Manage Yourself

It’s funny how themes seem to emerge when I’m coaching. Recently three different clients were experiencing very similar problems; a disinterested boss.

They weren’t being bullied, they loved their jobs, the pay was fine, the environment was fine. They simply had managers who took very little interest in what they did and in their development.


It’s not surprising it bothered them so much; a survey from Gallop revealed that having a manager who took an interest in, and regularly praised staff, was in the top ten factors for satisfaction with work.

My clients had partly solved their dilemma by investing in coaching (and one had persuaded her boss to pay, clever her!) but if that’s not an option what can you do?

Tips for Managing Yourself

You can’t rely on getting  a good manager but if you’ve had one in the past, it helps to be specific about what made them good. Your list of requirements may be very different from someone else so just be honest about what you need.

  • Is it support to do your job?
  • Is it an ear to act as a soundboard for ideas?
  • Is it to be stretched, developed and challenged?
  • Is it to signpost you to further training?
  • Is it to connect with other areas of your company, be kept in the loop?
  • Do you need some validation or praise for your role?

Once you have specified for yourself what you are missing, think widely about your network and see if you can get these elements elsewhere in the organisation.

For example, if several of you feel the same, you might be able to set up a lunch time support group. Or maybe a professional group when each person takes turns to present a case/example/issue for discussion? This is a very good way to develop everyone!


Maybe co-coaching is the way to go? Find another person with a similar interest to you in their career, not necessarily someone you really like, (but respecting them is essential.)

Agree the aims and boundaries of your co-coaching arrangement. You may choose, for example, to meet for 45 minutes in a lunch hour. One of you has fifteen minutes to share your issue when all attention is focussed on the speaker (no sharing of anecdotes or butting in with your own experiences). The listener can speak but only to clarify her understanding of the issues.

The remaining 30 minutes are dedicated to looking at strategies to help the speaker. At the end of the session you should have a mini action plan for strategies to try with a date by which they will be done. the next session you swap roles.

Listen and Prepare

I use this type of partnership working on my training and it’s amazing how successful it can be. The key is to really listen and for the speaker to prepare beforehand, be honest and listen to the suggestions offered in return.

If you’ve tried this I”d love to know if it worked for you. And if you’ve any tips to share, let’s hear them!

P.S. If you’d like to discuss your own coaching options, you can simply call me on 01761 438749, no obligation, or use this link


Posted on February 4th, 2010 by

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