Corporate Digital Learning

Chapters 3 › Unit 3: Help out Martina! View instructions Hide instructions

Help out Martina!

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Imagine Martina, a junior but enthusiastic project manager in her company’s marketing department. She was recently promoted to Senior Marketing Manager and Team Lead, supervising 3 other staff members she was previously colleagues with. Even though Martina is quite enthusiastic about her new position, she is also anxious about all the paperwork and new responsibilities. After the first few months, she is swamped with work, feeling shy to delegate and struggling to juggle her old tasks as a project manager on top of now reporting to management.

Martina’s boss feels she now needs to learn management and team leading skills, so she approaches her about getting trained. In order for the training to be effective, we need to identify her possible knowledge gaps and desired skills.

So think about what you want Martina to learn. How can you assess this and how do you want her to learn?

Start with the learning objective and design her training backwards. If you prefer to do this by hand, download the worksheet below.

1) What do you want/expect Martina to learn?
Formulate learning objectives and standards: What should Martina know, understand and be able to do by the end?

2) How will you know and make sure that Martina has learned it?
Determine assessment and impact measurement: How can Martina show what she has learned? What should she be able to demonstrate?

3) What learning experience do you want Martina to have?
Design instructions and decide on learning activities and content forms:
How do you want Martina to learn?

Martina's way to team leading



1) What do you want/expect Martina to learn?
First of all I would check what Martina thinks she needs to/wants to learn and would compare it with the list I've got in my mind. I would ask her for the priorities of the topics she identified and what is the underlying reason for every topic she identified. And would ask what goals/targets she would like to set with respective milestones and what ideas she's got in mind to achieve them.

And I would set up a conversation with Martina's boss as well - as Martina is struggling to juggle her old and new tasks, it might be that her boss is maybe experiencing the same problem and for that might not be the right role model to learn from. Then she would need a different person to support her here.

Here are the things I got in mind for her to learn - and think/hope Martina will come up with them as well:
- Shifting from team member to boss - how to deal with that situation successfully
- Critical conversations/team situations - I believe it's one of the first things a new manager has to learn, as I saw it quite often, that critical conversations and situations are arising quickly due to the fact of being unexperienced in leading a team
- Leading a team - an understanding about what is her role now, what responsibilities she has, what needs to be delegated and how to monitor the team/tasks
- Effective time management - mental strategies and technical tools to support her
- Self Reflection - what does management/team leading mean for her? What kind of leadership does she want to apply to her team?
- Reporting to management: What does she have to report, in which format and detail, and how to set up the reports most effectively?
- Decision making: What tools and mental strategeies does she need?

2) How will you know and make sure that Martina has learned it?
- First of all I would make Martina describe a typical working week she's facing at the moment.
- Then letting her sort the working packages by importance and amount of time.
- In the next step I would ask her what already goes very well and what are her comepetencies/skills/strategies to deal with it quite well. And about ideas she might have to even improve them.
- Next step would be asking where she's struggling. And what are the reasons for struggling in her perspective - so what would she need to be better? Might be support from certain people, might be a mentor, might be clear expectations from her boss, might be a coach, might be a seminar or reading a certain book.
- Then I would ask her about challenges she's assuming coming up in the next weeks/month. What will she need to successfully master them?
- And then gather all findings in a scenario about a typical working day in let's say 3 months for example, combined with backwards planning: To master that day, what does she already have an board and what does she need to get/learn/develop?
- I then would let her set up a personal learning and development plan to cover the identified topics. And for every topic there will be the question: What is your milestone of success? How and when will you know that your mastered it? And how will you celebrate it?

I would then ask her about milestones/critical incidents she expects to face in the coming weeks, linking that to her learning experiences and set up short dates with her in order to reflect upon her development. Maybe the plan has to be adapted, because circumstances are changing, maybe she needs more or less time for a topic on the plan - everything has to be considered.

I would doublecheck with her if the planned goals can really be reached in the given time. And last but not least I would check with her what would happen if she would not develop further to create a sense of urgency.

3) What learning experience do you want Martina to have?
I want to her have an encouraging learning environment with learnings and successes she can easily transfer to her daily work.
As she is already a kind of stressed, it's important to find engaging and encouraging ways for her to learn, fiiting into her schedule and situation and tackling her need just in time.

And I want to her get a feeling to divide between
- I simply need time to learn something I am aware about
- I need to learn something and already know whom to ask for support
- I need to learn something and have absolutely no clue - so I will ask L & D to help me
- I know how to do something, but I just need practice, practice, practice to get familiar with it
- I have learning experiences I want to share and discuss with peers.

I think it would be great to find a mentor for her - a person who already successfully made the same journey she's on now and support her to reflect the development she is experiences and to face the challenges coming up. Another possibility would be to find a group for her with people in the same situation she could share her experiences with.

And I want her to feel comfortable with about not knowing everything in her new role, so being comfortable to deal with mistakes and allow herself to ask others for support. And to ask for honest and constructive feedback to even develop further.

Bildnachweis/source of picture:


almost 3 years ago

This is great. I especially like the idea to start reflecting her current work week and then take it from there.

over 2 years ago

thanks for sharing this info, I like the idea of milestones and priorities on top of it + communicating 'you may take time to learn' , the awareness ;-)

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