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I am soliciting advice for helping my directs develop plans to improve their relationships with others in our organization.

A bit of background: I am 4 weeks into a new position leading a team of 6 Project Managers in an integrated marketing company. This is my 1st role with direct reports. I started O3s in week 2.

My team is comprised mostly of High Cs with a generous dash of S. Last week I asked my directs to list their 6-8 most important relationships in the agency. This week I am having them form plans to improve those relationships over time.

For some peer O3s are appropriate, for others more casual tactics, but I have met some resistance. Not to the idea of improving relationships, instead how to best go about it. 2 of my directs are pretty young and I think they are uncomfortable asking senior people for 1/2 an hour a week. 

I look forward to your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

dmb41carter36's picture

I would reccomend the cast  that describes "Project Manager one on one's". You should get some help there.

Remind them that people often only share things when they are in private (if they are aware of DiSC this would be the C's and S's).

I would also considering on focusing on the relationships that are critical to the top projects. Just because they consider the relationship "Important" doesn't mean it's what is required to get the major projects done. For example, if your direct is running a project in the Pencil production department where they are getting a new pencil machine. Your direct tells you that he has a good relationship with the  production department manager. But the project reqwuires a high captial investment. You know that historically, finance will ask you for the stars and the moon for justification. In this example,a contact in the Finance department is more important the production department. . 

Arturo's picture

Help your directs BE the best and the senior people will seek them.  .

I recommend you consider slowing down regarding adding new initiatives for at least two more months.  The rule is wait 90 days before implementing any new initiatives.  Great job doing the one-on-ones it is going to be helpful in working through those relationships.  It is obvious you know that you need to fit in, fit in, fit in.  Focus on accomplishments and communication skills.  How do we do this?  Start with effective one-on-ones, give real time and regular feedback, coaching can focus on communication if you still feel it is the priority

I am a high I and it is not my natural tendency to wait and think, I like to act, but I can't begin to tell you how effective it has been to use the time to further work through my plans.  

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Arturo's picture

Help your directs BE the best and the senior people will seek them.  .

I recommend you consider slowing down regarding adding new initiatives for at least two more months.  The rule is wait 90 days before implementing any new initiatives.  Great job doing the one-on-ones it is going to be helpful in working through those relationships.  It is obvious you know that you need to fit in, fit in, fit in.  Focus on accomplishments and communication skills.  How do we do this?  Start with effective one-on-ones, give real time and regular feedback, coaching can focus on communication if you still feel it is the priority

I am a high I and it is not my natural tendency to wait and think, I like to act, but I can't begin to tell you how effective it has been to use the time to further work through my plans.  

.  

 

mfculbert's picture

 I agree with the idea of not rushing into new initiatives. As Mark says (quoting John Lucht) "Fit in, fit in, fit in." AND while you are doing that, continue with the O3s and build your relationships with your directs.

It is totally appropriate during your time of the O3 to ask them who the important contacts are. It is also highly appropriate for you to talk about how your connections have made you successful. After 90 days of trust building and sharing your thinking, many of your directs should be more wiling to try new steps on their own.

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