It often feels like managers are supposed to have all the answers. After all, we are in all the meetings, have the inside scoop, and can influence important things like compensation and promotions!
But more often, managers are left without fundamental support. Most of us dive into team leadership without training, and we base our style off of the managers we loved—or we work hard at being the opposite of managers we didn't love.
At some point, you may be faced with a tough situation and could use some support. Maybe:
- You've got some difficult conversations to have with your direct report, and need some advice on how to handle it.
- The yearly feedback you've received feels off, and you're not sure how to wrestle with it or push back.
- You've been handed enormous responsibility, and just don't have the time to make sure everyone on your team feels supported.
- You don't have a manager, and you want some guidance on how to grow and develop your skills.
I'm here for anyone, at any stage, to lend some support through the goopy (but wonderful) process of growth as a manager.
How does it work?
It can be a one-off call to help you work through a problem, long-term check-ins as you grow as a leader, and anything in between. We'll chat over the phone, and we'll design a schedule together based on what you might need.
You'll come to our one-on-one with an agenda or topic you'd like to focus on. I'll typically ask if you're more interested in some advice-sharing based on my experience (mentorship), or open questions to explore the topic and the answers that already live inside of you (coaching).
My fees are reasonable, and we can chat about them during a free sample session. I also offer retainers for engineering and design organizations interested in supporting their leaders with routine one-on-one sessions.
Interested in having a one-on-one? Have more questions about it? Contact me below!
Who am I?
I'm VP of Engineering with over a decade of experience growing and managing organizations from a handful of engineers to dozens. I've hired, I've fired, and I've coached tons of folks on how to have difficult conversations, deliver hard-to-hear feedback, and step up as a leader. I specialize in supporting women and nonbinary people as they navigate growing as leaders in the tech industry.
I believe that humans already have the answers inside themselves. As a manager, I primarily relied on open questions (a coaching method of management), and only sometimes outright advice-giving. My manager one-on-one practice has developed out of this approach.
How can this help companies?
Often, those in upper management are stretched thin and can't dedicate all the time they want to one-on-one conversations with their direct reports. It's not that leaders can't be great managers; it's that sometimes, it's helpful to call in reinforcements.
When you give senior managers and directors the ability to refer their direct reports for one-on-ones with me, it does three things:
- line managers feel supported for the tough stuff when they need it most
- senior managers feel less headaches and stress because they have a lever they can pull for extra support
- your senior manager pipeline is strengthened. Spot coaching can be a key strategy towards increasing the speed and efficiency of filling future open senior manager spots, because I'll be coaching line managers towards more senior leadership/management skillsets.
I'm able to leverage my experience (and enjoyment!) coaching and supporting managers at various levels, stages of team growth, and challenges to help your leaders gain some extra support.
Interested in having a one-on-one?
"Lara’s two outstanding qualities that jump to mind are: her deep knowledge, understanding and experience of how to build “people first” organizations, and her vast repository of pragmatic and effective approaches to management situations (I still refer to or share some of her blog posts on a weekly basis). Whether you are a new Engineering Manager transitioning from an individual contributor role, or a seasoned leader trying to promote diversity and inclusion in your team, you can count on Lara to guide you to success."—Nassim Kammah, engineering manager
"I had the opportunity to get one-on-one coaching with Lara and found her insights and questions immensely valuable for growing my own skills as both an engineer and a leader. Lara will give you new perspectives and ways to think about problems, helping you to find your own answers and thus providing empowerment rather than just advice."—Ryn Daniels, infrastructure operations engineer
"When I was facing a challenging situation with a direct report, Lara was the first person who came to mind to help me figure out how to navigate it. Talking with Lara helped me see where my instincts were on the right track, and also helped me frame my thinking in a way that made the situation seem manageable instead of perplexing."—Rebecca Murphey, engineering manager