January 11, 2023

How to Manage a Team

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
Know what is most important to you in your career as well as what changes you need to make. Melissa guides you step by step with this proven framework she uses with her clients.
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84% of workers say poorly trained people managers create a lot of unnecessary work and stress and 50% of employees quit their boss NOT their job. (SHRM, Gallup)

In today’s episode of Your Worthy Career, we’re going to talk about managing a team. I’m going to talk about some of the issues that exist with industry management training, and I’ll share five specific things that you need to manage a team effectively and be a standout leader.  

Stay tuned, because I’m going to announce a brand new way that you can master these five things that I’m going to talk about so that you can overcome the challenges that prevent you from being as effective as you could be from the very beginning of your leadership journey.

Definition of management and leadership

Before I get too deep, let me define ‘management’ and ‘leadership’, because I use these interchangeably. 

I believe you can be a leader at any level, regardless of direct reports. I define ‘management’ as having the responsibility to delegate the work of at least one person. You may not have that person reporting to you on paper, but for the purpose of their work and deliverables, you’re the one that’s guiding their work. If that’s the case, I would consider you a manager.

Lack of training and development

One of the common dilemmas I see in the industry is the lack of management or leadership development that is equitable and available to everyone. Not all companies have the resources for management development, so they rely on conferences, off-the-shelf training you can buy online, or learning on the job.

Whether you’re part of a big company, a small one, or anywhere in between – management and leadership training is lacking. The training is often outdated, only speaks to high-level strategies, lacks application, isn’t accessible to everyone, or just doesn’t exist at all. And then you have the issue of having management training in real-time. 

This is a complex problem, and even well-intended companies have challenges in solving it. Because of all of the nuances, it’s really difficult to get it right.

What people managers need

What our people managers need is a holistic approach that is relevant and actionable, that can be applied right away, and that gives you a space to practice and learn without judgment. One that focuses on the strategic skills all people managers need that actually make a difference in productivity and overall effectiveness.

There are five key areas that I believe makeup standout leaders. These areas are not only going to make a difference in how effective you are as a leader but also the impact and legacy of your team, which to me is a very important part of leadership. When you master these five things, you and your team will get attention in the best way, your engagement surveys will rise through the roof, you become the leader that other people want to work for, and other leaders will try to figure out how you became so great.

Are you ready? I’m going to share them with you now.

Be clear

You need to be clear on your role as a leader, your philosophy, who it is that you want to be, and the legacy you want to have. What is going to guide your decisions when things get tough? 

When you aren’t clear on who you are and the leader you want to be, you end up being confused, having a hard time making decisions, and wanting to make decisions by consensus so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. You worry about doing right by people or that people won’t like you. You doubt your strategic plans. 

Manage yourself

Next is a skill that is going to have a ripple effect on every part of management, and impact your leadership career for years to come, and that is being able to manage yourself. 

We all have biases. We all have brains that filter and distort information. When you don’t understand how your brain works and you don’t have the tools to manage it, you will undoubtedly make mistakes and be more stressed. This is how good leaders end up coming across as non-inclusive, not caring, poor communicators, or not seeing the value of their employees.

So many management issues can be avoided when leader can manage themselves and their biases. 

Communication skills

You need to be an effective communicator. Not just the basic effective communicator that all jobs require, but you need to know how to use emotional intelligence, how to give and receive feedback even when it’s hard, to manage up, to influence others on behalf of you and your team, and to get buy-in for outlandish ideas.

This skill won’t just make you a great leader, but it will impact all parts of your career. 

Develop others

The fourth area is being able to develop others and having productive development conversations. You need to be an ally for your employees to figure out if they are really engaged and to be able to coach them through problems.

Lack of development is the main reason employees leave, so doing this effectively and knowing how to do this is going to make a huge difference. 

Psychological safety

I think psychological safety is a bit of a buzzword these days, as it’s gotten more popular. Psychological safety is essentially creating trust and belonging within your team, so they can be a high-performing team that navigates conflict effectively, speaks up, and produces at a high level.

Creating psychological safety during times of organizational change was the focus of my thesis in grad school. Fun fact: a highlight for me was when I got to meet Amy Edmondson in real life, who is the Harvard Business School professor and researcher who coined the term psychological safety. How cool is that?

The result of being a standout leader

Knowing who you are and the leader you want to be, being able to manage yourself and your brain, mastering communication skills, being able to develop others, and creating psychological safety in your team. If you learn and develop these five things, you will be the standout leader you want to be. You will be the leader everyone wants to work for.

Work will be easier because your team will be high functioning and engaging. You won’t have unnecessary turnover or employee relations issues. You won’t be working 60+ hours a week, trying to compensate for your team, or just stressing out about your team and doubting yourself on and off work hours.

The Standout Leader Incubator

If you want to guarantee that you master the five areas that I define as a standout leader, then you want to join my new program: The Standout Leader Incubator.

I have been working with leaders in my coaching practice, and I know the challenges that exist. I also know that you don’t want this to stop you. You don’t want these circumstances and lack of training to stop you from being the leader you want to be. You want to be seen as the best. You want your people to want to work for you and with you.

The Standout Leader Incubator will enable you to master who you are as a leader, define your leadership philosophy, manage yourself and your brain so you don’t let bias get in your way, don’t self-sabotage, and build the confidence to do new and hard things. You will communicate effectively at all levels, even in the most difficult situations. You will be an ally and know how to develop others as well as be truly inclusive and create psychological safety in your team. 

The incubator will also enable you to apply hands-on what you learn through Skill Labs. These are dedicated spaces for you to get real-time support and challenge you to apply what you learn.

The Standout Leader Incubator is a three-month group coaching program with other people managers in the industry.  It is where you collaborate and learn with other high-achieving women like you. We are revolutionizing the industry. Join the wait list and get all of the details at yourworthycareer.com/incubator.



What you’ll learn:

5 things you need to become a standout leader

Issues with leadership and management training and how to address them

What life looks like as a standout leader


Mentioned in this episode:

Episode: The 1 Leadership Behavior You Need

Join the waitlist for The Standout Leader Incubator

Work with Melissa
Learn more about 1-1 Coaching

Join Melissa’s VIP Email Insiders



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Transcript

Welcome to your worthy career. A podcast with me. Melissa. Lawrence. I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate credit and talent development and organizational psychology.

And I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self-worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader. We are shattering the glass ceiling here, the one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critics. Each week you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies.

You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of woo so you can run your career with ease rather than your career running you. You were born for more and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up-level begins now.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Your Worthy Career. I hope you have started this year with all the anticipation for what is possible for you. Just relishing in the possibilities that a new year brings. Because this year will be like no other. Every year we get in our lives, every day for that matter is a gift.

And this year is just going to be the year that you step into your next level. I really feel that in my bones. I can feel it for me. And if you’ve been listening for a while, you know the journey I’ve been on with the rebrand to Your Worthy career. And I can feel it for you too.

Things are shifting. Every conversation I’m having with clients, with my family, with my children, they’re all talking about the shift. They don’t use these words, of course, but just the changes in the energy, the way things are moving within the school system, within our society, and how we’re interacting with each other within the workplace. The expectations for managers are shifting. The expectation for the way we treat each other is shifting.

The way we look at inclusion and even talk about it has changed from just a year ago and there’s so much work to do in that space. Let’s just be real. But I have seen improvement. Now, of course, there will always be companies that will lag, there will always be issues that exist within our society and of course, there are going to be people that take longer to get on board. But these shifts are happening for the better.

And this is the year. I just know big things are going to happen for you. And I know that by you listening to this podcast you are on the front end of these shifts that are happening because just by being here, you are positioning yourself to grab those opportunities and step into what you truly want. I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately with clients who don’t see their talents as superpowers. A lot of the work that I do is really helping you see the strengths that you have and leveraging those.

And we know things that we’re good at sometimes, but when things come naturally to us, they don’t necessarily feel special. So you may appreciate or think other people are maybe more impressive or successful and you’re not seeing kind of their psyche, right? So it’s a whole other topic. But then also you’re not seeing your own unique value and strengths and talents because they’re just so second nature to you. But you being here, even listening to this podcast on this topic, tells me that you care about your developments and that is putting you a cut above the rest.

Now, today we’re going to talk about managing a team and I’m going to talk about some of the issues that exist with industry management training. And I’m going to share with you five specific things that you need to manage a team effectively and be what I call a standout leader. I want you to stay tuned because I’m going to announce a brand new way that you can master these five things that I’m going to talk about with me directly so that you can overcome the challenges that I’m going to be sharing that prevent you and other leaders from being as effective as they could be from the very beginning, or even after years and years of reading all the books and taking all of the company training. So let’s get into it. Now, management is a hot topic for me.

It always is. If you go back through the episodes, you’ll see. I have done several episodes on management and leadership, and I talk about this from a couple of angles on the podcast. One from being how you can work best with your manager, but then also how to be an effective manager and leader. And before I get too deep, let me define management and leadership because I use these interchangeably.

I believe you can be a leader at any level, regardless of direct reports. And I define management as having the responsibility to delegate the work of at least one person, in this industry, with the way that we work within matrix teams, you may not have that person reporting to you on paper, but for the purpose of their work in Deliverables, you’re the one that’s guiding their work. So I would consider that a manager. Now, one of the common dilemmas I see in the industry is the lack of management or leadership development that is equitable and available to everyone. Not all companies have the resources for management and development, so they rely on conferences, off the shelf training.

You can buy online or just kind of learning on the job. And the companies that do have a budget or even allocated departments that specialize in training and development. The training is usually so big or at such a high level because it needs to appeal to many sites that it isn’t necessarily relevant to day-to-day work. And they may even be exceptionally designed programs with the best instructional designers that look very visually appealing and have even really solid content. But they’re appealing to the masses.

And so it’s not super relevant to your team, your unique problems and solutions. Or they go the opposite end and give you a full suite and you’re overwhelmed with all the different tools and options for learning and frameworks and all the things. And who has the time to study all of that and then try to actually apply it in your next one-on-one or team meeting? So what you end up learning is abroad and it’s not in the context of your team or the work that you do. And the application piece is also missing.

So you can consume the best content all day, but if your brain misinterprets it or you don’t actually apply it, then what good is it, right? Another problem is companies will create leadership development as a perk or incentive, where only certain employees get to participate, where you have to be nominated or selected. And when you have a bias in the workplace, the people that are nominated and selected are also coming from bias. Or some companies have development programs, say just for women, because they have an inclusion strategy to raise women’s presence in the leadership team. But those are often based on outdated kind of brosky, management tactics, and philosophies.

They tell women to look a certain way, to talk a certain way, and then they will be deemed good leaders. So whether you’re part of a big company, a small one, or anywhere in between, management and leadership training is lacking. The training is often outdated, too high level lacks application, isn’t accessible to everyone, or just doesn’t exist at all. And then you have the issue of having management training in real-time. Now, this is problematic for companies because let’s say you get promoted to be a manager tomorrow.

Are they going to hold a management program for just you? No, probably not. So the training is either written or if it’s something you read, or maybe it’s an online e-learning module. And if it is in person, it’s usually on an enrollment of once a year. And the other issue is that we don’t proactively develop employees for their new leadership roles.

Even if they do get management training, they’re getting it when they’re already managers, when ideally their development and training would start earlier. Right? This is a complex problem and even well-intended companies have challenges in solving it. I totally get it. I saw it on the inside, I see it on the outside now.

And companies, of them, really try hard to have a really solid development program for their employees. It’s just because of all of the nuances, it’s really difficult to get it right. So it’s no wonder that there are studies that tell us that 50% of employees quit their boss, not their job. That was from Gallup. Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.

Also from Gallup. 84% of American workers say poorly trained people managers create a lot of unnecessary work and stress, and we all know what that leads to. That was reported in 2020 by Sherm, and half 50% feel that their own performance would improve if their direct supervisor received additional training in people management. Sherm also reported that in 2020. And I can cosign all of those stats because I coach people all day, every day around finding new jobs and figuring out their next best path and work.

And a lot of that is often coming from managers that don’t appreciate them, that isn’t recognizing them, that can’t communicate well. There are a lot of issues that go into that, right? And so there are people that can love their job, but because of the culture, because of the management and leadership, they leave. Now, even with how alarming those stats are, there are a lot of great managers out there. And if you’re a manager, you might be one of them.

Managers take their development into their own hands, and the ones that do and that do that well tend to not do so badly. They make it work. I was one of those managers. Now, I have gone through the best programs and even created leadership development programs in the industry. I have a masters in organizational psychology and I coach leaders every day.

But I wasn’t always the expert. I have been a people manager on and off throughout my corporate career. When I worked with the government, I eventually became a supervisor of a local office and ultimately with a statewide leader that was responsible for five sites across the state and about 40 employees, including three managers. I didn’t receive management training. I was in my early twenty s, I did what a lot of my clients end up doing before we work together, which is reading a lot of management books, watching videos, learning on the job, and asking my boss a lot of questions.

Trying to be the best leader for my employees, deliver results for the company, and be the person everyone wanted to work for. And I stumbled along the way. I would love to tell you that I was perfect from the beginning, but I wasn’t. I failed in some situations and had to try multiple times more than others. I had employees that didn’t understand my decisions.

I had times I poorly communicated. I had employees that I needed to fire. I had employees that quit all of the things that you would expect when you’re a manager now. When I moved into the industry, I was an individual contributor for the most part, with the exception of a few years, where I had a small team of one to two people reporting to me directly. And the way that I learned to ultimately be a great people manager was by learning on the job, just like my clients try to do.

But it doesn’t have to be that hard. I was lucky to have a great boss that mentored me during my big management role, but most don’t have that. When I look online for management training, for those of you that are like, okay, I’m going to take it into my own hands, it’s pretty lacking in my opinion. You don’t need to focus on time management or how to stop apologizing as a woman. Right?

What our people managers need is a holistic approach that is relevant and actionable that can be applied right away and that gives you a space to practice and learn without judgments that practice and fail with your employees. One that focuses on the strategic skills all people managers need that actually make a difference in productivity and overall effectiveness. The other issue that typical programs don’t address is the fact that many people struggle with confidence or imposter syndrome, stepping into a new role. They doubt themselves and can have a hard time knowing what to say if they’re saying the right thing, and how to stand out in a smart way among their new management or leadership peers. This just isn’t taught or even addressed when you think of how to manage a team.

I would offer that you forget about all of the confusing and conflicting guidance out there. You can read 100 HBR articles until the cows come home, but it isn’t going to get you closer to taking the best action for your team. Now, there are five key areas that I believe make up stand-out leaders. These areas are not only going to make a difference in how effective you are as a leader but also the impact and legacy of your team, which to me is a very important part of leadership. When you master these five things, these are the things that get you and your team’s attention in the best way, not the worst.

That raises your engagement surveys through the roof, becomes that leader that other people want to work for, and that other leaders are trying to figure out how you got to be so great. Are you ready? I’m going to share them with you. Now. The first is you need to be clear on your role as a leader, your philosophy, who it is that you want to be, the legacy you want to have, what is going to guide your decisions when things get tough when you aren’t clear on who you are and the leader you want to be.

You end up being confused, having a hard time making decisions, looking to other people, and wanting to make decisions by consensus so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. You worry about doing right by people or that people won’t like you. You doubt your strategic plans. Now, next is a skill that is going to have a ripple effect on every part of management and impact your leadership career for years to come, and that is being able to manage yourself. We all have biases.

We all have brains that filter and distort information. When you don’t understand how your brain works and you don’t have the tools to manage it, you will undoubtedly make mistakes and be more stressed. This is how good leaders end up coming across as not inclusive, not caring, poor communicators, and not seeing the value of their employees. So many management issues can be avoided when leader can manage themselves and their brain. The third is communication skills.

You need to be an effective communicator. And not just the basic effective communication that all jobs require, but knowing how to use emotional intelligence, and how to give and receive feedback, even when it’s hard to manage. To influence others on behalf of you and your team, to get buy-in for outlandish ideas, navigate difficult situations and conversations. All of it. This skill won’t just make you a great leader, but it will impact all parts of your career.

The fourth area is being able to develop others, have product development conversations, be an ally for your employees, figure out if they are really engaged, and be able to coach them through problems. This one is huge. Lack of development is the main reason employees leave, so doing this effectively and knowing how to do this is going to make a huge difference. Finally, psychological safety. I think psychological safety is a bit of a buzzword these days as it’s gotten more popular.

Psychological safety is essentially creating trust and belonging within your team so they can be a high-performing team that navigates conflict effectively, speaks up, and produces at a high level. Creating psychological safety during times of organizational change was the focus of my thesis in grad school. Fun fact, but a highlight for me was when I got to meet Amy Edmondson in real life, who is the Harvard Business School professor and researcher who coined the term psychological safety. How cool is that? The foundation of my thesis found that inclusion was the starting point of creating psychological safety.

If you learn and develop these five things, you will be the standout leader you want to be you will be the leader everyone wants to work for. Work will be easier because your team will be high functioning and engaging. You won’t have unnecessary turnover or employee relations issues. You won’t be working 60-plus hours a week trying to compensate for your team or just stressing out about your team and doubting yourself on and off work hours. Now, if you want to guarantee that you master these five areas that I define as a standout leader, then you want to join my new program.

The standout leader incubator. Yes. As I’ve shared with you, I’m well aware of the issues that people managers face in the industry. I’ve been there as a people manager and I was there as the person developing solutions for leaders and providing coaching on the inside. Now, I have been working with leaders in my coaching practice and I know the challenges that exist.

I also know that you don’t want this to stop you. You don’t want these circumstances and lack of trading to stop you from being the leader. You want to be that you want to be seen as the best, that you want your people to want to work for you and with you. That you want to be confident in your ability to lead the team and make strategic decisions, and you don’t take the responsibility of leading your team and their development lightly. I have been thinking through and working on this program for several months and I’m excited to be able to finally open the doors and invite you in.

Over the next couple of months, you are going to hear more about this program. The Standout Leader Incubator will enable you to master who you are as a leader. Define your leadership philosophy, and manage yourself and your brain so you don’t let bias get in your way. You don’t self-sabotage yourself and build the confidence to do new and hard things. You will communicate effectively at all levels and even in the most difficult situations.

You will be an ally and know how to develop others as well as be truly inclusive and create psychological safety in your team. The Incubator will also enable you to apply hands-on what you learn through Skill Labs. These are dedicated spaces for you to get real-time support for challenges you experience. As you apply what you learn, you will use only the best and most practical tools. You will leverage your experience with other leaders like you and you will get coaching to uncover blind spots and ensure you are successful.

You will become the inclusive standout leader that you want to be. The Standout Leader Incubator is a three-month group coaching program with other people managers in the industry. It is where you collaborate and learn with other high-achieving women like you. We are revolutionizing the industry together. Join the waitlist and get all of the details at yourworthycareer.com.

Incubator is time to rise up and that is all for this week’s episode. I hope you have an amazing week and I will talk to you soon.

Thank you for listening to this episode of your worthy career. Visit yourworthycareer.com for full show notes and additional resources to help you on your career journey. Speaking of resources, if you enjoy today’s show, you will love being an email VIP insider where I share training tools and behind-the-scenes content exclusive to my VIP list. Become a VIP and join us at yourworthycareer.com. See you next week.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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