Success Stories

Operations Manager

WHEN A STRENGTH BECOMES A WEAKNESS

A strong leader with a drive for delivering a quality service, this manager realised he had to modify his direct approach if he wanted to resolve performance problems quickly. As a field manager he was responsible for ensuring his team of engineers responded in a timely and efficient manner to client problems. A failure at his level impacted the organisation’s KPIs. However, his commitment to ‘getting it right’ meant he resorted to command and control, which upset both suppliers and staff. His strength was his passion for doing a job well and seeing it through to the end, however, this could also trip him up when he felt frustrated by lack of progress.

The team leader wanted time to step back from the pressure of the job to examine his behaviour and evolve a more effective way of influencing his colleagues. We reviewed past situations so that he could see the pattern which led to his behaviour and what it might be like to be on the receiving end. He could see there was a point where he needed to step back and recognize I can’t solve this problem and I need to pass it on to someone who can. He needed to let go of the issue before he got too wrapped up in it and lost perspective.

Over the next few months he practised biting his lip, while recognizing his tendency to get cross, frustrated and then shout. It was hard going because he just wanted to do a great job. But he also came to see there was a cut off point – he could either let it go or escalate it.

By the end of the programme he reported feeling less in the thick of things and more able to consider consequences in advance, which meant he now avoided knee jerk reactions. He also felt calmer and more considered, which subsequently enabled him to make better decisions. There are many ways to gain cooperation and this team leader had started to explore more productive ways of influencing others.

Success Story Profile

Leadership Level

Team Leader

Programme Duration

7 months

Key Outcomes

  • Avoiding knee jerk reactions
  • Improved decision making
  • Reduced stress and frustration

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