I want to be a good manager

Coaching prompts: Real accounts from coaching sessions

Illustration by Kiry Luc

Coachee: I was just promoted to manager, which I’m really excited about. It feels great to help all of my directs with their problems. But I still have a lot of IC (individual contributor) work. I’ve been trying to do both, but I can’t keep up. The only other options are not to do the IC work, which I have to do, or to tell my directs I can’t help them, which means I’m not being a good manager. Ugh, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and not sleep instead.

Coach: What do you really want?

Coachee: I want to get my work done and be a good manager.

Additional Questions:

  • Who have been some of your best managers? What characteristics and behaviors made them the best?
  • What do you ultimately want for your direct reports?
  • How could your direct reports support you in this situation?

David’s Final Thought: If a direct report comes to you with a problem, ask them what they would recommend and why.

One thought on “I want to be a good manager

  1. This is such a common and challenging situation. I love your questions. Reflecting on managers who have been able to find this balance and also exploring ways direct reports can support us as managers are great prompts.

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