A Career Coaching Blueprint for Newly Minted Managers

January 14, 2015

The words, “Congratulations on your promotion to manager!” are exciting to hear coming from your boss. Depending on the company and role, it can mean many things—from being responsible for larger client relationships to growing your business. Likely, it also means you are now responsible for your team’s professional development and advancement. Put another way, whether you realized it initially or not, you are now a career coach.

As you move into the role of manager, I recommend you quickly consider whether you have a checklist for tracking your effectiveness. If not, I hope that my personal checklist can serve as a blueprint for you when the time comes to create your own…

1. Your Success is Their Success.
Your work and success are now linked to your team’s ability to perform collectively and succeed individually. Supporting your team’s career development should always be on your to-do list. Help them achieve their next milestone—be it a promotion, award or accolade from a client or fellow employee.

2. Find Those Coachable Moments.
Don’t wait for the “ideal moment” to provide feedback, because likely it will never come. Instead, set aside time for regular career development conversations and make a point to provide real-time feedback and counseling while in the middle of a project or workday.

3. Create Win-Win Situations.
You cannot teach attitude or behavior, but what you can do is provide personal, case-based, examples of attitudes and behaviors proven to work well within your organization. Help your team add value both to their professional worth, and your organization’s culture, by identifying and sharing these win-win opportunities.

4. Be an Ambassador of Good Vibes.
Positive people are better performers, but sometimes good-vibes are hard to come by in crisis situations. My solution is simple: put your “positivity hat” on! Corny, yes… but a little humor and a can-do spirit does wonders for team morale.

5. Knowledge is the Key.
Learn about your employees’ background and personal lives. Aside from building a stronger workplace bond, the information can be invaluable when determining team efficiency. Is there a challenging family situation? A long commute? Would a flexible work schedule work here? It helps to pay attention to these details.

Being an effective career coach is about being an open-minded and enthusiastic leader. One who proactively asks the right questions and provides helpful counseling. I hope these tips help you foster an optimistic and enthusiastic culture within your team.

Anna is an Account Director in our Moscow office. Her areas of expertise include executive visibility and CEO-level communications, corporate media relations and reputation management.