Why New Managers Need Coaching

Leadership has gone through some major changes over the past few years. Overseeing teams with a work-from-home or hybrid model, as well as building an engaged team after the challenges of the pandemic are just a couple of the challenges today’s managers face. It can be difficult for the most seasoned leader, but what about those who are new to a management role? It can feel like being stuck in the middle of the woods without a compass!

New managers are often hesitant to ask for help or support. After all, if you’ve been promoted into the role, you must be able to figure out how to get it all done. Going it alone is one of the biggest mistakes a new manager can make. That’s why working with a coach can help in so many ways. Here’s a look at 3 big areas:

  • Learn how to develop a leader’s mindset: Managers are expected to coach, engage, motivate and manage conflict. It’s a tall order, especially for someone new to the role. A coach can help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of management and develop leadership skills that will inspire your team.
  • Increase confidence: One minute you were colleagues with your team members. Now, there’s a new power dynamic and you’re the one in charge. The whole situation can cause self-doubt for many new managers. Working with a coach can help you identify your innate leadership skills, as well as areas that can use improvement. Emotional intelligence is a big part of the job and an area where a coach can really work with you and make you shine!
  • Help alleviate stress and anxiety: Being a new manager can feel isolating and decrease your sense of well-being and job satisfaction. A coach can help you feel less alone, be a sounding board for frustrations and help you find balance in your new role.

While some people are born leaders and managers, there’s a learning curve for most of us. But, it’s nothing you can’t handle with the right support and person in your corner. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help you take on your new management role and help you and your team thrive! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s get started.

Tips for New Managers

If you’ve recently been promoted to a management role, it can sometimes feel like you’re jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Navigating your new role can feel daunting. Perhaps you feel like you’re in over your head and experiencing self-doubt. Maybe you’re having difficulty with time management with so many meetings eating up your time. Or are you trying to figure out your relationships with your former peers who are now reporting to you? It can all add up to a lot of stress and feelings of isolation.

If you’re new to a management role, where do you start? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Do learn how to delegate: If you’re used to doing it all yourself, management can be a difficult transition. But trying to do everything on your own or micromanaging your team not only leads to burnout for you, but frustration and lowered morale for your employees. Get to know your team and their individual strengths and interests.
  • Do think about your team’s success: It’s not just about you anymore. When your team is successful, you’re successful. Remember to put the common good first.
  • Do ask for help and support: Going it alone is a recipe for frustration and unhappiness, which your team is sure to pick up on. In our last article, we discussed why working with a coach is so vital for new managers. You don’t have to scale the learning curve by yourself!
  • Do remember to be encouraging: Finding ways to thank your team for a job well-done goes a long way. So much of new management involves interpersonal skills, not technical. Now’s the time to hone those soft skills that go far in creating a cohesive team.
  • Don’t avoid conflict: No one likes to deal with conflict, but it’s a part of a manager’s job. Avoiding or ignoring it will only make it worse. Managers play a vital role in fostering a safe and productive environment for everyone.
  • Don’t dive in head first: It’s tempting to over-promise or reorganize everything right away. However, it’s a good idea to take the time to understand your department and individual team members before making major changes.

Often, new managers were promoted into the role because they were self-starters, motivated and able to accomplish tasks quickly and of the highest quality. Now, it’s the new manager’s role to help others perform to that same level. Most new managers experience struggles in their new position, often because they feel like they need to figure out everything on their own. That’s where working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We’re ready to help new managers navigate the waters and not only survive, but thrive. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com

COACHING OUR WAY THROUGH ANXIETY

AnxietyThe past few years have brought so many anxiety-producing unknowns into our lives that it’s becoming difficult to remember when we weren’t dealing with these stressors. Now, it’s like we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and can finally begin to get a sense of normalcy into our lives, but we still have an uphill battle ahead of us. For many, it’s causing frustration and confusion and adding to an already anxious situation.

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “you can’t control events, but you can control how you respond to them.” Easier said than done, right? How do you get started when you’re already feeling overwhelmed? Working with a coach helps you build strategies to deal with the stressors of whatever life is throwing at you right now, whether it’s anxiety over waiting for the vaccine, job challenges or uncertainty about the future. Here are some examples of what a coach can teach you:

  • How to increase your emotional resilience.
  • How to shift yourself out of anxiety and into a more proactive mental state.
  • How to effectively handle situations that are out of your control.
  • How to deal with both the mental and physical reactions of anxiety.

Often, having a strong listener on your side and ready to help can make a huge difference. A coach can provide you with mental exercises to turn to during stressful events, help you track your progress, hold you accountable for your goals and provide needed social support.

Anxiety focuses on what can go wrong, while hope focuses on what can go right and opportunities despite present circumstances. If you’re looking for someone to help with your anxiety during this difficult time, Leah M Joppy and Associates is ready to help. You don’t have to deal with this this alone. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email leah@lmja.com to learn more.

 

Reengaging Team Members

Are there any leaders out there who haven’t encountered employee disengagement at one point or another? If you’re in a management position, you can probably name at least one or two instances off the top of your head. However, over the last two years, when offices abruptly closed and many employees had to transition to work-from-home life, addressing disengagement became a much more complex problem. And while a hybrid model of work has now become the norm for so many organizations, it brings on a whole new set of challenges when addressing employee disengagement.

For organizations that are new to the hybrid model, disengagement can rear its head in a variety of forms. For example, team members can feel out of the loop in terms of communication and resources or they may be struggling with work/life balance. They may also feel discouraged by a lack of company culture or difficulty collaborating with team members. What are some of the red flags to watch out for when it comes to employee disengagement? Here are a few examples:

  • Withdrawal from any non-necessary activities or conversations
  • Poor communication and lack of participation
  • Breaks from routine (ie: a typically vocal person no longer speaks up in meetings, a punctual person is chronically late or misses deadlines)
  • Apathetic approach to meetings, projects, communication, etc.
  • Rudeness and curtness with coworkers and clients

According to a recent workplace study from Gallup, 51% of workers are “not engaged,” meaning they are psychologically unattached to their work or company. And many of them feel they have more options now – we’re all too familiar with the term “Great Resignation” and the impact it’s had on organizations. With all of the challenges leaders are facing trying to navigate a post-pandemic workplace, problems with disengaged employees can sneak up quickly and snowball into major issues. That’s where Leah M Joppy and Associates can help. We can get to the root causes of WHY team members are feeling disengaged and work with you to come up with ideas to address these problems quickly.

When it comes to employee disengagement, it’s so important to look for solutions right away, rather than wait until productivity declines and turnover increases. Call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s start tackling any disengagement issues now!

The Value Of A “Stay Interview”

Keeping employees engaged pre-pandemic was hard enough, but for many leaders, it can seem like an uphill battle in our new work-from-home/hybrid model world. It’s important to recognize the signs of employee disengagement early, so effective action can be taken. Whether it’s improved communication, providing clearer opportunities for job progression or taking time out to just have some team building fun, improving employee engagement is an investment that pays off in so many ways.

Reasons for disengagement are as varied as the people in your organization. That’s why taking the time to talk to team members and really listen to their concerns is so important. There’s an underutilized, but powerful tool called the “Stay Interview,” which can really help leaders gather important data about employee morale and engagement. In the book, “Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay” by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan Evans, they list a number of thought-provoking “stay interview” questions that really provide valuable insight. Here’s a sample:

  • What will keep you here?
  • What might entice you away?
  • What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
  • What makes you hit the snooze button?
  • What one change in your current role would make you consider leaving this job?
  • If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department, team, organization?
  • As your manager, what could I do a little more of or a little less of?
  • If you had to go back to a position in your past and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?

Once you’re armed with the information above, now what? How do you even begin to develop and implement innovative ideas that actually improve employee engagement? That’s where working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We can collaborate with you to look at areas where engagement is low, establish where improvements can be made and come up creative solutions that will increase team members’ engagement and morale. There’s no better time than the present to get started! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com

In These Times, Can We Even Plan Ahead?

With all the variables in the world today, it can seem like your agency or association is in a constant state of flux. Without the aid of a crystal ball, it may seem like planning for the future is an exercise in futility. Organizations may be tempted to wait and see what happens during times of uncertainty. But all of these unknowns shouldn’t keep you from looking ahead. In fact, failing to plan is a huge mistake for so many reasons.

In uncertain times, it’s the most resilient organizations that succeed. Part of that resilience is looking ahead as best you can and planning no matter what the future may hold. Here are a few important questions to consider as you develop a strategic plan:

  • What do we know about the current environment in which we’re working?
  • What hasn’t changed? What can we predict with some level of certainty?
  • What do we need to prepare or plan for ‘just in case’?
  • Has anything about the current environment caused us to reconsider or change our mission and/or values?
  • What is our action plan for the next year? What are our objectives, timelines, budget to work with, etc?

Of course, the key to navigating times of uncertainty is developing a strategy with flexibility. But instead of hoping for the best, you at least have a plan that gives you and your team some sense of a forward-moving mission.

No matter what direction your agency or association takes in the months ahead, everyone has areas that can be strengthened with a little help, probing and encouragement. That’s where Leah M Joppy and Associates can help. We help you take control of your future by developing an action plan that positions you to succeed, no matter what the coming months may bring. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email leah@lmja.com to learn more.

Write Your Own Story

So many of us are weary from the events of the last few years. Whether it’s a job loss, difficulties maneuvering the work from home/family life balance or the disappointment and loneliness that have accompanied the pandemic, we each have our own story about how these past few years have affected us. By now, everyone has a list of things they once took for granted but now miss or things they’ve grown to love during the period of staying at home.

According to a survey conducted by the National Research Group, approximately 90% of Americans say that the past few years have been a “good time to reflect on what’s important to them.” There’s also a renewed appreciation for “chatting” with our family and friends, as roughly 72% say our experience with the pandemic will have a positive impact on how we communicate in the future. And there’s newfound respect for a sometimes overlooked and underappreciated workforce in our country: grocery store workers, health care professionals, emergency responders – anyone we rely on for everyday life.

These are not small things, but rather a huge shift in how we view what’s important to us and how we spend our time. Perhaps family dinners and new traditions have become an area of focus. Others may have started a new health and wellness routine they’ve been putting off for years. And some people may have reduced the amount of material possessions in their homes, developed a new hobby or worked on learning a new professional skill. Whatever your story, these new priorities and insights truly matter!

When and if things begin to settle down, will you return to your old ways? Will you again focus on working crazy hours, money, material things or other areas of your life that were lacking in fulfillment? The big question is, what do you do with this appreciation of what really matters in life and make sure it continues after the world returns to “normal-ish”. Working with a coach is an ideal way to develop a plan with attainable goals, as well as have someone who will hold you accountable and keep you on track. Think of a coach as a partner for your future!

This past years have been far from easy. There’s been irritability, frustration, anger, and a major dose of cabin fever. But perhaps years from now, we’ll look back on it as an unexpected opportunity to really tune into what matters most in our lives and use that knowledge to create meaningful change. Whether these goals are personal or career-related, Leah M Joppy and Associates can work with you to bring them to fruition. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email leah@lmja.com to learn more.

Re-focusing On What Matters

So many of us go through the motions when it comes to our day-to-day work, but the last couple of years truly changed all of that. The way we work, the way we manage, and the way we interact are just a few of the areas that were turned upside down for so many of us. It tested our resilience, our patience and most likely, our mindset. Usually the New Year is a time to hit the reset button with refreshed energy. However, after recent events you and your team are probably feeling burned out and overwhelmed. This can lead to a negative mindset that doesn’t help any department move forward.

How can you help your employees start the New Year with a fresh, focused mindset when everyone is still reeling from recent challenges? If there’s one area you should focus on, it’s relationships. Employees need connection, support, and guidance from management and peers in order to feel engaged and valued. Here are a few commitments you can make in the coming months to refocus and improve mindset:

Reconnect with your team. To effectively manage your team, it’s important to understand their values, interests and strengths. Make it a goal this year to get to know them better and develop a plan to have team members connect with each other more effectively going forward.

Make goal creation a shared task. We’ve all dealt with feelings of isolation during the past years, so including team members in the goal creation process makes them feel included, valued, and part of the organization. It gives everyone a chance to reflect on what worked last year, what didn’t, and how to move forward with renewed energy.

Share more performance information. No one wants to feel like they’re being kept in the dark. Team members are much more likely to be engaged and focused when they receive clear feedback. If this is an area that you neglected over the past months, now is the time to start reengaging with team members.

The past years have challenged us all, but if there’s one lesson we can take from all of this, it’s the importance of strong relationships for building a positive team mindset. This year, commit to enhancing employee relationships through observing, listening, and guiding. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help you start the New Year off strong by offering coaching seminars that focus on developing a productive, postive mindset. For more information, contact us at 301-670-0051 or email leah@lmja.com.

Get The New Year Started Off Right. How to Reach Your Goals in 2022

“Do you have a New Years resolution?” Once January hits, it’s a common question that strikes fear in the heart of many. The New Year means a fresh start, a clean slate. Yet, so many of us feel like we still haven’t reached our goals from last year, let alone ready to tackle what we want to achieve in 2022.

Each year, you start out motivated, enthusiastic and with the best intentions. You’ve identified a goal (or two) and this time, you’re REALLY going to put in the work, see it through, and accomplish your goal once and for all. Then “things” start to get in the way, like time, finances, and life. All those good intentions are replaced with excuses and, before you know it, that goal you set out to achieve seems impossible to accomplish.

How can you make this year different? It’s time to put pen to paper and outline what you hope to achieve. Writing out your goals is a great way to get all those ideas out of your head and into a format where you can break them down, tweak them and provide yourself with some accountability. Here are four key tips to get started:

1) Tackle Scary Thoughts and Acknowledge Your Fears. There’s an acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. Yes, your goal may seem scary and you start to doubt yourself. We’ve all experienced fear, but the key is to outline where your fears lie, what fears are true and what aren’t based in reality. Write down, “what’s the worst that could happen?” And then, “what’s the best that could happen?” When you come up with answers for each, you’ll see that the pros always outweigh the cons.

2) Break Down the Various Steps to Get There. Let’s say you want to save money to take your dream vacation. You break your goal down further and decide to start by saving $1,000 over the next three months. Now, here’s how you can break it down even more to make it actionable, remembering that you don’t have to tackle every task at once:

  • Write down how much money you make each month after taxes
  • Write down all the places that you spend money over the course of a month or several months
  • Look at all the places you spend money and figure out where you can spend less – cut back on daily coffee runs, streaming services and other similar places
  • Examine if there are any ways you could earn extra money over the next few months

3) Schedule Time to Work on Tasks. Scheduling each task is a great way to manage your list because you have a plan of when to tackle a little bit of your goal. Maybe it’s 15 minutes in the morning and you set a timer. Or pull out your calendar and write down a designated time. Put aside the “someday I’ll do it” and just accomplish one task. However small it may seem, the act of doing SOMETHING can build confidence and start to put a goal-achieving plan into action.

4) Make a Plan for When Life Gets In the Way. Life can throw you curve balls, but don’t let those challenges derail your goals. There’s power in planning for obstacles in advance. Having a contingency plan prevents frustration and enables you to keep moving forward.

There are so many things that can stop us from making our goals a reality. But with the right tools and mindset in place, we can calm the voices in our head saying we can’t do it and move towards meaningful change. Make 2022 the year that you accomplish your goals with the help of a coach who can listen, advise and help keep you accountable. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s work together to make your goals a reality.

 

The Difference Between Resolutions and Goals

The calendar has changed to 2022 and you’ve vowed to make some lofty changes: healthier, more productive, better grip on your finances. The New Year is ripe with promise. All it will take is to make some resolutions. Or maybe some goals. But wait. What exactly is the difference? Turns out, quite a bit.

Resolutions are really just a statement of intent. They’re not as powerful as goals, because goals, when set correctly, include a level of accountability and measurement to move you towards a desirable outcome. Let’s looks at few examples:

Resolutions:

  • To spend less time online
  • To lose weight
  • To read more books
  • To save money

Now, let’s turn those resolutions into more powerful goals:

  • I will check my email three times per day and will reply to everything immediately. I will spend a maximum of 45 minutes a day on social media and will set a timer to keep myself accountable.
  • I will keep a food log of everything I consume in a day to see where I can cut back on sugar, processed foods, etc. I will only order take-out or eat in a restaurant one time per week. I will schedule time to exercise 3 times per week.
  • I will choose a book to read each month and immediately order it from Amazon or check it out from the library. I will schedule time to read 1 hour per day.
  • I will schedule time to review my finances and see where I can cut back on spending. I will only buy my coffee 2 times per week and will schedule time in the morning to make it at home on the other days.

That’s a powerful difference. Setting goals is so much more attainable because they’re part of a journey. You’re setting a path towards reaching a better place in your life.

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Success is within your reach and with the right coach to help you along your path, there’s no telling what 2022 has in store for you! Leah M. Joppy and Associates can work with you to identify your goals and create a realistic action plan. We’ll also support you through every step of the process by providing accountability and helping you overcome obstacles. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s work together to make your goals a reality.