Traits of a Great Manager (Part 2 of 2) with Heidi Craun

Feb. 4, 2020

Traits of a Great Manager (Part 2 of 2) with Heidi Craun

Traits of a Great Manager (Part 2 of 2) with Heidi Craun

This week on #BraveByDesign I continue my conversation with Heidi Craun, Head of Customer Advocacy at Clearcover and Co-Founder & President of Intermitten, the conference for changemakers.

If you want to learn:⁠

How to get into management⁠
The power of vulnerability in managing teams⁠
How to have difficult conversations⁠

This episode is for you!⁠

Join Laura's Vision 2020 coaching cohort, kicking off on February 22nd, 2020. Sign up at

Laura's talk from Intermitten:

Invite Laura to speak at your event

Connect with Laura Khalil online:

Connect with Heidi Craun:

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spk_1:   0:00
you're listening to Brave by Design Episode four The Traits of a Great Manager Part two of two Welcome to Brave by design I'm your host LL Oracle, Ill. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking Bake. Exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers and business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Hey, everyone, welcome to the show. I am your host, Laura Khalil, and I want to start the show by giving a huge thanks to those of you who have reviewed the show on Apple podcasts. Believe it or not, that actually does help other people discover the show. I was absolutely thrilled to go on there and see that we had 65 star reviews. So thank you. And I want to read some of the written reviews we had received this one from Be chick A One loved the user name. They say great nuggets of info packed into a concise podcast that can easily fit into my day. Presented in a no B s way. That really speaks to me as a woman who works in the male dominated I t field. You had me at Episode one, looking forward to hearing more. Well, thank you so much for being here. And we also have this review from I'm not bossy. I'm the boss and they write, This speaks to the soul. First of all, I'm not bossy. I'm the boss. That needs to be every woman's mantra. Okay, that is brilliant. And friends. I am so glad that you are feeling the show because one of my goals was in one of the challenges that I have is I want to bring my whole self into the show those of you who know me personally. And as I realized as our audience grows, I think now we're over 300 downloads on the show just in the 1st 3 episodes and I realized that as my audience grows, I don't know a lot of you personally, and but I still want to bring myself to the show. And some of you who know me know I love comedy. I love humor. I love realty talk. And I do love that. No b s style. And so I'm glad that some of that is coming across because I didn't want to create yet another business podcast. I wanted to create something that really is fun, informative, educational and inspirational. And so I really do hope that that will continue to shine through. I also have a special offer for you. So if you do not want 2020 to be like 2019 2018 2017 and are ready to effect a profound change in your life and nothing less than that, I want you to join me for the group coaching I'm offering. So this is for people who feel stuck at a certain part of their career. Or maybe you're not sure what your next steps are. You may be ready for a career transition, and you want to feel inspired, energized and get clarity on where you are going. I will be teaching my methodology on how to get crystal clear, and we will be designing your life and road map together to achieve your 2020 vision and where you want to go for the next decade. This is a quarterly group coaching program. It kicks off on February 22nd and you will be working directly with me in a small group over Zoom. This is a great option for people who cannot afford the investment of one on one coaching, but one experience the profound effects off the work that I d'oh. You can learn more about this at force of bad asri dot com and the early Bird. Pricing for this ends on February 13th. All right, in today's episode, we're going to continue our discussion from Episode three with Heidi Kron about the traits of a great manager. If you have not listened to the first part, please go back and listen to that because she is dropping nuggets of wisdom all over the podcast. And that is the same with Part two. It is absolutely brilliant. We often say that trust isn't given. It's earned. No, you did say something interesting right now. You said I trust my employees to actually be able to do their job like you're not looking over their shoulder. Yes, sir. How can managers continue to foster trust and build more trust with their staff?

spk_0:   5:02
I honestly think for me the best way I know how to do that is to be vulnerable and show them that I'm human. I think as a manager or as managers. We tend to want to earn people's confidence by sending the message that we have it all together, right? And the truth is, we don't always have it all together and we're learning stuff, especially when I join clear cover. This is something that I have thought a lot about over the last couple years. I started said, like, Here's where I tend to struggle as a leader and like, for example, this is a really a weird example. But I'm gonna give it, which is that my thinking phase is like comes across as a scowl or like a frowning face. And, um, I had an employee in the past who was like, You were looking at me like I'm stupid. I was like, Oh my gosh, I felt so bad because I've never, ever thought this person was stupid and that's a minute is hard for me and that I have to work on. And when you add to that, the fact that I tend to be very draft with people prefer that people are direct with me, I can sometimes give the impression of being harsh. You're thinking people are dumb which is terrible. Um, so, like, right out of the gate. Uh, when I met my team at clear Farmers like a like I tend to do this. It is not like it is just me thinking them ask youto like a student positive intent, but if you're not sure, asked me. Um, but also, you can trust that if there is something that I think is a mistake I will talk to you about, and I will be very clear. You don't have to wonder what I'm thinking. Um, so I think being vulnerable is really important. And when you set that tone, people are able to be more vulnerable with you. And so, um, you know, it opens up the door. Does consistent communication openness among people. You know, sometimes, you know, I've had employees who were a newly entered sobriety or struggling with pretty serious mental health issues, You know, it could have come across this. They just weren't doing their work. They were performing poorly. But we are all human beings. There's no way to fully separate those parts of our lives from work.

spk_1:   7:37
Absolutely. They're just

spk_0:   7:40
right. So, yeah, I'm vulnerable with folks. Um, right out of the gate makes it safer for them to be vulnerable with you. Just that you know what I'm I am entering into recovery, and I'm struggling right now and I'm a little bit distracted. It's not that I'm not, you know, still happy with my job or whatever, but I'm after you did it. You know,

spk_1:   8:04
be aware. Stroke

spk_0:   8:05
patient, An awareness. Now, right in this light off, you like I'm a human being, like, off course. Like I I understand. And, you know, we all have things that we go through. But you can't have those conversations unless you've got that fast. I think vulnerability has been the best way. And also, just be consistent and ask how employees want to receive, be back and then honor that. I think showing up to one on ones if something awful Ah, lot of managers don't do, which is just come like you're easy ways to just go up and be consistent and be a force that is reliable for people that is going to earn votes trust a lot faster than

spk_1:   8:56
well. You trust fall exercise. Seen over exactly simple things. You and I also you get what you get. So if you're if you're creating an environment of secrecy and where you don't share anything and that doesn't mean necessarily talking about your personal life but share about how you work sharing about how you're feeling about things sharing what's going on, why would you expect an employee to feel safe to reciprocate? Furthermore, I love this example you gave about an employee who may be going through a personal challenge such as recovery such as mental health issues, and that they feel safe enough that you're not going to go run to HR. You know, And that's huge because there are people out there who really are scared that if I tell you I'm going through a divorce, a custody battle, um, or you know, any kind of personal issue that H R is gonna get involved and you're gonna be monitored,

spk_0:   10:04
right? Exactly. And that's not it's not good for anybody, right? And if they can't tell you those things, you're just sitting there like Oh, my! Okay, there they were late to work again and put them on performance when, right at this harsh conversation with them, when you know behind the curtains, something really

spk_1:   10:28
things going on,

spk_0:   10:29
toxic or hard is going on that you would prefer to the port than through. You only knew that. But as you said like, you have to give in order to get. And I think something else you said is really important. You don't. But

spk_1:   10:44
you don't need

spk_0:   10:45
to probe into people's lives, right? Just do the basic life. If someone takes off early to go to their kids, you know of coral concert, ask

spk_1:   10:57
them. They don't

spk_0:   10:58
say how. Itwas, you know, like, yeah, show that you care about them as a human being. People are not machines. They're people, you know, the golden rule, big people, How you want to be treated gives in order to get

spk_1:   11:12
absolutely That is my question. Okay, so we have talked about, like having you know, being open, being vulnerable with employees, being willing to listen what happens when you have to have a really difficult conversation. Let's say you're putting someone on a performance improvement plan or you're just you're maybe you're afraid that you might have to do that and you need to confront some behavior, um, or performance that is affecting the team. How do you have those types of difficult conversations,

spk_0:   11:55
I would say I've done some of this well in some of this not so well. Um, and the things that have gone not so well stemmed from not having step clear expectations of burned and then not having had clear, consistent conversations on ongoing braces where the employees really understood the concerns that I have about their performance. And so I think that was a lesson learned for me earlier in my careers. You do have to have those conversations asking them how they want for Steve feedback and, um, be consistent about them on an ongoing resist. Or someone's gonna be surprised and a CZ Far as I'm concerned, when it comes to like performance, no one ever wants to be surprised. Like you just wanna be ableto have pretty normal conversations and ongoing racist. So if you're doing that and you're using some kind of a tool that is collaborative, like, you're not just keeping notes from where the only you have access to in a word, doc about house on this performing buttons that maybe you're using a cooled off and you both contribute to that Google doc or at clear cover we use lattice have, and both managers and employees contribute those check ins every single week. When all of that is there and at the surface, there shouldn't be a surprise is right When when some right is really missing the mark and the gold there is that when you reach a point where you have to put somebody on her performance plan. Okay, Well, when I looked at it, our last sticks one on ones, four of them we had to talk about, um, like you're timeliness or nothing. Some kind of k p. I are important critical metric that you're measuring.

spk_1:   14:04
And I just didn't

spk_0:   14:05
want to dispute that right? Like you have. Yeah, like that. That's just kind of talking about a bath that has been accepted and discuss for awhile and makes that conversation like he's here. I'm sorry. What were you gonna say?

spk_1:   14:18
I was going to say that in addition to that, something you mentioned earlier about being direct. So when there is a challenge, we don't need to blow it necessarily out of the water, but also not minimizing it. So there are certain managers who will You will want to avoid conflicts so they will attempt to minimize it and that can. That can appear in many forms. But one form can be like, Hey, it's the end of the meeting. We have 20 seconds. Let we have 20 seconds left and saying something like, Oh, by the way, like, just wanted to bring you know this up is we're walking out the door and it's like, Well, right, is that important, right? Does that matter that I'm not timely if you're bringing it up in such a casual manner? So I also think exactly how you share the message is really important. And I always say, Have to tuck conversations first, like get it out of the way and because you, like you said, you don't know what's going on with these people. But we have no idea. Maybe they're late. If timeliness is important to your business, why are they not being timely? Let's get to the bottom of that. Let's create an environment where they feel comfortable to talk about that and not scared to bring it up. So

spk_0:   15:38
yeah, it could be, uh, Mom and Dad are separated, and now Mom has to do the morning school drive off every day, right? And so they've been having a harder time adjusting to the new schedule. And yeah, work. Oh, okay. That's really helpful to know we'll hear some ideas that I have. Maybe we should your schedule a little bit later, maybe whatever that is or we just got a goal that you're in in your new routine within a week or so. But like like you said, you cannot have that conversation if you're not being direct about it. And and I would say that's where I brought gold as well. Um, earlier on in my managing responsibilities is I don't want to hurt people's feeling right. Yeah, you could have these conversations and come across as like no delicate about

spk_1:   16:41
issue is

spk_0:   16:42
really important. And I think that that is where vulnerability and trust are so important. Because if if people know that you care about them as human beings and they know how much you're fighting for them in their career journey, and that you are always looking

spk_1:   17:02
for opportunities to

spk_0:   17:03
grow, then they wore understand that you care about them and probably not take whatever direct insight you have about your performance. Still personally, as, like, you know, I'm personally offended, but exactly should hear right. Do you have to establish that foundation? And and that's hard especially, you know, does, um, candidly something I'm navigating at that recover as a manager who was hired after he was built, right? You know, my team is having to adjust due on the change of the guard. Yeah, you know, they're learning how I am is a leader, and I'm kind of learning what their expectations are. We had to do a little bit of a reset. Um, but for me, like I said, it's all about we're resetting so that I can help you grow. And I'm going thio in turn, expect that you're invested in the company's growth as well, and we're gonna get there together. And the only way we get there is together. So you're either, like, on the ship or not, But the ship is is like, if daily and

spk_1:   18:23
serve their partner.

spk_0:   18:25
Yeah, I I'm I'll be your captain And like, tell you where to row. Remove the saddle or whatever. I know nothing about E. I don't think many boats have captains and paddles. I don't

spk_1:   18:42
know they do have captains.

spk_0:   18:43
Really? Oh, my gosh.

spk_1:   18:46
It's gonna be a really slow moving boat, though. It for paddling. Someone needs to get in the engine room.

spk_0:   18:53
Yes, yes. Um, but like, we're going to get there together. But you have to want to be in this boat, right? Absolutely. To be a better rower, like I can't make you want to be here. But if you want to be here, I can help you, you know, growing in on longer, arms for paneling. Help you.

spk_1:   19:19
You know, one of the things that I always say I think I said this to your team as well is when we talk about this fear of not hurting someone's feelings. I mean, certainly we don't want to be crass with people or careless, but I always go back to clear is kind the thing the neighbors I know if the most difficult thing weaken d'oh is be obscure, um, talk out of both sides of our mouth and confuse people. And it's not kind. I am. I'm in my world. Softening language to the point of confusion or ambiguity is really unkind because eventually enough because nothing's been resolved. Men so the problem most likely will perpetuate whatever that ISS and people don't know. They don't know what you don't tell them. End of day. They just don't, um So I I advocate for that because I think that you know the opposite of being nice isn't being rude, and I think that's where we kind of get confused. The opposite of being nice is really connecting. And again I'm being that vulnerable, bringing that vulnerability in that's connecting. That's tough. It is tough to have a direct conversation. It is probably the hardest thing. Weaken. D'oh!

spk_0:   20:50
You're exactly right. I I think for me the way that I've tried to I that back make it extra clear in those moments. Why it matters and help people feel more secure is make sure I'm clear with them about how going back to the time in this example, how they're being late is undermining their own sticks, death and the success of 15 in the gas company. It's not just about like you broke a rule. I'm not. I'm not really about rules. If they're arbitrary like okay, next, like I'm not gonna worry about it. But if it's something that is ultimately undermining their successor, has an impact on their teammate or is undermining the company's best. Usually probably all, all free. Um, I make sure that they understand staff Why we're having this conversation, right? And, you know, I wanna look out for you. I wanna make sure that you have a successful relationship with your folly. I want to make sure that, you know, I have no problems going to back for you along. You know, the path of your growth whether that getting you a raise or getting motion or whatever. But I can't do that. If people, if you're not here and other people notice that your right here and then I fall, you promote somebody who's always late. Yeah. I can't do that in good conscience, right, Zach Lamb. Well, I think tying it back and showing how it is in the employees Best interest makes having those drift conversations that are tough. A little bit easier as well. More palatable for the employees.

spk_1:   22:42
Thank you, Heidi. One question, when I ask you is about for women who are interested in management. Well, no. And I know you've been there, and God knows I was there when I worked full time, um, of situations where a woman is literally asked to prove and show over a period of time that they can do the job that they want to get rather than being promoted on potential, which is what we know from the research is how many men are promoted. So, uh, what do you advise for those women?

spk_0:   23:21
So this is I guess this is my my take on this. I'm kind of, regardless of gender, pretty anti promoting on potential just because I think there's a lot of risk in that that would set the employees of birth failure as well. Um, I think unless you are 80 90% sure that someone is you're really going to crush it and a roll. Uh, they're probably not ready for that role on That's where I say, Like, I trust that they're just gonna do their job because I'm quite confident that they're able to do their job. Um, so I don't like the idea of promoting on potential. However, if someone is looking to put off for any type of role, I do think it's important to be able to demonstrate your skill set. Now that might mean, um, you haven't done that exact dog before, right? It's all right. I mean, that's where um, that's where I kind of like potential comes in in a way that's really palatable for me, which is I have all of the skills to do this job, and I've just implied I've applied those skills differently. I'm gonna show you exactly how I applied them, right. Being able to demonstrate I Let's say I were. That's a woman wanting to be a manager, being able to show how you've meant toward other people that could be inside of worker outside of work. Um, a coach on a team like you said, a manager's a coach, um, a tutor, er, anything like that, where you are personally invested in another person's too fast and growth like those are great ways. Do day, like I have already demonstrated this skill stuff, and I already know how to do this job. Do you confront me, Which is easier for the company, usually then trying to hire somebody from outside of it, Um, but maybe you haven't done those things yet. I would say this is a great time to show your ambition and show your drive and get very strategic and and tactical about it, where you could go to your manager first vault, Kelly Ranger that you want to become a manager, right? You have to declare it. I think a lot of people don't do that because they're afraid. Thio like rock the boat by saying that they want more than what they're already getting, um, or that they're they're afraid to give the impression that they're unhappy in their current role count. Therefore, they're looking for a different one. But I think positioning or framing that conversation within the light of I'm, like, really loving my work. And I would love to help more people do similar work. I'm thinking about my growth depths. Um and I would really like to do get on a path to becoming a manager. And, you know, start, ask your manager what resources exist for you if they have any mentors that they would recommend for. You are a sponsor within the organization to kind of be that, like coach in that very specific way. You know, this is something that you stay a lot or which is like figure out. We want to become and figure out how you want to be, like what you need to do to get their right to become that person, though. Talk to managers you admire. Figure out what you can learn from them. So I read about a redder written

spk_1:   27:10
Yeah, it's It's acting like the person you want to be right, because you acting like yourself has gone in you to this point, which is great. But the current U needs to learn and grow and develop ah, additional, you know, sort of mindset to get to the next spot. Then that's why we hire coaches. That's why we work with great managers. That's why we read books, as you're suggesting on the things that we want to become, so that we can actually embody those skills. So you have to embody the skills, embody the mindset of what would a CEO d'oh in this situation, what would a director d'oh, what would a manager do and then start showing that you have those skills and people won't know that?

spk_0:   28:02
Absolutely. And I think even if it's maybe you're preparing to become a team later, maybe if you're not jumping into manager. You're saying I want to become a team leader? What would my management strategy look like? Define what that is like weekly one on ones. What would you ask in the one on ones? What would you expect in the, You know, like making creating some clear outlines of what that would look like And then going back to your manager and saying, Hey, this is what I'm thinking I would love to do. Is there an intern? Or that I can maybe lead for the summer on the next person we hire? Could I train them and kind of get them spun off? Now you can start showing that you're learning to walk the talk. And if your manager has seen you do all of these things and as the coach advocate, that ideally a manager is, um I think it's a lot easier for you. You have there, like demonstrated not just your potential, but you've demonstrated your ability.

spk_1:   29:10
Um, Heidi, thank you so much for being on the podcast with us today. If people want to connect with you further, how can they find you?

spk_0:   29:17
Find me on Twitter at Pride Ekron 80 i d eyes are you in or, you know, you look me up on Lincoln's. You for having me, Laura.

spk_1:   29:30
Oh, my gosh. Like pleasure.

spk_0:   29:31
You're off her 1,000,000 hours. Thought this stuff all day.

spk_1:   29:36
I I'm so glad that we got to have some of your wisdom shared with the audience because I just think it's really inspiring to hear from a woman leader. And, you know, I wanted I want to try and help pump you up and share your message as much as I can.

spk_0:   29:59
Hey, thank you. A lot of it to learn the hard way. So, uh, you know, step over some of the potholes that I've fallen into you that would make me very

spk_1:   30:10
happy. I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and comment on apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You confine me on Lincoln, and I'm also on instagram at force of Bad ass Irie. All that information will be available in the show notes until next time. Stay brave