It is vital that you sit down with your manager, or even your managers manager, to make sure your role is well defined. This dictates what your job is, but more importantly what isn’t your job.
This was something I didn’t think about at first. Thankfully I have an experienced and proactive boss who sat down with me and wrote something of a Team Coach Manifesto.
A well defined role makes it easier for you to protect yourself against work overload or unjust criticism – to protect you from others, but also to protect you from yourself.
If you’re offer a position as a coach, you’re likely to be an aspiring person. You’ve got ambitions, ideas, plans and schemes and the drive to see them through. When problems arise you feel a deep urge to fix them – to right the wrong.
However, in teams and organisations with strong wills, stakeholders, and lots of nooks and sideways, you might potentially find hundreds of things that are “wrong”. But it’s not necessarily your job to fix them.
I found myself completely stressed out trying to juggle and fix and manage a hundred things, only to realise I was carrying other people’s stress! These were not things I should be fixing. I once again read the team coach manifesto and then I could more easily navigate and prioritise.
So, identify the problems, escalate them through the proper channels, explain how they will negatively affect your area of responsibility. Then you’re done. You can’t fix everything, and if you’re deemed by management to be the one to fix it, then make them decide which other responsibility you should take out from your work day.
I still read that manifesto from time to time, to keep myself in check when I feel the urge to just “fix it”. To grab the ball and run.
The main rule is: If it’s not in your job description, you’re not paid or expected to fix it.
(Unless you can fix it without running the risk of getting stressed out or failing your main responsibilities. Just make sure you’re not making the organisation depend on you doing more than you should. More on this later…)