9 Core Truths From Frontline Managers


The real me isn’t the person I describe.

No, the real me is the me revealed by my actions.

Malcolm Gladwell


I recently concluded a training program with a group of managers who work in the hospitality industry. I Zoomed with them once a month for six months. During that time they participated in various other opportunities offered through HR.

At our final session I simply asked:

What have you learned that surprised you?

How will you follow through on that insight in the months ahead?


And so began a free-wheeling conversation!


The following nine insights emerged from our conversation.


If embraced and put into action by the managers these insights will set each of them apart from the pack and will help to make each of their teams a stand-out!



I used to care only about my agenda. I now see that aligning my goals with those of my boss will help me, my boss and our department.


How can you help your direct reports align their goals with yours?


I used to make them do it my way – now I see there’s more than one ‘better’ way.


This is the essence of “trust” – letting team members devise additional ways for reaching goals.

How can you foster more “better ways” in your team?


I hate failure – but there’s no getting around mistakes.


No one likes failure for a host of reasons. What do you personally do when you fail?

Beat yourself up or learn from your mistakes?

What do you do when your team members make mistakes?

What do they think you’ll do?


I easily get defensive – too easily – and I need to relax.


It’s so easy to get defensive!

What do you do when you have a difficult conversation with a direct report, colleague, customer

so as to help defuse defensiveness in them? In yourself?


I need to be a better active listener.


Listening is THE greatest gift we can give someone – and it is a skill that needs mindfully to be developed.

What can you do to make it easier for people to listen to YOU?



I want to do for my team what my favorite boss do to me –

she made me feel comfortable.


What do you do to make your team members feel comfortable with you? What does “comfortable” look and feel like?

Do your team members see you as someone with whom they can have a productive working relationship?



I do have a ‘little’ work to do with myself.


Smart people ALWAYS have “a little work” to do with themselves BECAUSE they know they’re a work in progress.

What specifically are you working on this week?



I have a lot of skills from having worked with a lot of personalities.


Strategic managers are familiar with the skills they’ve developed over the years and continually find ways to build on them.

What personality type do you find most easy to work with?

Most difficult to work with? What has each personality type taught you about YOU?



I feel good when I personally live out the values of the company.


Do you and your team all have a shared understanding of what those values are and how they are lived in daily practice?



All of communication is about PSYCHOLOGY and STRATEGY.


Understand what makes the other person tick, what makes you tick, and you can then strategize how to communicate.


The managers now have a keener insight into what makes each of them tick. And so each is in a position to take their key insight from the training and use it to strategize new ways of communicating in smart, healthy and effective ways.


Taken together, these nine insights will allow them to create connection, trust and surprise – the enduring hallmarks of THE BEST!




Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?

To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

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