Lesson series

Scenario #1

Maybe They're Just Not Ready


1. Read the scenario.
2. Select the best answer.
3. Reflect on your decision.

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Maybe They're Just Not Ready

Just Keep Doing What You're Doing

I have a leader, a person of color, promoted through the ranks, who has historically been a top performer at each level - hence the reason they were promoted. Now, six months into the job, they seem to have hit a brick wall. They are performing marginally but not doing anything wrong, per se. They just don't seem to have the same fire as in previous jobs. After hearing some of the concerns of their direct reports, there might be some opportunities where they could grow in their people management skills, but I don't want to frustrate them. They're still new in the job, the only person of color at their level, and managing people who used to be peers can be challenging. My peers in the C-suite suggest I give them more time; after all, it takes a year to understand the organization at this level. Things are different up here. So, during a recent performance discussion, I told them to just keep doing what they're doing. I wanted to encourage them and not cause them to feel like a failure so early on. Do you think this was a good idea?

Which approach is the best approach:

Option A

Yes, being hired over peers can be challenging. Give them a little more time and some coaching.

Option B

Yes, plus give them some training, pay for them to get a coach, and encourage them to network with other leaders of color at their level. This could help them with the adjustment.

Option C

Why not start with a conversation and offer your observation with honest feedback? Listen to their experiences, and together, you can determine next steps.

Wait..we've got a course for that.

Get a quick refresher on having difficult conversations.

As a leader, having difficult conversations is only an occasional demand. Hopefully. Regardless, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for a win-win outcome.