Overplaying Your Hand | Career Angles

A senior manager I coach contacted me for support with regard to a situation with a subordinate who is challenging his review of her performance. Although he reviewed her to a level that was obviously “above average,” she wanted more. HR thought his review was fair. She wants more.

One of the issues is that she was passed over for a promotion and was told she was not quite ready yet. I suggested that he look at this is a mentoring opportunity, not as a place to act on his anger.

Her first response was to “act out.” The person who received the opportunity was going to be out on maternity not long after she joined. “You’ll have to find someone else to cover for you while you’re out. I’m not going to do it.” A team meeting was scheduled covering staff on multiple continents and was set up to accommodate her schedule. “I now may not be able to make those dates.” In addition, she was responsible for program managing to foreign events and now was not to be available for either, she told people.

Overplaying your hand causes people to notice for all the wrong reasons. She won’t get her way throwing a tantrum. She could’ve doubled down to learn what her deficiencies were and to work to improve them. I suggested to my coachee a quality solution.

 “How would you write your review based upon these categories,” I suggested he ask. “Let’s convene early next week and see what you come up with. My job is to mentor you into your next assignment. Let’s use this is an opportunity to start practicing some of the skills that you will need at that next level.”

She could’ve taken this approach but overplayed her hand. Now she’ll have to re-earn trust.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2019



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call.

Career Angles
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