☕ CoffeeChat Weekly
Opportunities & Insights from Across Our Community
Hi everyone, here’s what we have for you this week:
We have exciting news! CoffeeChat has partnered with Credly to launch a Peer Coach badge to verify members of our fast-growing CoffeeChat Peer Coaching Network.
Does a leader need to know every aspect of their business? In this week’s episode of The Everyday Leader, Chilekwa Banda from Zambia shares her business management lessons from working at several fintech companies.
Your first promotion can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. We share learnings from managers across Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa on how they approached this transition.
Read on for more details…
CoffeeChat Launches New Digital Credentialing Initiative with Credly
CoffeeChat, a coaching platform trusted by top companies across Africa, has launched a new digital badging program for members of its Peer Coaching Network. Individuals who complete the required Peer Coaching Essentials course and successfully participate in at least 3 two-way peer coaching sessions with other Peer Coaches from the network will earn a CoffeeChat Peer Coach digital credential.
Launched at the start of 2022, the CoffeeChat Peer Coaching Network already includes managers from over 100 companies working across Africa. Membership is limited to individuals who hold a management role at a company or organization with an operational footprint in an African market. Participants first engage in a self-paced e-learning module and comprehension quiz that introduces the principles of peer coaching and how to use the GROW model.
Upon completion of this training, participants are matched monthly with managers from different companies with similar experience levels to both provide and receive peer coaching over a two-way, 1-hour call. Through these calls, managers practice and hone a range of skills relevant to coaching their own teams, including active listening and crafting powerful questions. Participants also benefit from high-impact networking as they engage with emerging leaders working at interesting organizations and discover new strategies for their key challenges from others in different industries.
CoffeeChat is working with Credly, the digital credentialing leader, to provide digital badges. Credly collaborates with top global training providers, credential issuers, associations and academic institutions that are similarly focused on the power of verified skills and achievements. Credly transforms knowledge, skills and achievements into digital credentials that empower individuals to connect with learning and career opportunities.
For more information about CoffeeChat’s digital credential program, visit https://www.credly.com/organizations/coffeechat/badges
The challenges of managing staff who are friends, the importance of making teams know that they have been heard, and why leaders need to understand enough about each part of their business
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Chilekwa:
Clearly document deliverables and deadlines: Chilekwa once found herself managing staff who were friends and she faced the almost inevitable case one of her friends missed a work deadline. When her friend claimed that she didn’t understand the deliverable, she decided at first not to give strong feedback to her friend. But later when this missed deadline raised alarms at a more senior leadership level, Chilekwa herself was made accountable, which caused her to hold a grudge against her friend for some time. As a result, Chilekwa has made an effort to more clearly document details in order to hold all of her team members accountable.
People just want to be understood: Chilekwa has worked in various roles at both Zambian and international firms. She has experienced how different staff have communicated both upwards and downwards on sensitive and challenging topics related to team culture and performance. Her take away is that no matter the environment, staff just want to be heard, and so it’s crucial to set up communication channels and make it clear that messages have been delivered and acknowledged.
Understand enough about each area of your business to keep teams accountable: Chilekwa comes from a tech background and focuses her continual learning on areas of her current business that she knows less about. Her experience has taught her that if a leader knows nothing about a specific department, this will result in the eventual collapse of trust and performance. Therefore it’s important to study enough to at least be able to ask relevant questions and understand what level of performance to expect.
Navigating Your First Promotion: Make a plan and be ready to stretch yourself
Getting promoted to a leadership position is a goal for many professionals and hitting that milestone is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. Each new phase in your career brings about new expectations, and you must be prepared to rise to the occasion. In our podcast The Everyday Leader, we hear from managers about their career journey and management experience.
Here are 3 learnings from several of these managers to help you ensure that you can successfully manage the transition during your first promotion:
Learn to set the pace of work for your team while being open to adjust: As the leader of your team, it is essential to align your team around a common goal and mission - and the speed in which you are moving towards that goal. During his first experience as a project manager, Syakaa William from Dalberg in Tanzania set ambitious goals and timelines, but didn’t build in enough time for his team to absorb the initial information and start implementing. Since then, he has been more intentional about being very upfront during project kick off calls about aligning on expectations and opening lines of communication for regular upward feedback.
Work with a coach to proactively reflect, learn and improve: Your first few weeks and months in a new role can set the tone for years to follow. Seeking out 1-on-1 coaching during this transition can help ensure that solid habits are formed with intention and care. Krista Davidson from Injini in South Africa shared that in her transition from Accelerator Manager to Executive Head, she would sometimes doubt herself or feel anxious. At this time, she was working with an executive coach through CoffeeChat. The coach introduced a framework of identifying and leaning into one’s top 3 strengths, and so during challenging times, Krista found it helpful to remind herself of this list as a way to not only build confidence but to strategize on how she could overcome a particular challenge.
Don’t let your first promotion be your last: Often individuals who experience a rapid rise in responsibilities early in their career find themselves slowing down. Délice Fatiro from Resonate in Rwanda shared that to make sure she doesn’t get too comfortable in the scope of her current role, she regularly reminds herself of her longer term goals. This motivates her to continue growing and seeking out further development opportunities.