Management Coaching, A Review: Rebecca Annette Mulungi, Health Communications Specialist

In my short career life so far, I was quickly elevated to a managerial role where I was responsible for five people. This was nerve-racking to me from the start and I began looking into ways I could make the team reach full potential. For the first year, I experienced several changes that also occasionally posed as challenges and I must say, it was sheer luck that the work aligned and there was a high level of productivity. This was also partly due to the great team I was working with then. Unfortunately, during the year that followed, I was faced with more challenges not only from my immediate team but also other departments at work that I had to interface with. This became very tasking and eventually took a toll on my social, mental and physical well-being. I needed something to realign my work and enable me to manage and work with different people to deliver to my fullest potential without losing a grip on what’s important to me in the process.

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Delegation: I had always acknowledged the importance of delegation, but I had barely put it into action. From this session, I appreciated the need to trust people I supervise with the tasks I have delegated to them. In the past, I have allowed work to overwhelm me with an underlying fear that others might not accomplish tasks according to my standards, or in time. I realized that as a manager, this is deprivation of growth from the people I manage. Furthermore, I got to appreciate the importance of developing the team by letting them handle tasks while being particular with the desired outcome and timelines without limiting their methods of getting the work done.

Check-ins: This component is something I have applied in the past with the people I supervise but, the point that resonated the most for me under this is creating a regular check-in culture with my supervisor. Even with a busy schedule, I need to be able to update my manager on my progress and get a feedback session before moving forward with other tasks. I have realized in the past, that since my supervisor and I have no regular check-in schedule, even though she makes time when she can, there are projects that fall through the cracks because they haven’t been followed on well. Some are innovations that need my supervisor’s attention but due to lack of regular check-ins, I often lose morale for them.

Working with an assistant: Another point of introspection over the eight weeks was about the need for supporting the growth of one’s assistant. They should be allowed the chance to learn, support other managers and when the time is right, be ready to let them go as a way of giving them a chance at greater challenges or promoting them to a position worth their achieved skills and knowledge.

Managing myself: During this session, I appreciated the need for me to value my time as a manager. This is by focusing on what really needs my time at that particular moment, what I can delegate, what I can put in the parking lot – but all revolving around the need to schedule every single detail for easy follow up. In addition, I am actively exercising the helicopter theory – ‘I am agile enough to pause and get down when the need arises.’

There’s things that I took from the class that will always be at the back of my mind. For instance:

  • Constantly remembering that everything is important and will eventually happen – therefore reemphasizing the need for scheduling
  • Sandwich the big tasks with smaller tasks in order to get more things done
  • Manage my calendar so that I can know where to fit each need
  • For everything that comes my way, I should Sort – Filter – Funnel for priority

As a manager, I now know my impact on someone’s career path, choices and experiences especially if I am their first point of contact. This resonates with me because if I had not had a supportive supervisor at the start of my career, I do not think I would have been as enthusiastic about my work or even ambitious to do and try more.

I must say every class was unique, and I got acquainted with facets of management that I am not yet in a position to actively use, but I am sure will need in the near future, This class was worthwhile because it isn’t knowledge that one would find anywhere. It amplifies the seemingly simple notions often ignored or mishandled at the expense of productivity in the workplace.