Name: Tia Lurie
Role: Operations/Shelter Manager
Company: YWCA Dayton
SNYAM cohort: 05- Dayton 2018
Why do folks resist moving into management?
At YWCA Dayton, when someone moves to management it typically means they are moving away from direct client services and I think people resist that move because they are worried it will take them away from the work that feels so meaningful.
Additionally, some of the harder decisions are made at a management level; in my experience, direct service staff are appreciative of having someone to go to who is responsible for making some of those tough decisions. Putting yourself in that position is not for everyone.
Tell us a story about a recent challenge in management.
I recently took over a new program and there have been a few challenges associated with that process. The new team I am working with is already very immersed in their work; trying to learn what they do and get to know them at the same time as been challenging. We have really had to hit the ground running with some of our new processes and coming into the picture at this point I haven’t had the leisure of taking a deep dive into learning because I have to keep it running smoothly. Or rather, I have to do both at the same time, which can be even more challenging!
As a leader, what do you need most from your team? From your peers? From your own manager?
Clear and concise communication is what I really want – tell me what you need, how you feel, be straightforward. However, I get that that type of direct communication is not comfortable for everyone (including myself, a lot of the time!).
From my team, I want open feedback, I want to know when they are feeling burnt out (which happens often in our line of work). I really want to know when they are feeling like it’s time for them to go. Turnover is high in our field and we work with a pretty bare bones staff, running a 24-hour hotline and shelter, so when someone leaves it can create a lot of stress for the rest of the team. I have been working hard to build a trusting relationship with my team and I feel like it has made a difference over the past three years. I want to lessen their stress as much as possible, so they can focus on doing their best and staying physically and emotionally healthy.
From my peers, I appreciate support and trust, we are usually challenged with some of the same things and I really appreciate being able to turn to them for support and feel like they have my back.
From my own manager, even though it doesn’t always feel like it in the moment, I want to be challenged. I am often so wrapped up in managing the day-to-day that I don’t put any time into my own professional and intellectual development. I appreciate my supervisor challenging me to better myself.
Getting better at managing has caused me to also get better at:
Not being so reactive. I have really learned the value of getting as many sides of the story as I can before jumping to a conclusion.
I want to tell all new managers out there that getting to know your direct reports is so important! If I had realized that when I first started managing, I think I would have been able to avoid a lot of headaches and heartaches. It is so important to remember that they are humans with families, relationships, car issues, doctor’s appointments, etc, etc, etc. Give them some grace and give yourself some grace, too.
Want to attend a manager training where you’ll learn how to lessen stress for your team and ask for deepening challenges for yourself? Join us at an upcoming manager training… details here.