Promotion to Management: To Do or Not to Do?

When to promote and who to promote? In my work as a leadership coach, I see people succeeding as individual contributors; their strengths are being used in the best possible way. Then because they are dependable and effective they get promoted to a managing or supervising role and suddenly they are no longer responsible for doing the work, they are in charge of assuring that others do the work.

Many first-time managers are not even aware of this distinction and will continue doing the work and just expect their direct reports (many of whom used to be their peers) to keep doing the work. But who is overseeing the work and what are the new skills that are required in the new role?

People who enjoy being in the technical role (detail, precision, doing what they do best) may not want to be a manager. They may never stop to even ask the question: What will be different in the new role I’m being offered and are those differences something I think I would enjoy? Most people when offered a promotion and a pay raise will jump at the opportunity without asking important questions.

The same applies to the company’s talent management department, are they asking the right questions? Does this person like to work alone or in groups? Does this person have good people skills? Can they influence people in a positive way? Do they have good time-management skills? Can they mentor and teach those below them? Can they discipline if necessary? Can they assure their team delivers on time and within budget? Does this person realize they will be responsible for annual or semi-annual employee evaluations? How well will they handle relationships with those peers that will now become direct reports? What evidence do I have for any of these answers?

Asking these questions and having discussion are very necessary steps in the promotion process. Then if it is decided that promotion is the next step please set the new manager for success by getting him/her the support they need: training and coaching!

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~ by transformativethoughts on June 25, 2015.

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