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The lonely journey of a regional manager

The lonely journey of a regional manager | Melissa Hague Leadership Coach & Dare to Lead Facilitator UK

Finding Support and Connection

Being a regional leader can be an isolating experience. As you navigate the challenges of managing teams across different locations, it's not uncommon to feel disconnected and alone in your role.

The weight of responsibility combined with the physical and metaphorical distance from your team can take a toll on your well-being. It's really important that you remember that you are not alone in this journey. I want to share some thoughts based on my knowledge and experience of working with regional managers.

In this article I will explore the emotions and struggles faced by regional leaders and provide practical suggestions to find support and connection, helping you overcome loneliness and thrive in your role.

As a regional leader, it's natural to feel a sense of isolation.

You almost certainly miss the day-to-day interactions that existed when you were part of a local team. The absence of face-to-face communication and the challenges of coordinating geographically dispersed teams can (and often does) lead to a sense of disconnection. It's really important to acknowledge these emotions and recognise that you are not alone - many regional leaders have gone through similar experiences.

You’re not being rubbish, you’re responding in a completely normal way to a new and unfamiliar set of challenges.

Finding support in your new role is essential for your well-being and growth.

Look for opportunities to connect with fellow leaders facing similar challenges. Seek professional networks, industry associations, or online communities where you can share experiences, exchange insights, and find encouragement. Connecting with others who understand the unique demands of your role can provide a sense of camaraderie and support, and lessen the feeling of isolation.

Despite the physical distance, it's vital to establish meaningful connections with your team members.

I mentioned this in a previous article, and it’s really important so I'm going to say it again - take the time to get to know your team on a personal level, beyond their professional roles. Schedule regular one-on-one video meetings to foster open and honest conversations. Actively listen to their concerns, ideas, and feedback. Showing genuine interest and empathy builds trust and creates a sense of belonging within your team and that sense of belonging makes a team operate much more effectively.

Amidst the demands of your role, it's essential to look after yourself.

Even though it can feel frivolous, take time for activities that recharge you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Engage in hobbies and exercise regularly (or even practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques if those appeal to you). By taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to navigate the challenges and find the energy to connect with others.

Looking after yourself isn’t something that should come last on your to-do list, it should be right up there with the other important stuff. As the old adage says (and it’s true) you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re not okay personally, it will impact your work and your team.

One suggestion I have for finding support is to connect with other regional leaders or colleagues within your organisation who are in similar roles.

Get in touch and schedule virtual coffee chats or informal catch-up sessions to share experiences, exchange best practices, and offer support. Building a network of trusted peers can provide a valuable support system and a safe space to discuss shared struggles and triumphs.

Another option for support of course is to schedule a call with me. I work with regional managers in hospitality, to help them build outstanding relationships, so that they can lead with courage and confidence. That courage and confidence is important because new regional leaders have lots of learning to do yet learning and looking good can’t happen at the same time.

The journey of a regional leader can feel lonely at times, but please remember that you are not alone.

Melissa Hague | Leadership Coach & Certifed Dare to Lead Facilitator

About the Author

Melissa is a Leadership Coach and Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator based in Dorset, with a particular interest in supporting people who are stepping up from managing individuals to leading other managers.


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