Live Chat with Madeleine Blanchard on Survival Skills for First Year Managers

Join Madeleine Blanchard, Co-founder of Coaching Services for The Ken Blanchard Companies, right here on LeaderChat beginning at 10:05 a.m. Pacific Time for a 50-minute Q&A session. 


Madeleine will be stopping by right after she finishes a webinar being hosted by our friends at WebEx on More Survival Skills for First-Year Managers.  Over 600 people will be participating in the webinar and many will be gathering here to ask follow-up questions.


If you have a question that you would like to ask Madeleine, just enter this thread or click on the COMMENTS hyperlink near the title of this post.  Type in your question in the space provided and hit SUBMIT COMMENT.  Madeleine will answer as many questions as possible until she has to leave at 11:00 a.m. Pacific.


And if you can’t stay, be sure to stop by later and see all the questions that were asked.  Or better yet, hit the RSS FEED button on the right-hand column and receive updates on a daily basis.

24 thoughts on “Live Chat with Madeleine Blanchard on Survival Skills for First Year Managers

  1. Hi Everyone!

    I’m on the webinar now, but I’ll be back here soon to answer your questions. Ask anything you like about Coaching from 10-11am PST today!


  2. Thanks for the conference, Madeleine.

    We discussed today how to set goals, give feedback, and create the environment for those we’re managing.

    We’re also managed by others. What suggestions do you have for working with those that are managing you and getting this feedback from them? In other words, how would you structure this “ask” for feedback from those you are reporting “to?” Not only would this help me, but would give me ideas on how to help my direct reports approach me if I’m giving as much supportive behavior/feedback as I need.

    Kind a rough and involved question – sorry if that’s confusing!

    • Hi Justin!

      Ask either in writing or in person “what should I do more of,” “less of,” “what should I start doing,” and “what should I stop doing.” And then, never argue with feedback, say either “thank you,” “I don’t understand,” or “tell me more.”

  3. When does listening become too much? I.e. at what point does too much complaining by employees become counter-productive?

    • That’s a great question! You can have a boundary. E.g., everyone gets three minutes to vent. Or, you’re allowed to “complain” three times about something before you have to shut up and do something about it. You can encourage people not to repeat themselves.

      • what about a senior manager who is known for being a complainer & pessimist and is tolerated by top mgmt b/c they are afraid he’ll leave if they challenge him?

        • That is really tough – it is up to Sr. Management to send that message that the negative behavior is making an undesirable impact. You could petition Sr. Management to do something about it and give them clear guidelines about how to do it. It is their job to manage the culture.

  4. Fantastic webinar today – thank you!

    I recently joined a new organization in an HR capacity and will be recommending the Ken Blanchard webinars to supervisors. It is a newer organization that has gone through tremendous growth the last couple years and is now focusing on stabilizing. One area of top interest is to get a new manager training session created. From your experience do you have a top list of competencies you would recommend including in this type of training?


    Tracy White

    • We will be sending out a copy of the slides in about 48 hours. There will also be a link to the recording of today’s session in the email we send out.


  5. How would you guide new managers who don’t understand why they cannot “just hang with the boys” like they used to do before becoming their manager?

    • I don’t see why you can’t “hand with the boys.” But, you need to have clear standards for what is and is not appropriate… either behavior or discussion topics for when hanging out. Your guidance should include the standards you have in mind.

  6. Hi Madeleine,
    Thanks for all the great info.

    A new mgr of a media dept is now doing 1/1’s, a lot of PM, and lost his opportunity to do creative, consequently is getting dismayed. Mgmt keeps him going at a fierce pace. I’m concerned he will quit which will dramatically impact the org. I’ve encouraged the use of a “project proposal worksheet” to limit mgmt’s requests to his dept but this is tough going. Any suggestions?

    • It depends on how many people he is managing – perhaps he could move 1/1’s to bi weekly, and delegate some of the PM work to folks on the team? He will need to find one project that he enjoys and fit in or he will burn out badly.

  7. Yes, bi weekly could work. It will be tough. He also feels he must respond immediately to every request for help from his subordinates, esp. since he’s a perfectionist & they’re inexperienced. Between his staff & mgmt demands he’s feeling very pulled. I will suggest taking a key project to at least satisfy his creative somewhat. Very helpful, thanks!

    Could you offer any suggestions for the marketing of a new manager development program in a command and control culture?


    • Hi Sid,
      Here is Madeleine’s response:
      I am interpreting the question as that you are seeking suggestions for marketing a program to Sr. Management, hopefully that is what you meant.
      It seems to me that the hallmark of the command and control culture is that success depends on understanding and following the rules. New managers will be much more likely to deliver the desired results in a way that is aligned with the culture if they are given the processes and procedures explicitly. Sr. Management will be much happier if their new managers are doing things ‘by the book’ so I would leverage the desire for control to spin the desirability of a program.

  9. great presentation… during times of growth we look for more… now is a time we need to get back to the basics. Question.. As each employee has different strengths and different weaknesses…. do you recommend or develop a coaching checklist?

    • Hi Andrew,
      Here is Madeleine’s response:

      Thanks for the kind words. It is the manager’s job to work with an employee to:

      1. Get a clear picture of strengths and how to leverage them
      2. Understand weaknesses and make decisions about shoring up weak areas, building skills or simply mitigating weaknesses

      All of this of course must be done in the context of the job that needs doing.

      For a great resource on managing to and leveraging strengths, look at a book called Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton. Each copy of the book has a code so the reader can take a strengths assessment online, and the book is filled with great ideas for managers on how to deal with strengths.

      Very useful!

  10. Great Webinar this week. I will start implementing the 5-15 discussed.
    How would you suggest I deal with a person who reports to me, who refuses to work with a Project Mgr due to personality conflicts, and who will not allow me to travel with him on customer visits. As his Mgr, I am required to evaluate his performance with customers. He seems to like his own “space” and his own method of doing things. I am not sure how to overcome his inflexibility.

    • Hi Betty,
      Here is Madeleine’s response to your question:

      This is really tough, and the longer you have allowed your employee to ‘have his way’ rather than stick with him long enough to assess that he is fully competent, the harder it will be to ‘tighten up’. But tighten up you must because it is your job. The first tactic might be to simply explain your job to your employee and make it clear that neither of you has a choice – that you don’t want to cramp his style, but you are duty bound to evaluate. Let him know that the feedback will be developmental and that you will also be able to see all the things he is doing well.

      Re: refusing to work with the PM – it does happen that some personality conflicts cannot be solved. And if it is practical to assign him to others, that’s fine. If it isn’t, then he is going to have to get over himself. Your company may have mediation for deep conflicts – look into it. Otherwise you can tell him that you are going to go to HR and arrange for special counseling to help he and the PM to move beyond their differences and see if he changes his tune.

      Your use of the language – ‘refuses’ and ‘will not allow’ makes me wonder if the situation is beyond hope. He has been somehow led to believe that he has a ‘choice’ about certain things. So you have to decide if it is OK for him to have choice or not and then make your decision clear. It is possible that this employee, having already experienced freedom, will not be willing to accept your authority. That is a choice he can make, but it may cost him his job and it is your job to have him understand the consequences. When you start fresh with someone new, remember something that Ken Blanchard says: It is easier to start tight and loosen up than the other way around.

      Remember that your are after all ‘the boss’ and he is not.

      Good luck.

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