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178. Transitioning Roles

About this Podcast

Ep. 178 – Navigating change can be difficult and feel overwhelming at times. It can feel like a balancing act of letting go of the past while embracing the opportunities of the future.

In this week’s episode, I’m going to share how to overcome common obstacles that may hinder your progress, especially common road-blocks such as fear and self-doubt, plus how to effectively transition into a new set of circumstances.

Whether you’re moving into a leadership position for the first time, contemplating a career shift, or simply navigating a new phase of your professional journey, this episode is for you.

Watch it on YouTube here:

Action Steps:

  • Understand and acknowledge the doubts and fears running through your mind during a transition.
  • Recognize the need to let go of past responsibilities or roles to embrace the new role effectively.
  • Fully own and commit to the new role, without waiting for external validation or milestones.
  • Reflect on how you would feel, act, and speak after successfully transitioning and adopt that mindset now.

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Episode 178 Transcript:

Ramona Shaw [00:00:00]: This episode is about transitioning roles. You might be preparing for a transition, you might be thinking about a transition, or you might be going through transition. If either of those apply, then this episode is for you. Stay tuned. Here’s the question how do you successfully transition into your first official leadership role, build the confidence and competence to lead your team successfully, and establish yourself as a respected and trusted lead across the organization? That’s the question, and this show provides the answers. Welcome to the Mentor Track Podcast. I’m your host, Ramona Shaw, and I’m on a mission to create workplaces where work is not seen as a source of stress and dread, but as a source of contribution, connection, and fulfillment. And this transition starts with developing a new generation of leaders who know how to lead so everyone wins and grows.

Ramona Shaw [00:00:49]:

In the show, you learn how to think, communicate, and act as the confident and competent leader you know you can be. Welcome to this episode of the Manager Track Podcast. This is going to be about transitioning roles. As I’m preparing for this podcast, I thought about the transitions that I’ve gone through and how I’ve experienced them from transitioning from kindergarten into school or from preschool into kindergarten. As I’m right now recording this episode from my hometown. We are spending a bit of time near my parents’house in Switzerland, in fact, and my kids are going to the school for a little bit, a few weeks, going to the school that I used to go to school to, which is very OD and very strange experience. And I have a lot of these flashbacks to when I was a kid and the differences of growing up in Switzerland versus in the US. Where my kids go to school usually.

Ramona Shaw [00:01:45]:

And the transitions that we’ve all gone through from going to school, maybe moving to a different location, a different place. Maybe joining a sports team or some kind of team or exiting one of those. Maybe being with a circle of friends and then leaving that circle of friends or building new friends, going to college, moving to a new city. It may be moving apartments or houses. It may be getting married or being in a relationship, getting out of a relationship. It might be getting a new job, changing careers, or being assigned new responsibilities in your job. It could also be becoming a parent. Gosh.

Ramona Shaw [00:02:21]:

The transitions that we go through in life are endless, right? We deal with them on a very regular basis. They’re part of life as part of the human experience. We all go through transitions. What I talk a lot about specifically moving into leadership. Right now, as I’m talking about transitions here, I do want to not just focus on moving into leadership, but also for existing leaders to think about the transitions that are ahead of them, maybe that they’re preparing for a bigger role, maybe any other job and career related transitions that they’re thinking about or going through. So this is what this podcast is about. Transitions are change, and we are not naturally wired to do well with change. Now, some of us have experienced a lot of change in our childhood or as young adults, and so we’ve gotten more used to it and we can navigate it fairly easily.

Ramona Shaw [00:03:14]:

Some of us have a personality style or just the way that we’re born makes it easier for us to deal with change, or we seeking change even more so. And then some of us have experienced less change and may have a harder time with it. Some of us have personality types that are less inclined to appreciate change and transitions. And so with that in mind, there is not one way to go through change and to deal with transitions. There’s only your way, and your way is going to be the right way. The question that I pose to you, and I pose to myself too, is what do I do that makes transitions easier? And what do I do that makes transitions harder? And as I’m going through transitions, I’m trying to figure out how am I building roadblocks? I’m actually dumping bricks in front of me that I have to then step over versus what am I doing? That clears the path and makes it easier to transition into new living situations, new environments, new jobs, new roles, new client engagements that I have, new responsibilities and so forth. One of the imminent transitions that we’re thinking about here are we’re rebranding, and I will keep you posted on this, but in the fall, we will launch our new online presence, but also brand under the name of Arkanova, and it will transition away from my name, ramona Shaw LLC, or Ramona Shaw as the domain. Although don’t worry, that will still exist in the Manager Track podcast will also not go anywhere, but Arkanova will be our new presentation of the business and the work that we do.

Ramona Shaw [00:04:48]:

And so changing not just the business structure and strategy, but then also representing that to the outside is definitely something that I’m transitioning through and that I’m recognizing. Okay, there are a few things that I’m hanging on to from the past and a few things that I’m really excited about. Then I also find myself in situations where I think, why is this taking so long? What am I doing that’s slowing this process down? This has been going on for quite a while, and naturally it is and it should be a deliberate and slow process to a degree. But then there are things that I do that make it go slower, right? And as I was thinking about this transition and what I do to slow this down unconsciously, I wanted to share this with you here as well, because I see this with clients who are transitioning into new roles a lot because I see common behaviors, patterns, of clients who transition into new roles. And I personally experience those as well. So here are the three patterns that I want to talk about that make it harder to transition into roles. First, we listen to fear and self doubt. We actually start to believe that fear and self doubt that’s running in our head is a thought worthwhile entertaining.

Ramona Shaw [00:06:01]:

The reason why I’m saying it in somewhat a radical way is because, yes, sometimes having doubts is good, right? It makes us be more careful and cautious and all that oftentimes and definitely during times of change, the self doubt that’s lingering and spiraling in our head is a survival instinct. We have survived up at this point and our brains will think, what kept you alive was going to keep you alive. So don’t change because what you’ve done so far worked. You’re still living and I want you to survive. That’s like the main goal here. When you change something, you transition into a new role. You take on bigger responsibilities. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Ramona Shaw [00:06:42]:

Something could happen now in the work environment. Nothing is going to get you killed. But our survival instincts are still dominating our brains. And so while we’re not going to die as we’re launching Arkanova, my brain is still thinking, wait a don’t. I’m not sure yet. This is scary. So if I start to truly entertain those thoughts, I will hesitate from making decisions, from taking action, from promoting it, from really owning it and present it. Now, in a leadership role, or as you’re transitioning in a career, you might not ask for a promotion or for a new role.

Ramona Shaw [00:07:16]:

You might sort of justify it with, maybe I’m not ready yet. They would have asked, if they are looking for a replacement of my boss, they should think of me because I’m doing a good job. No, if you’re not saying it, they may not. If your peer is constantly saying, I’m going to get half my boss’s job or a leadership role and they keep saying that every three months, but they’ve never heard you say it, you know who they’re going to choose or prioritize? Likely your peer. So there are the fears that we feel. Listen to them, they’ll get in the way. What are the doubts? And we all have doubts. So that’s a side product of change and transitions.

Ramona Shaw [00:07:52]:

As a caring and driven manager, I know you want to strengthen your leadership skills, advance your career, and lead a high performing, engaged team. And in order to do that, as a leader, you need to lead with a system, not by shooting from your hips or reacting to everyone else around you. To do so, you need to first, learn what should go into a leadership system and second, develop your own. Now, the good news is that I teach you. One musthave part in your leadership system in a concise, actionable and yet comprehensive course focused on running successful one on one meetings with your direct reports. It includes over 67 minutes of Tactical Leadership Training, plus a set of resources to make this as easy and immediately applicable for you as possible. You can either watch the video lessons or listen to it through a private podcast feed on your phone. You can get your hands on this course, which I want every single manager to have for a nominal $19 at Eleven, that’s two times the number one.

Ramona Shaw [00:09:00]:

You can check the show notes for the details or head on over to Eleven to get started right now. So as you’re transitioning, you’re thinking about a transition or going through transition. What are the doubts and the fears running in your mind? Write them down and then assess whether there’s actually something you need to be worried about or if they’re kind of made up, right? If they’re just a story and not actually a concern that we need to have. If your friend would say, that’s ridiculous, it’s not a concern that you should have. Those are the fears and the doubts that we should categorize as this is normal. This is part of what the brain does. And just because it’s a thought in my mind doesn’t make it real, doesn’t make it true, doesn’t mean I need to entertain it. Not at all.

Ramona Shaw [00:09:45]:

Of course there is the doubt. Of course you’re telling me this is scary. Of course you’re telling me, I might not be ready. It might not look good. It might not be liked. I might not do well. All these things that you and I might have running through our minds, those are irrelevant, unfounded, ungrounded doubts not worth entertaining. So that’s the first one.

Ramona Shaw [00:10:05]:

Don’t entertain those. Move on and put them in a pocket on the side into your drawer. Sound effect as I’m opening the drawer and close it. The second one is to avoid the discomfort and not letting go. The letting go part, I should emphasize here. When we’re going through a transition, we have to naturally embrace new things and let go of old things. Here’s how I see this challenging for many, especially for leaders, there are certain things pretransition that you enjoyed doing. It might be you really like doing an analysis on a spreadsheet.

Ramona Shaw [00:10:42]:

You really like being part of this one meeting. You might have really liked organizing a certain event. Then you get promoter, you think about this transition and you realize that kind of is no longer my responsibility, or I should let that go. I should delegate this. Someone else should now be doing this. But I really like it. I really enjoy doing it. These are the things that will make it harder to transition.

Ramona Shaw [00:11:03]:

You got to let it go. There are always things that we’re quick to let go. Great not doing that anymore. And then there’s the things that we hang on and those things that we hang on because we like them or because we feel comfortable doing them. We feel successful, we get rewarded. We know that people love it. You might be great at designing PowerPoints or creating formatting reports, and so you’re still formatting reports, or people love the way that you write, and so you feel like, I still need to be the one writing things. When that’s no longer part of your job, your team should be doing those things, and you may still get yourself involved.

Ramona Shaw [00:11:37]:

That will make it harder for your team to actually step up, rise to the occasion, learn, grow, and transition as well alongside you. And it will make it harder for you to transition into this new role, to distraction, to your new role. So that’s the second one. The third one that makes transitions into new roles harder than it needs to be is to not fully own the role. What I mean by that is, we may go through a transition and think, I’m not quite qualified yet, or I’m still new at this, or I’m still halfway doing this other thing and halfway this, so don’t take me full of a fool leader yet, or I’m only doing half of it. So only measure my performance as half of it. There are all kinds of reasons or ways that we rationalize this. When you’re finding yourself, justifying why you’re not fully owning the role, ask yourself these questions.

Ramona Shaw [00:12:31]:

One. If I had the title fully if I was fully in it and I’ve done it for a year, or if I would already have that promotion and the certificate, or I would already be fully leading the team, and I’ve let go this other stuff, this IC work or this other responsibility. If I already was fully there and on the other side of the transition, if I was already there, how would I feel? That’s the first question. How would I feel on the other side of the transition? And then based on that feeling, what would I do? How would I act, and what would I say? And the answer to those questions is how you want to feel, act, and speak today. So we often feel like, well, once I’m there, once I’m fully onboarded, once I’m six months in, once I’m post my 30, 60, 90, once I fully have my team set up, once I fully delegated this other work and I’m 100% in this new role, then I will. But that is delaying the transition and making it harder for you and for others involved, too. Think about how you will feel, what you will do, and what you will say, and then at the other side of transition, and then start to feel, act, and speak that way today. So these are the three things that make transitions harder.

Ramona Shaw [00:13:44]:

I’m going to quickly recap. One, listening to fear and self doubt that it’s unfounded. Two, avoiding the discomfort and gravitating back to the comfortable things the things we don’t want to let go. And three, not fully owning the role and stepping into the actions that we would shoot for at the end of the transition. The more we start to do that earlier in the transition, the faster the transition will go. So these are the three things that get in the way of transitioning that we can tackle, navigate, and then make transitions easier. Now, with that said, most transitions are not easy. It’s also okay to say this is not going to be a smooth ride.

Ramona Shaw [00:14:22]:

There’s some discomfort and there may be even some hiccups that are involved. There’s some growing pains, there’s some challenges. I’m going to make some mistakes. I’m going to learn a ton. That is all part of transitions. They’re going to be hard days, they’re going to be easy days. They’re going to be things we like, things we don’t like. All that is part of it.

Ramona Shaw [00:14:38]:

So as I’m observing my kids going to Swiss schools, local schools, they don’t fully speak the language. Plus in schools they speak high Germans and it’s different to the German that I speak to them. They’re learning a new school system. They are meeting new friends and new people and all that is happening. They’re going through this transition and sometimes they come home from school and they had a great day and it was amazing and they’re learning new things and then sometimes they come home and they’re confused or they’re frustrated or they don’t like something. All that is part of it. And every time that they speak with friends from back home and they’re being pulled back into what it used to be like last year, for example, after summer, right? And they think back at that time and they wish it was that again or they wish they could experience the same thing. That’s what makes it harder

Ramona Shaw [00:15:26]:

And they’re closing down a little bit to embracing this experience, totally normal and to be expected. But I can see how what they’re doing chatting and FaceTiming with friends from home and imagining what it would be like if they were still there. But now they’re here and they’re trying to adapt to this transition, but then passing to this transition and how these moments create hardships. And I can see this is exactly what we’re doing too, when we’re transitioning roles or careers or jobs and how we’re hanging on and going back to the old times and feel like just a little bit of that release of how easy it was or how comfortable it felt and how safe I felt back then. And now I’m in this transition here and going through this more difficult time of change. And whenever we go leap back there, those are the times that make it harder for us, right, that make it harder to transition. Part of it is normal. Be compassionate with yourself.

Ramona Shaw [00:16:21]:

Understand this is part of change. Our brains are not wired that way. And then look at with that knowledge and with that awareness, what can I do to pave the path versus throwing rocks and bricks in front of me? That wouldn’t be necessary. I hope you have some takeaways and insights from this episode and you start to think a little bit or with some food for thought of how you’re dealing with transitions, what makes it easier, what makes it harder for you personally. If you are interested in additional resources, check the show notes. I will include a link to my behavioral change course on LinkedIn Learning if that’s something that interests you, as you may be going through transitions that require behavioral change. Otherwise, I’ll see you next week in another episode of the Manager Track podcast. Take care and I’ll talk to you soon.

Ramona Shaw [00:17:05]:

Bye bye. If you enjoyed this episode, then check out two other awesome resources to help you become a leader people love to work with. This includes my best selling book, The Confident and Competent New Manager, which you can find on Amazon Slash Book, and a free training on how to successfully lead as a new manager. You can check it slash Master class these resources and a couple more you’ll find in the show notes down below.

Reflection & Discussion Questions

Reflection & Discussion Questions:

  1. How do fear and self-doubt impact our ability to successfully transition into new roles? What strategies can we use to overcome fear and self-doubt during times of transition?
  2. How can we effectively communicate our desire for a leadership role or career transition to our superiors and peers?
  3. What role does self-awareness play in successfully navigating transitions? How can we build confidence and competence as we transition into a leadership role?
  4. What are some common behaviors or patterns that can hinder our ability to transition into new roles? How can we actively clear the path and make transitions easier for ourselves?
  5. How can existing leaders prepare themselves for future transitions or new career opportunities?

Resources mentioned

  • Schedule a Strategy Call with Ramona Shaw
  • The concept of emotional labor introduced by sociologist Arlie Hochschild.
  • Learn how to turn your 1-on-1 meetings from time wasters, awkward moments, status updates, or non-existent into your most important and valuable meeting with your directs all week. Access the course and resources here:
  • Have a question or topic you’d like Ramona to address on a future episode? Fill out this form to submit it for her review:

Grab your copy of Ramona’s best-selling new book ‘The Confident & Competent New Manager: How to Rapidly Rise to Success in Your First Leadership Role’:

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00:00 Introduction to transitioning roles
01:00 Personal experiences with transitioning
02:00 Various types of transitions in life
03:00 The challenge of dealing with change
04:00 Importance of assessing how one deals with transitions
05:00 Personal experience with business rebranding
06:00 Overcoming self-doubt and fear
07:00 Importance of asserting oneself in a leadership role
10:00 Embracing the new role and letting go of the past

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