NetSpeed Learning Solutions May 2019
Four Challenges Facing
New Managers
I remember how proud I was to be promoted into my first management role. I supervised the temporary staffing team for a large bank, as well as the administrative team in the employment department. While I was put in charge of the scheduling and day-to-day management, I had little experience providing direction, coaching, giving feedback, and correcting performance problems. In fact, I was managing former peers who didn't seem to take me very seriously.
Looking back, I can see now that I was probably not just annoying but also mightily ineffective. What do I wish I had known then that I know now?
Respect is Earned, Not Bestowed with a Title:   I made the assumption that my new title and role came with some power. I thought I could tell people what to do and they would do it. I was surprised to discover that people not only didn't confer respect with my title, but that they also ignored many of my brilliant ideas about how to improve their processes.
Communication First, Problem Solving Second:  I know now that having open conversations with each person on my team would have smoothed my transition into my new role. I wish I had taken the time to learn more about each person, their goals, their dreams, and how I could best support them. Instead I dove right into things that weren't working (in my opinion) and tried to fix them.
Listening, not Dictating, is Powerful:  Stephen Covey said it best, "Seek first to understand, and then be understood." What that means to me is that people need to surface, talk about, and solve their own problems. I wish I had been a sounding board for them as they talked to me about how to improve their performance and their results. When they brought a problem to my attention, I know now that I should have left that problem in their hands for them to resolve with my support.
My Way is Not the Highway:  Without understanding differences in personal style, I expected everyone to approach their work the way I would. I like to set up systems up for me and others to follow. I was confused by people who went at their tasks and responsibilities differently than I would. I was like a Border Collie trying to herd people to do it my way. It didn't go over very well.
It's humbling now to look back and see where I stumbled through my first year as a manager. Fortunately I had good mentors. I took management training programs and I learned to coach and give feedback more effectively.
If you'd like to learn more about 25 leader behaviors that can support new supervisors and managers to do it better than I did at first, then download my free ebook, "The Other Side of the Desk: Five Leadership Guidelines for New Managers."
To learn more about developing emerging leaders in your organization, join us for our next complimentary webinar, Preparing New Leaders fo Frontline Management on Wednesday, May 15, 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT.
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Cynthia Clay
Trainer Tips:
Laugh at Their Jokes !
I was reminded as I was delivering a web workshop for a group of 15 virtual leaders that people want to laugh. And that the shortest route to a warm, connected, engaged group of learners is through shared humor.
As we started the opening activities in the virtual classroom, one person typed a funny comment. Three others responded, "LOL" and as I watched the chat window, a little humor fest started. I had a choice in that moment. I could ignore it, or I could laugh whole-heartedly. I was on camera so they could see my face as I read the funny comment out loud and giggled at the joke. For just a few seconds, we were all laughing together. Then I smiled and started the segment again, redirecting their attention and focus back to our agenda.
What happens if you don't acknowledge the humor and share the joke? It might seem counterintuitive but ignoring the humor actually results in people joking more, not less, as they strive to get your attention. The path of least resistance is to join in for a few moments. Then basking in that warm camaraderie, you can move the session forward.
Of course, if the humor is inappropriate and you don't want to encourage further comments like that in chat, clear the chat pod (if your platform allows it), or ask a different chat question so that the inappropriate comment is essentially buried in the flow of responses.
Personally I've never had anyone chat something so wildly inappropriate that I was aghast and felt I needed to clear it (and I've been doing this virtual facilitation gig for over a decade). But if it ever happens to you, that's the technique I recommend.
It costs little to laugh at people's jokes, and it's an easy way to warm up the virtual learning environment. So, I'll leave you with this question: Why did the virtual facilitator cross the road? (See what I did there?)
The New Great Webinars is Launched!
The revised and updated Great Webinars is now available for purchase at Amazon. It's hard to imagine that it has been nine years since I first wrote this book. In the latest version, I've updated some of the key points to better reflect improvements in web conference technology. We've also replaced all of the graphic images with more current examples. And, most exciting to me, I've written a new chapter on the cognitive principles that make for great virtual training.
If you want to support the virtual trainers in your organization, consider buying multiple copies of Great Webinars. For single copies, buy it directly from Amazon. For 20 or more copies, contact us directly for a volume discount.
One Final Thought

Upcoming NetSpeed Learning Events
Cynthia Clay's Upcoming Speaking Events
If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference, Cynthia Clay would love to meet you there.

May 20 - 22, 2019
Washington, D.C.
Visit our Booth #1419 
in the Expo Hall!

That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Training
Marriott Marquis, 
Monument Room
Tuesday, May 21, 3 - 4 p.m.

June 17 - 19, 2019
Raleigh, NC
Awards Luncheon: 
Top Ten Articles 
(Training Industry Magazine)


September 17 - 19, 2019
New Orleans, LA
That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Training

Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
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Toll-free: (877) 517-5271

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Seattle, WA 98115