are going to look at the challenges facing managers inheriting a team. Whether you are coming new into an organization, or moving within the current one, new teams bring new challenges.
I hear all the time from manager who take on a new team that they are assured are complete superstars, only to discover some real problems emerging after a few months. How can this happen? Well it’s tied in with performance management. There are many companies who have a wide spread tolerance of underperformance. They may be companies that perform well overall, yet at an individual team level, there are a scary number of individuals who do not meet expectations.
Many managers struggle in dealing with underperformance. We hear, “I keep telling them, and nothing changes. This has been going on for months!”
So finally, and surprisingly often when there is a change of management on a team, the “problem individual” is packaged up with a nice reference and allocated to another area. All ready to shock the new manager in a few months time.
Managers often run away from the perceived confrontation of dealing with underperformance. Sometimes they are afraid of getting negative feedback in a 360 exercise or annual appraisal, sometimes because they don’t like the emotional aspects of confrontation. Whatever the reason, you have to realize that in not dealing with under performance, you are failing in your obligation to the organization as a Leader.
In a future segment we will look at easy and effective ways to make performance management a one time conversation, rather than the protracted problem it often is.
The other scenario we often see is when a new manager takes over a team, and well meaning people in the organization tell them “Oh you want to watch our for . .so and so, He can be really difficult.”
And sure enough, the individual they mentioned turns out to be trouble.
What is happening here? It’s Newton 3rd law coming into play. Action and reaction are equal and opposite.
Our behaviors are shaped by our beliefs. If you believe someone to be difficult, you will see them as difficult and act accordingly. They will live up to, or rather down to, your expectations!
Ask yourself this: Would you interview someone and then hire them to do a job if you did not believe they had the Potential to do it?
Of course not! And potential cannot diminish, so you need to step back and ask yourself what has happened since they were hired. Because they Still have the potential to do it.
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