Testimonial mentee Cynthia

Testimonial mentee Cynthia

22 February 2021
Veerle Seymus
Veerle Seymus
  • The first mentoring experience of Cynthia to help her in her new manager's role

  • Proces management expert Cynthia recently joined a large insurance company as team manager. Together with mentor Natacha, they work on achieving the following goals:

    1. Transitioning from expert to people manager
    2. More focus on strategy and reporting than on operational stuff
    3. Less directive approach, more self-steering of the team
    4. Better work-life balance

    Natacha: How did you experience the entire mentoring process?
    Cynthia: Great.

    Natacha: Oof!
    Cynthia: Well, it was the first time, an excellent experience. It allowed me to give words to a situation and say things that we know are there but cannot conceptualize and get them out. They were addressed, and it helped a lot in those few months to rethink a situation and make resolutions to improve it.

    Natacha: Okay, so verbalization and expressing feelings, yes, we worked a lot on that.
    May I ask you what the ultimate return is of this process?

    Cynthia: The final result will be a nice change. So it is good guidance in the change and a nice toolbox, perhaps.
    Anyway, not maybe, but certainly packs of tools to deal with certain situations that are a bit vague and eventually thin out to give them a guideline again and make it possible to go over it easily.

    Natacha: Okay, thank you!
    Cynthia: Thank you!

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • not or inadequately trained in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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