Self-Coaching: Make the most of your promotion"Congratulations on your job
promotion. Your new position provides many opportunities. Now you have
visibility with our executive team." What do you do when you hear these
words? Are you excited and appreciative of the promotion, your new
opportunities and enjoying the vote of confidence that comes with a
promotion? Are you also a bit nervous about the new challenges and
wondering if you can live up to your new manager's expectations?
How can you make the best of the situation? What can you do to turn the
odds in your favor so that you are successful in your new role, impress
your manager and earn the respect of your new colleagues?
Here are pragmatic actions for you to secure the
optimal win-win outcomes in your new role. You win when you get the most
from your new position and your employer wins when you contribute the
most to this new position. Take a few minutes to read below and start
your new role under the best conditions.
Your first phone call after you accept the offer
should be to your personal coach. Discuss your promotion, emotions and
concerns with your professional coach. Hire a professional coach if you
don't already have one. The easiest way to make the most of your new
opportunities is to prepare by discussing with your coach. You don't run
projects without a project manager, so why would you want to live your
life without your life coach?
If you choose to not work with your coach on this opportunity then
schedule some time for self-coaching. Self-coaching is less effective
than working with a professional coach, but is a good second choice to
get clarity and new perspectives. Put an hour on your calendar where you
can enjoy time that is free of distractions, and follow the steps below.
How do you self-coach on your goals and obstacles as you think about
your new job, transition from your old job, and learn the ropes of your
new position? Here is how you self-coach in this situation. Take a sheet
of paper or open your favorite word processor and list the questions
below, with your answers. Remember that your goal here is to stimulate
thinking and perspectives. There is no "wrong" answer. Some of these
questions do not have ready-made answers, and it is OK for the question
to roll around in your mind for the next few weeks.
Step One - Ask yourself these questions and write down at least one
answer to gain clarity.
What emotions do you have about this promotion?
Are you nervous? What exactly are you nervous about? Dig a bit
deeper here to identify what you are nervous about and write down
what you are nervous about. What can you do that would make you
replace nerves with confidence?
Are you just a bit afraid? Write down the reasons you are afraid.
What would it take to become brave?
Are you looking forward to the new job? What exactly about the new
role is attractive for you? How can you exploit these attractions to
What defines success for you in this job? What are the key points
that in a year from now would make you say "This was a fabulous
career move for me"?
2.What perceived or real evidence do you have about the new role?
List all evidence here that you currently have access to, and you may
find that your evidence does not match your current perceptions.
- Do you know that one of your new colleagues is hard to get along
with? Why do you say that?
- Is your new manager a workaholic? What makes you say this?
- Will you work alongside experienced project managers that you
respect and can learn from? How can you learn the most from them?
Will you have the opportunity to work with senior leaders that you
can network with for future promotions? How will you impress them?
Step Two. Think about each question and list alternative responses.
List many more answers for each question from step one. After you
have written down all the answers that you can think of, ask yourself
"What else?" This is your opportunity to change your perspective and
stimulate new points of view. For example, if you listed a reason to be
nervous of the new position as "I don't know the systems", then your
first answer may be "I will learn the systems". Challenge your thinking
with a "How will I learn the new systems?" and list specific actions
that you can take to learn the new systems, such as "I will ask Sally
Step three. Think about how your new manager and
colleagues see you in this role, and list these questions, with answers:
- What defines success for your manager? (Hint
go ahead and ask your manager once you start working with your new
- How will your colleagues expect you to
- What do you peers, manager and senior managers
find unacceptable in this situation?
- What would it take for your manager to see you
as an exception performer in this role?
I can go on and on, but you get the idea. As you
think of challenges or uncover surprises in your new job, ask open ended
questions to yourself. "How else can I approach this?" "What can I do to
change this?" "What would a successful person do in this situation?"
"What does success look like in this situation?"
There are no guarantees in life. You are not
guaranteed that your new position will be everything that you thought it
would be. The best way to approach your new position is with humble
confidence. Your new manager believes that you can do the job. Be
confident that you can excel in this position while humbly learning the
unique tricks of the trade. Look at your promotion as an adventure. You
do everything you can to be successful, and also realize that your will
face unexpected challenges. Determine now that these surprises will be
adventures. You see, you get to choose if a surprise is challenge or a
discovery when you are on an adventure. The success of many undertakings
is determined by your attitude at the outset.
I immigrated to the USA in January 2001 with my
wife and son. We did not know exactly what to expect and the only way we
keep our sanity is by seeing our journey as an adventure. In the same
way, when we drive to Boston or New York City where we don't know our
way around, we affirm that we are undertaking adventures and don't know
all of the places we will visit until we have been there. You can
benefit from my experiences by seeing your promotion as the adventure
that it is, by choosing your attitude and approach before you leave
I disagree with Bilbo Baggins who says that
adventures are "Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for
dinner!" Adventures are the spice of life and the best way to seize the
opportunities that come with your new promotion is to view them as
scenic photo opportunities on you journey. You may be late for dinner,
but you will gather stories to amaze your family and friends at your
next family reunion.