Burying your head in the sand serves no purpose
Internationally certified team coach Angela van Dorssen talks about her daily practice.
“When I started as a manager in this team, I told them that I only want to hear about the positive in meetings.” This is a quote from a senior manager during a training course. The week before, I happened to be training some of his employees, who had confidentially expressed their frustrations and fears. Out of genuine curiosity, I asked: “Where can your employees turn to with their emotions?” Then there was silence … We continued with the training.
A few weeks later, a Young professional called in tears and panic. Her manager had lashed out at her on the app. She felt worthless and thought it was all her fault. She didn’t know what to do and was afraid of the consequences. Reading the messages she sent me in confidence, showed contempt and abuse of power. Yes, she may have misunderstood the assignment AND that does not justify this type of behaviour at all.
Managers also get tired
As a manager, you have a huge impact and I see that this is sometimes forgotten in times of crisis. Not surprising, actually. Managers face an extra tough job in these times. They also miss personal contact and have their own workload to manage, mainly from home. They also lose loved ones and, in the middle of arranging a funeral, still open their laptop for that important online meeting. They feel a responsibility for the results at a time when the economy is under pressure and every euro is needed to ensure business continuity. Their managers remind them of this every day. The pressure is rising …
We are not robots
I have said it before, we can no longer ignore conversations about emotions. We are not robots that you can just reset the next day and then everything is working again. What we need is space, ventilation and a generous dose of human kindness with support, care for each other and understanding. The great thing is – human kindness is free and never runs out!
What do you say to that?
I sometimes feel the helplessness of standing on the sidelines. I sometimes miss my old job as a manager. Not for long – because usually in a week like this, conversations arise in which people experience the magic of self-direction. To be reminded of what they stand for based on their values. They make courageous choices, even when there are worries. Leaders who, through tears in their eyes, are committed to support an industry that is struggling. To me, that is what leadership is all about.
What do you say to that?Team coaching