When Managers Build Community Its Less Lonely at the Top

When Managers Build Community Its Less Lonely at the Top Although the title of “loneliest job” might conjure up images of  presidents  or  CEOs, you don’t have to be at the very top to know that leadership can be isolating. Managers are expected to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions with little input and maintain boundaries when socializing with employees. While employees can commiserate with each other, what do you do if you’re the boss and you need to vent or talk through a difficult decision?

These are just some of the benefits of creating a manager peer community:

Allows managers to talk through sensitive strategies and challenges with someone other than a boss or subordinates.
Creates camaraderie and an increased sense of community among managers.
Contributes to a culture of continuous learning, helping develop managers’ interpersonal and communication skills.
Helps managers improve coaching skills while coaching their peers.
Improves cross-functional networks by connecting leaders from different teams.

Manager communities can be informal and inexpensive.

If your business has more than a handful of people leaders, consider creating a peer group for managers to connect around their leadership roles. Programs that make managers feel connected don’t have to be expensive or difficult to implement. Community-building for managers can be as informal as brown bag lunches where managers take turns presenting on management topics or ask for input on problems. Manager communities can also be more structured; they might involve regularly scheduled sessions facilitated by HR or a leadership development specialist, or organized peer coaching between managers to help them achieve their goals.

What if you only have a few managers?

If you’re at a startup with few managers, supporting your managers to find community might mean looking outside the company. Invest in the growth and professional fulfillment of your leaders by sending them to management and leadership development trainings where they can learn from and network with managers from other organizations. Other options include sponsoring manager involvement in industry-specific or manager-focused professional groups.

Whether managers connect with peers within their organization or externally, companies have a lot to gain when managers know and support each other.

Looking for more ideas to develop and support your managers? Let us know how we can help. Contact us for a free consultation.


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