Andrew’s role as account manager for a consulting firm required him to sit in on most of the meetings held by Leah, his project manager at their firm’s most important client.
In Monday’s weekly status conference-call, although Leah ran the meeting, Andrew observed that she didn’t exactly ‘take charge’ of it. She was a little hesitant to start, wanting to wait a few minutes for everyone to report in. She proceeded through the agenda items, reciting issues and risks without offering detailed explanations or mitigation strategies.
Not aggressive enough
Andrew was a bit dismayed, knowing Leah had a more aggressive approach to her work. He made a mental note of the observation.
Two days later, Leah managed an all day requirements overview with ablended team of firm and client employees.
In this meeting, Andrew expected Leah to introduce the meeting and provide the team an overview of the agenda so they had an idea of what to expect for the day. He was disappointed to see her gloss over the agenda and start in to the meeting.
Additionally, when the discussions went off on tangents, she didn’t take control of the meeting to get it back on track.
A positive ass kicking
The next day, he sat down to discuss these observations with her. He told her that he knew she was an aggressive go-getter, but she had acted a bit too passive. He wanted her to be more ‘take charge’ in her meetings and interactions with the client.
She told him that she wasn’t aware of her passive behavior, but understood what he was talking about. She thanked him for his feedback.
As she left the office, she realized that she needed a kick in the ass. And she appreciated getting one without getting her ass kicked.
There is a way to correct people and set them down the right path without making them feel like they’ve failed or fear for their job. A good manager communicates it in the right way.
And a good employee appreciates getting the advice.
If you would like to learn more about working in consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at Amazon.com
As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms