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  • Writer's pictureAya

Asked 30 leaders. “What is the biggest challenge right now?” #4

Updated: Sep 17, 2021


Recently, I had an opportunity to ask 30 leaders what the biggest challenge was. Everyone had their own challenges, however, I realized many of them were similar when you look deeper.
There are FOUR big topics that many leaders are working on and I thought it’d be interesting to share them with you.
Those FOUR topics are
1) To Speak Out
2) Own Development
3) Time Management/Work-Life Balance
4) People Management


Today, I focus on 4) People Management

9 leaders answered “PEOPLE MANAGEMENT” as their challenge.

After I asked leaders, I realzied there are three big areas many leaders find challenging in people management. Those challenges are “communication/feedback”, “development”, and “conflict management”.

-Communication/Feedback: Some leaders showed that they were not confident that they were effectively communicating with their direct reports. It is not only what to say and how to say, but many leaders found it difficult to ask “correct” questions in order to communicate effectively. The challenge was also seen when leaders had to provide feedback to team members especially when they had to provide feedback for improvement.

-Development: Many leaders who are assigned to leadership position recently often feel they are incompetent to support/help team members to grow. It is normal for new leaders to struggle in this regard. The leaders had been working hard to learn and grow since they were young.

They figured out what was best for them and tried to achieve it. However, the values, priorities, and interests of their direct reports are often different. They also found that when leaders tried to motivate their direct reports with their own values, priorities, and interests, this strategy had no effect on their direct reports.

-Conflict Management: “I feel bad to say “NO”, so I sugar coat what I say. And the message becomes unclear”, “When I see my team members are disagreeing each other, I have no idea what I should do”, and “It’s difficult to speak up even if I believe that I have to say”. Those are phrases that I hear often from leaders. Everyone wants to be a good person, say "yes" and want to smile. Especially if you were a cross-cultural leader.

In coaching sessions, we often spend time discussing not only what to do and how to do, but also why those actions are challenging. We dig deeper into our thoughts and feelings. Those conversations are judgement-free, and we discuss how to acknowledge the thoughts and feelings we speak. And discuss how enbrace them if possible.

Are you interested in exploring your opportunities? Would you like to see what is possible?


If you are interested in talking about your expat life, concerns, challenges, and opportunities, please book a session from here →

I would love to hear your story.


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