Chapter 53. Manager Handoffs

Lara Hogan

Think about the history you have built with your direct reports. You’re aware of their current goals, and how they came to be. You have background. You have context. You’ve been there for their career accomplishments, their failures, their moments of needing clear and actionable feedback. You’ve likely been the person to share with them news about change within the organization, and you’ve steered the ship of your team so far.

So, when someone gets a new manager, it can feel like starting over—their relationship and trust with their new manager needs to be built from scratch, and their career momentum might stall. One of folks’ core needs at work is to have a sense of improvement or progress toward a goal; this could be a goal for the organization, for their team, or for themselves personally. And when they lose their manager and get a new one, it’s easy to feel like this sense of improvement or progress forward is about to be threatened.

If managers care to do a handoff for their direct reports at all, most will have it behind closed doors. This means that direct reports will have no idea what was discussed, whether everything important was captured, and—the scariest bit—whether their former manager represented things accurately.

When you’re in this situation, try a new twist on manager handoffs: a “one-on-one-on-one.” A one-on-one ...

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