EP 20: Authentic Management with Christy Metcalf

Authentic Management

It’s important to have good management, so in this episode we’ll be talking about our managers and how they lead by being authentic. Christy Metcalf has been a leader in training and development for various organizations for over 20 years. She has recently been working one-on-one with business owners on how to lead their teams and grow them to profitability.

You will get the chance to hear how to create an environment where people are motivated, inspired and able to succeed. Christy discusses why it’s so important to use different communication styles for different people and stresses how important it is to make people feel comfortable to come to you with questions and issues.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • What it means to communicate authentically. (1:32)
  • The importance of clarity without micromanaging. (3:13)
  • The difference between a manager and a leader. (8:05)
  • Where talent pathways and growth plans come in to play. (12:35)
  • Why managers don’t need to know it all. (15:35)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Working with management and teams to create a runway for success. (19:18)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Why you need to get in-touch with your people. (18:01)

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“So much of what we do in business is wrapped up in communication – How we tell people what to do, the meaning behind telling them what to do – and I think as a leader, we bring our own story to the table.” - Christy Metcalf Click To Tweet “You may communicate something to me but in my mind I process it, I have a picture, and I go do that. And I may have the right or the wrong thing in mind.” - Christy Metcalf Click To Tweet “People are inundated and overwhelmed by information all day long and what you told them may not resonate in that moment, they may be thinking of something else – we have to make it easier for them to do their job.” - Christy Metcalf Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Hello everyone and welcome to talent optimization we are chatting today about our managers and how our managers lead through being authentic in the work that they do and what the heck Does that mean right so today on our show.

Traci Scherck: I have Christine metcalf with me and Christie has been a leader in organizations for over 20 years with training and development.

Traci Scherck: And, most recently Christie has been really working one on one partnering with business owners on how to really lead their teams and grow them to profitability so christy welcome to the show.

Christy Metcalf: Thanks Tracy thanks so much for inviting me.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely alright So what does communicate with authenticity mean, and how does this impact your bottom line.

Christy Metcalf: Yes, I think everyone wants to know that question and the answer to it, I think you know when we think about communicating authentically it really it has so many variables to go along with it, but.

Christy Metcalf: it’s really about you, as the communicator that’s when I think of authenticity right and so much of what we do in business is wrapped around communication how we tell people what to do the meaning behind.

Christy Metcalf: telling them what to do, and I think that we as a leader bring our own story to the table.

Christy Metcalf: We bring our baggage we bring our experiences we bring our expertise and the way we communicate with our people right either leaves them feeling empowered like they can do it or.

Christy Metcalf: leaves them feeling like you were the only one in the room that knows how to do it and so really the communication key we talked about it so many times with organizations.

Christy Metcalf: It establishes your culture, it establishes your profit and your bottom line, it establishes how employees feel about being in that organization and working for you.

Traci Scherck: awesome I love it so one of the key things I kind of heard woven in and I just want to pull it out as clarity.

Traci Scherck: Tell me a little bit more about how important clarity is when we’re leading individuals and.

Traci Scherck: And the reason why I bring this up is we’ve had several conversations earlier in the podcast when are talking about onboarding and orientating new employees.

Traci Scherck: that clarity is a key piece to ensuring that we have a really successful onboarding program but also that we’re we have those talent pathways to go throughout the organization, so what Why is clarity so important and how do you do it without micromanaging.

Christy Metcalf: yeah, it is absolutely crucial, there is a fantastic book out that I used to refer to to clients and that was.

Christy Metcalf: Execution gap by Ram Charan and In it, he has a great picture in there, of the leader, you know executive mid level manager who whomever.

Christy Metcalf: communicating the vision of what’s going to happen over the next year and he’s communicating it to all these little stick figures.

Christy Metcalf: And then it shows who actually understands it and goes on to execute and it goes from like hundreds of stick little figures to maybe two or three six figures and.

Christy Metcalf: The reason the clarity is so important and why we have to communicate often.

Christy Metcalf: And with intentionality is because you may communicate something to me, but in my mind I process it, I have a picture and I go do that, and it may be the wrong or the right thing.

Christy Metcalf: But we have to check in with to constantly check in, we have to make sure that people are on the right track.

Christy Metcalf: And I think that you know there’s a way of doing it without micromanaging there’s a way to present it as i’m checking for my.

Christy Metcalf: personal satisfaction not micromanaging you I think it’s a two way street in that you leave the door open as a manager and a leader.

Christy Metcalf: To people to come and ask for clarity for information you reinforce Do you understand what I just gave you, you know i’m a big believer in that.

Christy Metcalf: After I have a conversation with someone I send them an email, and I say this is what we talked about this is what I heard, this is what you agreed to this is what i’m going to do, and if that is not what you heard.

Christy Metcalf: Then please respond within 24 hours, and I think we have to do that for people, people are overwhelmed and inundated with information all day long.

Christy Metcalf: And what you told them may not resonate in that moment, they may be thinking about something else, either at home or business or on the job and we have to help make it easy for them to do their job.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and one of the things that you just stated that I absolutely love is hey that reinforcement after the conversation, and many of our listeners.

Traci Scherck: utilize predictive index religiously are interested in what is this pi tool.

Traci Scherck: And I think something that’s really important there is based on the type of natural behavior we have so for extroverted guess what we want to talk through things but we may not have the details to always follow up on it.

Traci Scherck: versus somebody that’s introverted really needs to think through things and have that agenda ahead of time.

Traci Scherck: So, depending upon the individual that you’re leading you do need to change your leadership style, to ensure that they’re getting the most out of that and then, of course I throw my HR hat on that says, you must document everything or nothing ever happened.

Christy Metcalf: And you know I have done personality assessments with so many teams so many leaders, and it really is about being self aware, is about understanding what your own personal styles are.

Christy Metcalf: so that you can massage and tweak them to get the most out of the individual, you know if you’ve ever.

Christy Metcalf: been part of a little league team or children sports you realize that you cannot coach each individual the exact same way it’s not a one size fits all.

Christy Metcalf: And so it’s up to me is the communicator to understand that I need to change my style to get the best out of this person to get the most productivity to have them feel motivated and inspired to come to work every day, and to do their job that is on me, the owner, the leader, the manager.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely you know, like so as a leader, we are responsible for creating the container for individuals to succeed.

Traci Scherck: Yes, right.

Christy Metcalf: yeah if you look at statistics right people don’t leave companies they leave managers and that is out there.

Christy Metcalf: And we have heard it for years, but it’s so true you know, I have a saying on my wall in my office that people will forget what you say to them and do to them, but they’ll never forget the way you made them feel.

Christy Metcalf: yeah it really that is so apparent and pivotal in a management position, it is all about how the employee feels and.

Christy Metcalf: The clarity, you know their careers are on the line, as when they’re referring to a manager their income bracket is kind of in that person’s hands and there’s a lot of power within that position, and I think that people need to recognize that.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely so tell me a little bit more about the distinction between a great manager and a great leader.

Christy Metcalf: That you know I have done leadership development for the last 20 years and that is always the big question and I think that.

Christy Metcalf: You need both, and I think that an individual has to be both.

Christy Metcalf: And you know most often I think of about a manager, as the tactical pieces of the job right the deliverables the results that you’re producing.

Christy Metcalf: Those things those measurements those kpis key performance indicators every single day, that you are checking off the box, so that the company runs efficiently so that your team is productive, so that the individual has.

Christy Metcalf: The BONUS and the pay that they want, but there’s also this way and how you do it, and I think that’s where the leadership comes in.

Christy Metcalf: And I firmly believe that leadership is a mindset it’s not a position so just because you’re a manager doesn’t necessarily mean that the person behaves like a leader and vice versa.

Christy Metcalf: And you can be a leader and make sandwiches in the Deli just as much as a person who has been entitled with a manager position so.

Christy Metcalf: I really do firmly believe that leading is the way people follow you it’s the excitement and the energy that you bring to the job.

Christy Metcalf: it’s the clarity, you know I think back to one of my earlier positions when I was working for an aerospace company as a consultant.

Christy Metcalf: And there was this manager, who told the story.

Christy Metcalf: Of she was walking the line introducing herself as a new manager to her employees, there was a woman on this production line.

Christy Metcalf: For airplanes and she was putting wires together and the new manager stopped and she said, you know what are you doing she said, putting while wires together and she said, well, what are the wires do and the woman had absolutely no idea what they did.

Christy Metcalf: And she had been doing that job for 17 years, so the manager went and she researched with the wires did, and she came back to her and she said.

Christy Metcalf: I just want you to know that what you do every day, is so important, your wires make the emergency lighting system on an airplane.

Christy Metcalf: And she said at that point, the employees eyes lit up and, like her work had value.

Christy Metcalf: And so the next thing that they were doing an employee or a customer walks through you know they have a major airline walking the floor and then just having a stab at this person station.

Christy Metcalf: And the airline said, what do you do right here’s The big question how is she going to answer it and she said.

Christy Metcalf: I put the wires together to make an emergency lighting system on an airplane so in the event of an emergency.

Christy Metcalf: family, friends and my community can get out safely and that is clarity right that is telling them the why behind the job that they’re doing and I think that many leaders and managers lack.

Christy Metcalf: Poorly when it comes to this it’s really showing them the results of the work that they’re doing, and not just the Labor that they’re doing.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely and that’s such a great story, because when we can tie that meaning to it, not only are we more energized in the work that we’re doing but we kind of ripple that out through the rest of our organizations and customers clients as well, so thank you so much.

Traci Scherck: For for that piece of that.

Traci Scherck: You know, and this kind of goes back to what is the strategy that the team has like what is the strategy and the goal that the team has to execute on.

Traci Scherck: so that we know we have the right people on the team right this individual My guess was very technical very results oriented could do those details incredibly well, but if we don’t bring in the Culture piece of it, and why that’s important we start to lose the luster.

Christy Metcalf: yeah we do well and I always share the story of you know, every client that i’ve ever worked with big corporations fortune 500 is every time I go into me with them they’re like I just want you to know our challenges and our problems are unique we’re special.

Christy Metcalf: Special everybody has something unique but I laugh, because over 20 years if I were to take the sign and the name off of the door right at the at the building.

Christy Metcalf: They all have the same challenges, and it really comes down to communication that we started with clarity alignment the right people being in the right seats on the bus.

Christy Metcalf: You know I can’t tell you how many times i’ve worked with managers and leaders who they had the wrong employee.

Christy Metcalf: But they didn’t want to do the documentation that you talked about from an HR person I.

Christy Metcalf: want to put forth the effort either to bring this person up to where they could be performing or to make a decision that they should not be within the organization and I think that those are difficult.

Christy Metcalf: scenarios and yet you know, there are people that have existed for 15 and 20 years in a position, and just been passed along.

Christy Metcalf: And they’re really not even performing to the level that they are, and I don’t believe that anyone comes to work.

Christy Metcalf: There are a few individuals, I always say that I don’t believe that most people go to work every day for eight hours a day, wanting to be miserable wanting to not perform and not deliver.

Christy Metcalf: And I think many times it’s tapping into their why of why they started their why they came to the organization and it’s building a relationship and understanding what they want, out of their career as much as what we want, out of their career for them.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, because we hire the whole person when an individual comes in and we keep the whole person right.

Traci Scherck: And that’s really where those talent pathways come into play inside of an organization.

Traci Scherck: Is you know we’re can individuals grow because guess what every single one of us are not meant to be.

Traci Scherck: managers in an organization, some of us are meant to be amazing experts in a very specific area, so creating those growth plans with influence for individuals is huge, for doing that.

Traci Scherck: And you know when we look at that, though it starts with how are we creating the growth plans for managers and one of the questions that you know seems to come up all the time, is to managers have to know it all.

Christy Metcalf: that’s right yeah and they don’t I think one of the beauties of being a manager, is that you bring your collective wealth of experience and knowledge, but you don’t have to be the expert in that position.

Christy Metcalf: In fact, I think one of the hardest management positions to walk into is one where you’ve been a part of the team and now you’re managing that same team, and there are a lot of.

Christy Metcalf: challenges that come with that you know you have been their friend their colleague and now all of a sudden you’re their boss and and we have to recognize some of those challenges that exist, but it really is, you know when I think about.

Christy Metcalf: The ripple effect that’s what I call it the ripple effect right, you know as a leader of an organization, people will watch what you do more than what you say.

Christy Metcalf: And you know, one of the things I always try to impart is that.

Christy Metcalf: somewhere on a on a evening sitting at dinner, you are someone’s conversation at dinner, you are about the conversation at dinner right the manager the leader.

Christy Metcalf: Of the organization and many times i’ve worked with organizations, where people like to refer today they are in charge, they make the rules they don’t allow us to do this and I always ask the question of you know what it, who is they.

Christy Metcalf: And usually they think of it as some executive C suite position, but the day for many times is that immediate supervisor that they have right.

Christy Metcalf: yeah the culture that shapes the path that you’re talking about this journey that they’re on in their career and.

Christy Metcalf: It really it comes down to they being connected, not only to the larger organizational goals, but the employees goals as well and.

Christy Metcalf: I just love talking about the path and the journey, because that looks different for each individual some people do not want to be managers and people should not be managers.

Christy Metcalf: I designed a workshop called managing the performance of virtual teams, and that was all around you know virtual teams, how do you collectively bring a team together and.

Christy Metcalf: and produce results when they’re not sitting in the same location, which is so you know it’s so appropriate for the last year that what we’d lived in.

Christy Metcalf: But it really is about performance base and making sure that each individual is bringing their strengths and their talents and what lights them up every single day, and if they’re not doing that job, making sure that we help them find the right position to do.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely so when we look at, I want to dig in a little bit more to managers, not having to know it all because they don’t right, but what is the what’s the downside of managers knowing it all, especially as we talk about this talent pathways pieces.

Christy Metcalf: Well, if a manager knows it all they don’t need any of their team Members and I.

Christy Metcalf: At employees check out if a manager knows everything then there’s no reason for me to be there, so the innovation, the creativity, the passion it doesn’t come with the job.

Christy Metcalf: And I think that it’s a balance, you know I think many times when you look at new managers, they feel like they need to know it all, and in reality they don’t they just need to pull the expertise and the skills from the people who are working around them, and with them and.

Christy Metcalf: I go back to that that breath of knowledge that’s the reason you became a manager right you became a manager, because you have lots of information and knowledge in multiple things, not just in the job that’s being done.

Christy Metcalf: Right, so your role is to bring the passion out and to let people do their jobs well.

Christy Metcalf: By removing the barriers, the roadblocks you know the land mines that get in the way of them producing and.

Christy Metcalf: I think that’s it so many first line managers think I do have to know it all but they don’t.

Christy Metcalf: they’ve been promoted to bring the best out in people, and you know 75% of their time should be spent on people development, and yet they get sucked into the minutiae of the meetings and the administrative work and that’s really not where their time should be spent.

Traci Scherck: Right absolutely.

Traci Scherck: You know this concept of not having to know it all there’s absolutely some kind of key tips and tricks to this there’s like the special sauce of how do you do this.

Traci Scherck: And you know I know christy you and I have had so many conversations about this and you have an amazing way of sharing this with our listeners and we just don’t have the time to do that on the show today.

Traci Scherck: But for those of you that are listening, that would be interested in kind of what are those tips and tricks to really.

Traci Scherck: become that manager and leader that doesn’t have to know it all, if you join us.

Traci Scherck: On our next Monday webinar Christie will be joining us actually leading through these key pieces so just keep that in mind, all the information is in the show notes for that.

Traci Scherck: So with that you know as we start to kind of wrap up our conversation today christy you know, two key questions that we ask all of our guests, is what is one key actionable takeaway that an executive can implement right now, today off of our conversation.

Christy Metcalf: I think the one actionable step is to.

Christy Metcalf: get in touch with your people, I see so many executives, who are removed from the day to day problems and the day to day challenges, because.

Christy Metcalf: They think that their first line midline are talking to them, but it’s really getting out and understand what’s going on, you know, one of the.

Christy Metcalf: One of the issues that I saw was I would have people in a leadership program for five days.

Christy Metcalf: And it was this inclusive and sharing and brilliance that came alive, but I knew on Monday that they were going to go back to a lot of the challenges and the.

Christy Metcalf: dysfunction that existed when inside the organization and they feel like they’re not being heard so for executives, I would say here your employees, make it a priority to listen to them really listen to them.

Christy Metcalf: not listen and send out surveys of what you think you want to hear, but just really listen to them, because I think employees have amazing ideas and many times know how to solve many of the challenges that are existing.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely so let’s flip this because it many of our listeners are also HR professionals so what’s that one key actionable takeaway that our HR professionals can really implement in their in their organizations.

Christy Metcalf: With HR I think of you know, many times, they are the face of the organization when an employee starts with the company.

Christy Metcalf: And I think about it, so you know when i’m talking to a business owner, I talked about the value ladder or the customer journey.

Christy Metcalf: And I would challenge HR to think about it, the exact same way, the employee journey right of where they start the touch points I can’t tell you how many times.

Christy Metcalf: i’ve heard an employee start, and then they sit at a desk for five days, looking at a computer with absolutely no.

Christy Metcalf: No real direction, no real path of what they’re supposed to do.

Christy Metcalf: And so I think as an HR partner, you should really be working with the managers and the team to make sure that that runway for success is really laid out and plan and a joint effort not just one doing it, not just you know the team doing it, but really being a partner in there with them.

Traci Scherck: that’s such fantastic insight into that and if you’re looking for more of that we do have two webinars that are recorded in that talent optimization foundation program that kind of digs exactly to what Christie was saying so that’s phenomenal.

Traci Scherck: So christy How can our listeners find you.

Christy Metcalf: Well i’m on linkedin so you can find me under christy metcalf on linkedin and you know I have worked with big corporations around the world, for the last 20 years and, and I find that most often people do not want to look for a solution until it’s a fire.

Christy Metcalf: And I.

Christy Metcalf: say you know just make it part of your plan and part of your development people appreciate it, the energy the passion, the innovation, the creativity is all there when you invest into it, so I would love to talk to anybody or to help them in those areas.

Traci Scherck: awesome christy Thank you so much for joining us today.

Traci Scherck: And we hope that you have a fantastic.

Traci Scherck: rest of your day thanks so much.