JJ's (March '06) Tips in this issue:

1. Strong Leaders Can Appear Too Strong
2. Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring

Use the following tips as training tools.

Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.


What does a conscientious, good operational manager need to do when he thinks he's doing a good job, but complaints are coming in to upper management that he is rude and uncaring? Management fears his lack of people skills will cause more people to quit in his department.


In coaching and mentoring management groups over the years, this has been a common question asked about both seasoned and new managers/supervisors.

Seasoned managers who get this complaint are usually strong in operations and directing others to get the job done, but they need coaching and training on how to soften their directing.

Many first-time managers and supervisors have often been great in their previous front line jobs, but find themselves floundering in the management of their former peers. The peers often judge them harshly and even undermine them. Then the new managers find themselves in over their heads because the skill sets are so different. They displayed strengths to be promoted as managers, but showing their strength and authority too much gets them in trouble.

They need management training, especially in the people skills. They can feel proud of their promotion, but they must get their egos out of the way so they can put the emphasis on their former peers, not themselves.

Not giving management and (soft) people skills training to new managers is one of the most common mistakes companies make. New managers need these to control their newly-found strength.

"Strong people can come across too strong." is what Laura Laaman recently wrote in the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. In her article called, "Surefire Strategies for Success," she offered these highlights.

"If you consider yourself a strong person, one who is self-sufficient, confident, knowledgeable, even one who likes to take charge and lead a group, be careful you're not coming on too strong."

She said, "Coming across as an unempathetic know-it-all is a surefire way to get people to move away from you."

Most strong managers walk a tightrope in making their confidence and strengths comfortable for others.

Listen to yourself and watch how others perceive you. Then you have a starting place to soften the rough edges you may have.

Laaman wrote, "Say more positive comments than negative ones. Make a conscious effort to say 25 to 50 positive comments each day.

Compliment often but sincerely. With complimenting, advice, even the best-intended constructive criticism, can sting. Offering a sincere complement is a powerful way to capture people's attention and help them
like you and trust that you are not trying to hurt them."

She also said, "Laugh a lot - at yourself. Self-effacing humor is endearing and underused."

Strong people can come across as perfectionists. When you laugh or poke fun at your own fault and failures, it lets others know you are just like them, not perfect at all.

Watch the reactions of the person you're conversing with and notice the changes in their expressions. When you get a puzzled or confused look, keep rephrasing what you said until they get it.

Laaman said that this works much better than saying, "You didn't understand that did you?"

Develop awareness and show respect and caring in the process. When a person sees you as abrupt, rude and uncaring, they automatically resist what you're saying. With more awareness, you can turn your behavior around with sincere caring and concern that will encourage cooperation and teamwork.

Laaman suggests you, "Try something new that you are probably not going to be good at." She said to try something really hard like a new sport or new language.

She emphasized that as you learn this new thing, "The point is for you to live through the moments of discomfort while you struggle to become better." Then she asked, "How would YOU feel if you had someone being tartly critical and unsupportive while you were struggling?"

Managers have always found it to be a balancing act to be strong and supportive at the same time.

Get out of your own way! Get in the other person's shoes. Give others support as you coach and mentor them through learning a new process or change. You won't lose any of your strength, instead, you'll gain their respect, trust and cooperation to become even stronger and more successful.

So praise, genuinely care and nurture your staff to team success. Remember, as a manager, it's your job to help others on your team to find their strengths.

Ultimately, you'll become a stronger manager and leader.


"Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work."
- Warren Bennis

"There's only one way to succeed in anything, and that's to give it everything."
- Vince Lombardi

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
- Helen Keller


TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.

Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 445-1590



* Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
* Motivation and growth of your people?
* Leading and Coaching your staff?



Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)



JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
408 445-1590 or 800 500-9656, 1716 Husted Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CMC) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at:


Copyright and Reprints:

Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears:

JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2005. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription:

E-mail jj@jjlauderbaugh.com

REFERRALS Requested: Please pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who would also benefit from it. If you want to unsubscribe, reply Unsubscribe on the subject line. Our database is "never-sold or shared".

You can make a difference! Send your questions and comments as they are always welcome.