The Big Three | HRDQ-U Webinar

THE BIG THREE: 3 Essential Skills Every Middle Manager Needs to Lead Up, Down and Across



As a leader in an ever-changing world, your leadership can be tested daily, even hourly! Although you can, and should, celebrate the successes and milestones you know the frustrations and annoyances can seem, more often than not, impenetrable. When it comes to leading and managing people, there are many big challenges you need to deal with.

Do you:

  • struggle with your team getting their work done, the way you expected it?
  • arrive at the office first and are usually the last one out – or the first switch on and the last to click off – plus you work late into the night regularly, and feel like precious family time is sacrificed?
  • struggle to get staff performance to improve?

To overcome these and other people management challenges to be a confident, skilled, and successful middle manager you need to master three core skills.

This webinar is designed to re-connect, re-energize and re-ignite the core skills in you with the three fundamental skills that will improve communication, workflow, employee engagement and performance, as well as your own career success. When you apply the learning from this webinar you will gain confidence and clarity in your leadership. It’s not about doing it all, it’s about doing the right things at the right time!

Attendees will learn

  • You can’t do it all – something has got to give and you need to learn what has to give.
  • How to explore the real role of a leader and how this helps to focus leadership attention.
  • The three core skills every middle manager needs to master for productivity and profit.
  • How to engage employees for improved performance.
  • How to get more done without doubling your effort.
  • How to be the leader others want to follow.


Sally Foley-Lewis inspires skills managers to be high performing, purposeful and productive. Obsessed with leadership and professional development that ensures people reach their potential. Sally’s presentations and programs positively impact your confidence, leadership, and results.


  • 2021 University of Southern Queensland – Outstanding Alumnus of the Year – Business and Enterprise
  • 2021 A.I. Influential Businesswoman – Winner – Most Inspirational Leadership Development Specialist (Australia)
  • 2021 ROAR Success Awards – Silver Leadership Award
  • 2020 Gold Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services
  • 2020 Bronze Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Services
  • 2020 Breakthrough Speaker of the Year by Professional Speakers Australia
  • 2019 finalist for Australian Learning Professional of the Year
  • 2019 Australian Champion Sole Trader winner – Australian Small Business Champion Awards
  • One of the 25 LinkedIn Top Voices for Australia for 2018 for her thought leadership.


She is a global professional speaker and has authored multiple books. The drive to support and skill managers come from her own CEO and senior leadership experiences. Sally delivers presentations, keynote speeches, workshops, and coaching – live online and face-to-face – to skill managers, boost productivity and self-leadership.

Blending 20+ years of working with a diverse range of people and industries, in Germany, the Middle East, Asia, and across Australia Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor, and an ability to inspire and make people feel at ease. Sally’s your first choice for mastering skills, facilitating action, and achieving results.

Connect with Sally on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and at


THE BIG THREE: 3 Essential Skills Every Middle Manager Needs to Lead Up, Down and Across

Training Tools for Developing Great People Skills

This event is sponsored by HRDQ. For 45 years HRDQ has provided research-based, off-the-shelf soft-skills training resources for classroom, virtual, and online training. From assessments and workshops to experiential hands-on games, HRDQ helps organizations improve performance, increase job satisfaction, and more.

Learn more at

On-Demand Webinar Recording
Play Video

Sarah  00:27 

Well hello everyone I see we have attendees joining and while we have people joining us today if you just want to type in your questions box where you’re coming from, my name is Sarah and I am coming from Pennsylvania it’s a cloudy day today here Colorado Hello Paula, Kentucky, South Carolina. Robin from New York, Sunny Jacksonville, Florida. I’d like to be there today, York in Mississippi, Maryland, Dallas, Washington, Texas, Colorado. While we have people from all over Well, welcome, everybody. Thank you for joining us today for our webinar. Today’s webinar is the big three three essential skills every middle manager needs to lead up down and across, hosted by HR D qu and presented by Sally Foley Lewis. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour, and HR DQ webinars are Sherm qualified so if you’re interested in receiving one Sherm credit hour today, make sure that you stick around for the entirety of the session, we’ll send out our follow up email, you know on how you can get your your SHRM credits after the session. And today’s webinar is sponsored by HR DQ store. For more than 40 years HR DQ has been a provider of research based training resources for classroom virtual and online soft skills training. HR DQ offers learning resources to help retain employees and clients make better decisions, improve performance and much more. You can learn more at HR DQ And today’s webinar is presented by Sally Foley Lewis Sally helps managers be productive, profitable and promotable. Obsessed with boosting productivity and self leadership that ensures people reach their potential. Sally positively impacts your results confidence and effectiveness. Sally author of multiple books her book The productive leader received an endorsement from the renowned global personal development group guru Brian Tracy. The drive to support and skill managers comes from our own senior leadership experiences. she delivers presentations, keynote speeches, workshops, and coaching all online and face to face to help skilled managers boost productivity and self leadership. Blending over 20 years of working with a diverse range of people and industries in Germany, the Middle East, Asia and across Australia. Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor and an ability to make people feel at ease. Sally is her first choice for inspiration, mastering skills, facilitating action and achieving results. So I was unfortunately unable to join us for the live event today with us, but she recorded a stellar presentation. So if you have any questions, please type them into the questions box on your control panel. And I’ll be sharing those back with Sally. And we’ll follow up with answers for you via email. So let’s get started. 


Speaker 2  03:50 

The Big Three, the three essential skills middle managers need in order to successfully lead up lead down and lead across. So I know Sarah has given you a little bit of background about me. But just so that you are familiar and you feel like you’re in safe hands through this webinar, I’ve held CEO roles and also program and project management roles. So I’ve been in management and leadership and I have been in the trenches. And I get how challenging, exciting and demanding it can be to be a middle manager. And I’ve been also honored and have the privilege to work with 20 plus 1000. managers, executives, frontline leaders across the world over the last 1520 years in being able to train coach and mentor them. I’ve written a few books, created some products and develop programs specifically designed to help middle managers improve or move because I know what it’s been like when I’ve been in there. And I don’t want any middle manager to struggle. I want them to be the leader that they desire to be. I want them to be the leader that others want to follow. Enough about me, let’s get into the big three. So you know what it’s like as a leader in an ever changing world, your leadership can be tested daily, if not hourly. And although you can and should celebrate the successes, and the milestones, you know that sometimes, and probably more often than not, and probably more often than not, over the last few years, there’s been a lot of frustration and a lot of annoyances. And they can seem to be often difficult to work through, or you’ve had to work through them so fast that you’re not sure if they were the right answer. But they’re the right answer for that moment. And that can cause stress. So when it comes to leading your people, you need to be really clear about the big challenges that you need to deal with. And with that in mind, it’s about being clear about the basics. And getting back to basics, I believe is something that every middle manager needs to do from time to time, we talk about future skills of work, and the University of Phoenix came out with the 2020 work skills of the future. And in that it included concepts such as sensemaking, such as multi regional, or, or the ability to communicate, and collaborate across geographies, and across different types of modalities. So, I think it’s really important that as middle managers, that we don’t lose sight of some of the core fundamentals as a leader. And so if you struggle with your team getting their work done, the way you expect it, we need to go back to basics. If you arrive at the office, and are usually the last one out, you know, you’re the first one in, or you’re the or you’re the first one to click on and the last one to click off, then we need to go back to basics. Or if if you struggle to get your staff to perform and or you find it difficult to get into performance conversations, and it’s also more seemingly more difficult down a camera lens to, then we need to get back to basics. So I believe that when it comes to some of these sort of challenges, and also the people management challenges, we need to focus on the basics in order to be a confident, skilled and successful middle manager. And that helps us to lead up, lead down and lead across. So in this webinar, we’re going to jump into some of the some of those basic skills. And I’m talking about primarily asking the question, Would you follow you? That’s what we’re getting at? And that’s the it’s a bit of a cheeky question. But I think it’s something that would be worth considering. When you look at your leadership, would you follow you. So with that in mind, let’s look at what were the core fundamentals that we’re talking about, starting with, 



in order to be that skilled, that successful, that confident leader that others would want to follow you, we need to make sure that our self leadership is in check. Your ability to lead yourself is critical. It has an impact on everything, and everyone around you. And self leadership involves being really clear about who you are, your self awareness, your values, and aligning your values to how you behave, how you work, and how you lead others, as well as your emotional intelligence, you know, are you able to identify the emotions that you’re feeling at any one time, and be able to then regulate them in order to calm them to be able to lead and lead your people effectively. Self leadership is a big topic in and of itself. But we need self leadership to be the primary the foundation in order to be a great leader. And so once we do that, we’re able to then step into the skills that are needed. And those three skills that we’re going to cover in this webinar are coaching, feedback, and delegation. So I did say back to basics, and I do believe these are three core skills, that quite often we talk about leadership, we may even go on a lot of leadership programs. But when it comes to some of the core basics, we don’t dive into and get a decent amount of skill development in these three areas. Yes, coaching over the last 20 years has become very, very popular. There’s a lot of coaching programs out there. Excuse me, to help us develop our coaching skills, which is great. And there’s sometimes some very short courses on feedback or short courses on delegation. But there’s never been enough and it’s it’s an assumed skill whenever people step into management roles, and that’s a problem because we’re missing out on really good effective opportunities to grow and develop our people to improve the bottom line. And, and to have less stress in your role as a leader. So they’re the three that I think are essential. And excuse me, when we have coaching and feedback together and working really well and aligned in our leadership of our people, then we’re in a built, we have the ability to then motivate our staff, as well as self motivate. When delegation and feedback are working really well as tools in your toolbox, as a leader, then productivity improves. And then when we have delegation and coaching, combined and working really well, we are in a position to really develop our people. And what we then get is what then what we have is a structure and or a formula that helps us to be an exceptional people leader. And this is the model that I think helps us to dive into the core elements of being confident about who we are when we are leading other people. So as we go through, you will guess we’ll cover off coaching, feedback and delegation. So let’s start with coaching. Coaching is often misunderstood. If you’ve never heard of coaching, in a workplace context, and maybe you’ve got a really strong sporting background, the first image that conjures up is the is the person with the whistle around their neck, they’ve got the clipboard, they’ve got the sports cap on, and they’re directing the play. Well, that is coaching. And it’s not this kind of coaching. It’s 



I think one of the things that’s really interesting to note is that when we talk about workplace coaching, what we’re talking about is someone who guides the coachee, to their own answers to finding the way forward to to crafting their goal and their action plan, and helping them stay accountable to achieving it. sports coaches, on the other hand, they’re seeing the play, they are understanding what’s going on. And they’re putting people in the places, they’re actually directors, rather than what we’re talking about in this context as coaches. And I often think that, because sports coaches were around a lot longer before, before workplace coaches, I think we need a different name for workplace coach, because it can be confusing. But this image that you should be seeing on your screen right now, I think is one of the best ways to help understand the skill of coaching, particularly for you as a manager in context to the other roles that you could be playing. And now if we look, we’ve got from top to bottom, we’ve got someone who is asking questions versus someone who’s giving answers. So when we think about the sports coach versus the workplace coach, the sports coach would absolutely give the answers, you know, they will absolutely be directing play telling people where to go, putting them on the field in the right spot. They will also Yeah, so that’s that part of that. Whereas when we’re talking about workplace coaches, their role is to ask questions that help the coachee come up with the answer that they need, not let necessarily leading questions. It’s not a it’s not like you know, you know, a court of law where we’re leading the witness, but it’s more about creating the environment through questions where the coachee has the awareness, and then has the motivation to create their goal and move forward. So if you look there as well, from left to right, we’ve got the client is the expert, or the practitioner is the expert. And again, if we do the comparison to a sports coach, the practitioner is the expert, the coach on the field knows when someone is not catching the ball quite correctly or not, not doing a swim stroke correctly and helps them to correct what they’re doing. Whereas in a workplace coaching context, the coach sees the coachee as the expert in the work that they’re doing. And therefore the coachee is the person who’s actually best place to work out what the goal should be, and what the action plan should be. And I like to think of it in this context, when we’re thinking about the client as expert, the coach is the one who helps the coachee see the trees in the forest. If you’ve ever heard that metaphor about you can’t see the forest for the trees, we can’t see the trees for the forest. Whichever way it goes round. The coach helps the coachee see the trees and then see the forest and split the two. So there’s clarity. And in coaching circles, quite often. One of the things that’s really valuable as a coach is that we often We often get challenged about, well, you don’t know anything about engineering or you don’t know anything about woodworking or, you know, petroleum or fast moving consumer goods or whatever, whatever that expertise is for that coachee. And there’s a, there’s actually a value in not knowing, because we don’t get caught into any of the intricacies. And as a coach, you can you can you get this concept called Clarity of distance. And when there’s a clarity of distance, it means that you as the coach don’t get swept away, you don’t get caught into the minutia. And as managers, there’s so many things throughout the course of a day that pull you down into the weeds and into the minutia, that when you can step into a coaching mode, it pulls you out. And it puts the onus of the thinking, and the onus of the clarity, making a you have the clarity making and the employee or the coachee has the onus of doing the thinking so that you can actually find the path forward. I really think it’s essential that as a coach, that you put coaching into your coaching toolkit, because when you do that, you’re actually going to create a lot more time and space for your own work. So aligned with that some of the skills that help us to be really good coaches, starts with listening. And this is a, this might seem a little bit weird, but I think this is an essential, 



really valuable way of creating a space where you can think really well and listen really well. And then you can help your coachee to also think even better. And I found this out of the book called more time to think by Nancy client, and it is a fantastic book is absolutely worth checking out. And what she has in her book are the 10 components of a thinking environment. And I’ll go through these very quickly. But I really recommend that you get the book because when you read through the book, you’ll see how she’s using a coaching modality or methodology in the book, to be able to provide the best environment for people to think and she gives an example where an employee walks into a boss’s office and has an email that they have to deal with. And they say to the boss, look, I just I don’t know what to do with this email here, and hands the email to the boss and says, Tell me what to do. Now using this methodology, the boss says, Well, I’ve got plenty of ideas, but I’m sure you do too. And we want the best ideas. So you tell me what your ideas are first. And so that happens, they talk about it and talk about it. And now the boss is deliberately not sharing their ideas, the boss actually admits that the whole time they’re trying to calm down and regulate their emotions back to their self leadership, and make sure that the employee is the one processing and thinking. And so through the course of the conversation, the boss is saying to the employee, to tell me more about that. So tell me more about that. And really asking sort of that incisive questions to help the person expand their thinking, and what more would you want from that? And what more could that do for you? Is that how you want that relationship to be? And so really, not getting into giving ideas, but helping that employee to think. And the employee had a major revelation in that conversation and realize that the way they wanted to respond to the email was actually to take more ownership and to drive a program even further, and have a much better outcome for them and for the company. Now the boss then says that conversation took and I bet you’re wondering right now, that conversation probably took a good half hour, 20 minutes, and I just don’t have that five minutes. It took five minutes. So this is one of the most amazing pieces of of literature around the thinking and listening space, and I absolutely recommend it. So Nancy says, be sure to give her attention. So being present is absolutely critical. And you would have heard that before and it’s aligned to listening and being present and checking what’s going on up here so that you can be present. The second one is thinking equals So what she means by this is considering the other person as equal to you in their ability to think rather than you being the best and them not being okay. And then which also aligns with the boundaries and what boundaries we may have. Then the third one is ease inside yourself. So again, it’s probably related to the first one a fair bit, but you calm down, regulate, and be present, and make sure that you are calm within, so that you create the calm environment for thinking to happen more effectively, without pressure without stress, 



then genuinely appreciate people. So the fourth one there is about really being genuine in your appreciation of people. So when someone has done some really good quality thinking, genuinely appreciate them for doing it, when you see and this is aligned also with feedback as well. And the three S’s there of being succinct, sincere and specific. So genuinely appreciate people when they have done the thinking, and when they come to you to want to do the thinking. The fifth one, encourage people, and in this situation they’re talking about rather than having these competing thoughts that are going on, and rather than having a setup where you might have some people compete against each other, in a, in a way to drive performance, for example, rather champion both and get them to champion each other. The sixth one is to offer accurate and complete information. So making sure that when you’re in that coaching conversation, and you’re encouraging the thinking, you’re you’re checking that the information that’s been presented, is accurate, and it’s complete. So it comes down also to number nine about what assumptions are at play here. But making sure that the information that you’re dealing with is accurate, and it’s complete. And it’s okay, if it’s not, because you’re going to ask great questions that say, Well, what more do we need to know? How true is this for this moment? If we were to go down this path? How accurate would it would the response or the result be? Okay? Number seven, welcome expression of people’s feelings. And I think this can be a difficult one. Especially we think, sometimes that we’re not allowed to have emotions at work. But our emotions come with us wherever we go, I don’t know how we can take them out of ourselves. So it’s really critical that we are aware and, you know, we acknowledge, we have got emotions, and they come with us. And if we acknowledge people’s feelings, for example, we can say, I’m sensing this as something that makes you rather anxious, I’m sensing that this is something that’s quite exciting. Or I’m sensing that this upsets you, when we can acknowledge somebody’s emotions, it almost helps them to, to, to then also identify them in themselves and then easily or more easily regulate them. And therefore can move forward in the conversation, that acknowledgement of someone else validates them. And when we feel validated, we actually feel a little bit safer. Number eight, be interested in diversity, be mindful and and curious and inquisitive about a different way of thinking and explore that because who knows what fantastic opportunities could come when you’re in that coaching conversation? Being asked incisive questions. So when you ask incisive questions, you’re asking for that checking of the assumptions, you’re you’re really drilling down into what is the next thing that really needs to happen, and being clear about helping the coachee be clear in their thinking. And then number 10 is provide a place to think together. So making sure that that place is safe, and whether it’s just you and them on camera, making sure the noise is minimized as possible. Even if you have to blur the background, put the headphones on, excuse me, or if you’re face to face, you’re in a private office, really making sure you’re creating a space that is conducive to thinking together. I know you probably don’t, might not have seen anything like this before when it comes to thinking about coaching if you’ve gone down the road of Coach Training before, but I have found this to be the most enlightening way of really helping coaches be able to create a fantastic thinking environment, and therefore a listening environment as well. So that’s a real critical skill within coaching. Then the next thing is questions and really powerful questions. I love this meme. Powerful question dropped, Coach kitty walks away. So I’ve got a freebie for you. And I’ll show you how to get that at the end of this webinar. But it includes Use all the different types of questions and some sample questions for you. And that’s the thing I think great coaches have, they have a bank of questions on hand so that they can 



be in the moment and use those questions to really help that different kinds of thinking like we’ve just explored. So questions are absolutely critical for coaches. Now, the second skill that I think is really critical is feedback. And sometimes we avoid it because we are thinking about the feedback receiver, sometimes we avoid it, because we don’t know what to say. We can’t structure it clearly in our head. And sometimes we avoid feedback, because it’s third hand information. And therefore, how do I how do I then put that together? And make sure it sounds like it’s, you know, not telling tales on someone. It’s an it’s an interesting based feedback. But the reality is, we all want feedback. And the majority of people when we do research and look at the studies that are done, the majority of people, I think it’s something like 78% of people in one study said, I would rather constructive feedback that helps guide me and improve my performance, even more than I’d want praise. Now in the same piece of work, they said that was something like 52% Want more praise, but 78% wanted more constructive guidance. So it’s not for the want of people not needing or wanting that feedback. Because most people, most people want to know they’re doing a good job. And more importantly, they want to know if they’re not doing a good job so they can fix it. So when someone says, Can I give you some feedback, a whole other story, right. So I would love, I think one of the things that’s really important to know about feedback isn’t just information, okay. But it’s information that’s delivered in a way that is helpful. And so I think one of the worst words that we can align with the word feedback is criticism. You know, it’s, excuse me, it’s called constructive criticism. And I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But Chris’s criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. I love that, quote, criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s roots without back nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. Because to me, I think it’s really critical that when we are giving feedback that we’re really clear about who it’s for, is it our ego boost? Or is it actually to help? You know, and there’s two broad types of feedback, there’s that corrective feedback that when something’s gone wrong, that we need to help that person find a way to fix it, or it’s praise, and we’re acknowledging great work. So being really clear about why we’re giving the feedback is really essential before we even start a feedback conversation. And I think the other thing is really critical is that when we think about the feedback that we’re giving, the way in which we give feedback, is we’re aiming for the three A’s, we want our feedback receiver to have awareness, they need to be able to understand what it is that they’re being given feedback about. And with awareness, that means that they can often then say, Okay, that was me, yes. All right, I need now I get it, I need to fix that. If they don’t have the awareness, then that’s when we can get into situations where people will blame others. I like to call them the Teflon coat on and so you know, nothing sticks. So we need to make sure that with a with our feedback structure, we’re getting awareness. And then it’s not no point having a conversation. If you don’t then shifted towards action, a feedback conversation that doesn’t have any sort of action orientation towards the end, or development of actions as part of the conversation, then it’s just, you know, you’re complaining, you’re not giving feedback. So then the third piece is also achievement. I absolutely insist that we focus on achievement when it comes to feedback, because that helps to reinforce the work that’s been done. It helps to reinforce the process that you’ve gone through as something that is about actually helping someone, it comes back and connects to that person to say here, I’m giving you feedback, it might feel a bit funny to start with, but it’s actually about helping because you’re going to achieve. So they’re the three A’s and I think they’re essential. And if we have a look at this in a different context. So if we flip that around, if we don’t go for the three A’s, what we’ll get is instead of awareness, detachment, you know, not not not my problem, wasn’t me. 



I couldn’t help her Well have, you know, well, this was wrong or that was wrong. So we’re detaching can happen. If we don’t have action. Everything’s done everything, nothing changes, it stays the same, everything’s dormant. And if we don’t have achievement, then we often feel defeated or picked on, or, you know, again, it’s just a complaint rather than anything that’s going to be truly effective with performance. So the three A’s I think, are really critical, as mindsets for yourself when you go into a feedback conversation. And this is the formula that I created, and tried and tested, and happy to share more about this in another environment. But I’ll just quickly run through this that. And what I love about this formula is that you can use this formula, whether you are giving praise, corrective feedback, and you can even use it when you’re on the receiving end of feedback. So what we’re aiming for is say, well, we’ll start with a praise conversation as an example, we need to talk about the exact work that they were doing, quite often, when bosses just go, Oh, great work, love your work, or, you know, really appreciate what you’re doing here. That’s nice. And I wouldn’t say stop doing it. But also find, find specifics where you can actually say, Bob, that piece of work you did on that project to help the client understand x, so that we got that over the line, that was brilliant, that really then tells Bob exactly what they did well, and therefore they know I need to do more of that. So being specific, in a praise conversation helps to reinforce the great behavior. And when you also add that in with the effect, so for example, and that helped to get that project over the line, or that helped to increase the profits, or that helped to turn the client around. So they stay with us. Putting example in effect together, really strengthens the value of the feedback you’re giving. And it helps that person have the awareness, and it helps that person want to do more of it, and therefore have more responsibility about doing more of it. And then in a praise conversation, once we know that the person’s got the awareness, the light bulb has gone on. What is there anything about that, that you could teach others? Is there anything about that, that you could do more of that you could expand on this, and that’s where you’re in your coach mode with your great questions. And you’re creating that space to think, and therefore you’re getting more action, or you’re helping that person. I’m a bit cheeky and say changeability, but you’re helping that person to expand even more. And then the final piece to this formula for giving feedback is commitment. No point, giving feedback and having a feedback conversation, if you’re not going to make sure that that that the work will be done, that the actions get implemented. 



Who would want to do the work if they know no one’s going to check up on them? You know, I know. I know, I’ve had this conversation where I said to a group of frontline leaders, now if your boss didn’t come and check up on you at all, ever, what would you think? And of course, some of them are smirking, because they’re saying, Oh, well, you know, pretty good if they left me alone. So and that’s true, you know, if they weren’t micron being micromanaged. If that was the case, if they were being left alone, for a little time, that might feel like a sense of relief. But if they never checked up on them, then that’s quite demoralizing. And that’s quite defeating. So making sure that the work that there’s a commitment to the work is really critical. And it’s twofold, the commitment piece here, because this is where you really set it up for achievement, and you also create accountability. And the first part of that is asking the coachee the employee, how committed are you to the actions you’ve just set for yourself? And you can watch their response to that question. And you’ll know from that response as to whether they’re really committed or not. And if they’re not, then you need to go back into coach mode. If they are, then you can then step into the second part of commitment. I love this formula, because you can go back up and down example of that coach and commit as many times as you need to, to make sure that that commitment to what’s been agreed, is actually there. So the second part of commit is you asking the employee, how can I help you stay accountable to doing this work? Now, rather than you directing the conversation and say, Okay, well, let’s get the calendars out and we’ll meet all I want to hear from you in next Friday. Turn it around, get the employee to tell you what they need to stay accountable. Boom. Because that way, they’re actually you’re strengthening their ownership of the work. Now, the line I often use is, and I’ll repeat it, I’ve already said it, and I’ll repeat it. How would you like me to help you stay accountable to the actions you’ve just said? Isn’t that interesting question, because it actually gets them to think about, well, how do I want the help? How do I want to stay accountable? And never finish your meeting without setting the calendar for the next catch up? Because inevitably, what the employee will say, what what the help that they do want from you is, can I catch up with you, and show you where I’m at. And so put that in the calendar and stick to it. So the follow up is critical. So that’s the coaching mode. That’s sorry, the feedback mode. And our final one is delegation. And, you know, I love that you don’t have to do everything. Even Batman had Robin, you know, it’s interesting that in one study, they found that half the companies that they surveyed, said that they really valued managers and team leaders who could delegate. And then they asked the same, the same group of companies, again, how many of them actually did delegation training, and it was as little as 28%. So while everyone values delegating, the actual training of it is far, far less. And then we flip that around, though, and we look at delegation as a tool for raising revenue. I found in one particular report that CEOs who had really strong delegation skills, it could increase the revenue of the organization by up to 33%. So, you know, another report I found was that business owners who could increase their revenue by 20%, if they only delegated, say something to the tune of 10% of their work, so it has a financial return on investment when we delegate. 



So let’s dive into types of delegates. Let’s start there. So let’s start at the bottom. If we are not not a delegator at all, if we just don’t do it, we don’t even think about it, we were just not even engaged with the work, then we’re fairly tuned out, we don’t even see the opportunities in front of us. And therefore, when we’re missing things, and that can then actually turn productivity backwards. So really quite draining. And the second one, from the bottom there is the Dizzy one. This is someone who is like, like a fly, just buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzzing around and doing so much and not really completing anything really ineffective. Multitasking, they sort of tip into micromanager a bit, what they tend to do is that they’re so busy trying to get so much done, that they actually miss out on things. Now, while their efforts are there. And they might have a little bit of productivity, they’re not doing it in a discerning way. They’re not doing it in a clear, structured, productive way. And then the middle one, which is actually the worst one. And it’s bizarre, because when you think about the productivity you get, it’s a little bit higher. However, we get it at a cost. And it’s a huge financial cost. So when we are a dictator, not a delegator, what we do is we wear people out, we we grind them down. And if you’ve ever had a dictator, be your boss or, or like a stern micro manager, or someone who really doesn’t take their, the, the hands off your neck while you’re working, then you know, you you don’t want to be there, you’ll do the bare minimum, you do just enough so that you can get by and you don’t engage, you don’t want to be there. And you’re often looking for a way out. And so turnover can be quite high. And that’s where the costs come in. Because not only are you turning over staff, you’re also the retraining everything that you know, that goes into recruiting and bringing on new people. The work gets done, but it gets done at a high cost. So we don’t want to be any of those bottom three what we want to be is in the top two, for sure. So not a not a necessarily great but getting better is the director be like the sports coach in a way, you know can still listen and move people around. But they’re more hands off. They’ll tell you what they want done. They’ll point things out. So they can they can interfere with productivity a little bit they can be a little bit micro Managing, but they’re less dictating about every little element of it. They’re just trying to move the pieces a little bit more controlling. So those guys point things out a lot and can be a little bit frustrating. But the productivity is there. When they learn to step back and use some more two way conversations and invite the thinking from the employee, they become more discerning. And therefore, they see the employee as the expert as well as an equal in sees me as an equal in the work that’s to be done. And so the discerning delegator has got it all sorted out, they think ahead. They plan they have great two way conversations. They treat the employees as the experts of the work that they have to do, and therefore the productivity is there. My question to you is which delegator Are you? And which delegator? Do we all want to be obviously the discerning delegator? So, I love this quote from Elizabeth, the first I don’t have a dog and bark myself. And I think that’s really critical. It’s thinking about what is the best use of your time, and what’s the best use of the opportunities in front of you. So when we think about delegating, what we’re aiming for is to develop others get the work done, and for everyone to be distressed, 



you know, getting our hands off the work that we shouldn’t be doing, and aligning everyone to the work they should be doing, as well as looking for the opportunities to develop others. So I have a delegation decision map for you. And I’ll show you how to get that as well at the end of this. But one of the things I think is really important is that when we setting up for delegation, you know, we we do the heavy lifting at the front end of the process. And so thinking about whether something should be delegated, who it could be delegated to, is that the whole project or just a part of the project, who needs to be consulted in this process, what information and resources to the people need, I remember when I’m one of my very first times as a, as a leader, and I was delegating. And unfortunately, I didn’t talk about the resources that the person could or could not have access to. And unfortunately, this person spent up to $25,000, before I realized that they didn’t have the authority to do that. And so I got myself in a little bit of trouble there. So that was a big, big learning lesson for, for when we talk about front end, preparation, and making sure we’ve covered everything off, including resources and authority really critical. So being clear about who, what, how much the resources, the consultant who has to be consulted, who has to know what being sure that we’re communicating clearly to everyone so that when some of the other staff are asking questions about that piece of work, they’re not coming to you so that you bottleneck, they’re actually going to the right person who is doing the work as well. So really critical there. And one of the things that make delegation not work quite so well, is trust. And I think we need to have that conversation. You know, if you feel as though you don’t delegate because I don’t trust that they’ll do it to my standard or, or I don’t trust that they’ll get the work done on time. Or, you know, I just don’t know them well enough to know whether they’ll do it. Trust is a big thing. And this is where building good quality, solid relationships with your people, understanding them, getting to know them well, is really important. And how do you get trust you give it? So your commitment to the team, your sincerity and how you you communicate and treat them your reliability? Are you? Are you reliable? You know, when you’re reliable, they’ll step up and be reliable to your consistency. Are you the same person day in day out? I had a boss once who we every day, we kind of think who we’re getting to that? I don’t I’ve never trusted him. I never will. I never knew who I was getting from one day to the next. And it was it was it felt unsafe, you know, and I didn’t trust him. Your integrity is you know, are you someone who is seen as having integrity. So these are the keys that help you to build trust, because when you demonstrate these, you will receive them from the team. And this is where I think it’s really one of the success factors to delegating is that slow is fast. Don’t rush it delegating something, don’t do what what I call a drive by delegating because when we do that, we’re definitely setting up for failure. Front end, slow it down. Do the planning the thing Getting the two way conversation, checking that your expectations are understood, checking that what you want as an outcome is actually understood by that person asking that person, what more information they might need to make sure that they can get started. Because quite often, what’s happened in in in delegating is the boss comes up and says, I’ve got this project for you have a look at this, and get started on it. And so they read or they look at the whole the information, or they come away from the meeting really excited. And they get back to their space, and they think, 



okay, all the questions start coming. All the concerns start coming. And so they sit there and they think, well, we just had the meeting, should I already know this? Should I already understand this? And then they don’t know whether they can come back to you and ask. So being really clear at the front end, and saying, if there’s anything that you need to know, so that you can get started coming ask me and, and you might say, Well, surely they should know they can do that. And you might think that they walk into your office every other time and do that be explicit, it does make sure that they will come to you and ask and they don’t then procrastinate and delay getting the work done. So slow, is fast. The other element to this is, if you don’t set that up really well at the beginning, then what happens is, things can go off track things can, things can go in different directions that you don’t even know about until it’s too late until it’s cost you money cost you time, or you have to fix it and you have to redo the work. So slow is fast. So that the three essentials that I believe that middle managers need because that helps us to lead up and lead across and lead down. When we’ve got those skills in place, we’re going to be in a position to influence the decision making that happens at the top because when we’re seen as a keen delegator, someone who can coach their people, and someone who’s able to have really good quality feedback conversations, we’ve got motivation, we’ve got productivity, and we’ve got development happening, which means you’re going to have your finger on the pulse of what’s really going on, your people will want to tell you what’s working, and what’s not working and their ideas for fixing it, which you can then feed up. And that then influences the broader strategy. You’re also going to be in a position to see what’s happening across the organization. And you can network really strongly with your peers in your management teams. And being able to have those quality conversations and be confident about your team gives you that sense of being able to share more and collaborate more with your colleagues. So the three, the big three, to help middle managers be successful leaders, I think are definitely coaching, feedback, and delegation. So if you’d like before I close, I just want to let you know that if you’d like the power of questions, handout that I talked about the delegation decision map, access to the free mini course on delegation, weekly leadership notes as a self leadership, white paper and chapter one of my latest book, Spark nine simple strategies to ignite self leadership, then send me an email Sally at Sally Foley And in the subject line, just write big three, please. And I’ll make sure all those goodies are sent back to you. And you’ll start getting those leadership notes as well. So if you have any questions around this content, please send through to Sarah and we will follow up as quickly as possible. I just want to close by just sharing with you this one thought that I think is really critical for a lot of managers and leaders. And that is when we see our team’s success as our own success, then it helps us to step into the process of being a great coach of wanting to create safe environments for really good quality, two way conversations that help drive performance that help engage the team. And then we are more open to also seeing delegation as a tool for development a tool for getting things done effectively and distressing the whole team. So your team success is your success. 


Sarah  50:02 

All right. I have a little bit of a malfunction there with my computer. I hope you can hear me. So that does conclude then the content portion of today’s session from Sally. We had some really great takeaways there. If you are interested in receiving your ATRA, DQ certificate of completion, you can just scan this QR code right here. It’s $5. And we’ll email you a digital copy of your certificate. You will also receive some follow up messaging about that after today’s session as well. And thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. If you do have any questions, please type them into the Questions box. We’ll make sure to get back to you on those. And with that, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks 

Related HRDQstore training resources
More topics from HRDQ-U
Career development
Diversity and inclusion webinars
Diversity &
Business coaching webinar
Webinar customer service
Creativity and innovation skills training
Creativity &

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Log In