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Empowerment Systems

"........When Change is the Challenge."

Conscious Evolution

Empowerment Systems Newsletter, #4

"When the Right Way is Wrong."

Lyn, a manager with superb technical skills, nearly lost his job when two different employees complained about him in their exit interviews. They implied that Lyn had treated them abusively by reprimanding them in the presence of other team members.

On the other hand, Lyn was extremely frustrated with several of the people he supervised because he believed that they simply were not doing the jobs they had been hired to do. From his point of view the reprimands were simple requests to redo or to stay and complete the assigned work.

His professional standards demanded that he stay with a job until it was completed and the customer was satisfied. His staff left promptly at five o'clock. They took short cuts, and their work was often incomplete.

His boss was frustrated too. She didn't want to lose Lyn, but she could not afford to alienate other employees. She couldn't find a way to help Lyn to relax and adapt to managing a changing workforce, and asked if I would coach him.

Lyn was happy to agree to work with a coach. His didn't want his career derailed, and he was anxious to develop new skills. When he recognized that he was a "boomer" who was managing "generation Xers," he readily admitted that he just did not understand what motivated them.

Lyn understood the concept that people are different from each other on many dimensions. He was a veteran of management training where people were sorted into various categories according to their personality characteristics. He always came out as a "demanding driver" on such tests. However, like many people, he secretly believed that anyone who was not like him was somehow wrong.

After struggling with coaching assignments to spend 15 minutes each day imagining how the world felt, looked and sounded to someone he supervised, Lyn began to empathize with what his employees needed. He started planning training he thought would be useful to them.

When he actually redefined his job priorities so that developing his people became as important as completing the job satisfactorily for the customer, things really began to change. His staff started asking him for advice instead of avoiding him. A year later he was promoted.


Coaching tip: Looking at things from a different perspective makes change easier.


 Copyright 1999, Empowerment Systems. May be transmitted or reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 28 of their 39 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.


506 West Davies Way
Littleton · Colorado · 80120
303.794.5408 · Fax
303.794.5379 · Phone
800.594.4594 · Toll-Free
weiss@empowermentsystems.com · E-Mail


"Committed to helping people use all of their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling lives."