Ethan Van Eck
Community Health Services
Department of Public Health for Seattle and King County, Wa.
The recent reorganization geared toward more accountability at the supervisory levels had also reduced the number of managers from ten to five, creating a lot of static in terms of the restructuring of their roles and responsibilities. At the same time I was headed for retirement in less than six months!
Rob cut through the organizational and cultural noise to challenge me to be brutally realistic about what was important to accomplish with my limited time ... helping me get the candid feedback and suggestions I needed from staff that would have been very difficult one-to-one or in a group given the stress they were having with recent changes.
The result was a plan giving managers the support they needed, including a recruitment process for my replacement plus the involvement of my sponsor, the division head, in joint meetings with staff to address transitional issues as I stepped out, making things much smoother.
Rob has a knack for helping managers get real with themselves and others, yet without being judgmental about it ... sensitive to the pressures we feel but able to step outside the culture and have a cleaner view of what goes on with the intricacies of all the complex working relationships you get in an organization... .
... a kind of friendly probing approach that also seeks the commonalities that were so important to developing a particular rapport we used as a basis for the rest of the work we did.
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