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Help Your New Managers Communicate Better and Solve Problems More Effectively

You recognize that your team has technical expertise, but they fall short on the how-to-work-with-people stuff.

They understand your business, at least their part of it, but they're struggling with people-issues—delegating, collaborating, getting into and keeping agreements, managing conflict, running meetings, holding performance conversations, coaching others, understanding team dynamics.


Partner with Russ Powell Consulting to help your team or organization build skills for problem-solving with people.

Our clients often report that, after working with us, their managers are not only able to communicate better, but they also “have a common language and frameworks for solving problems;” they’re better able to “uncover the real root causes, so they’re not solving the wrong problems;” and there’s “less misunderstanding and more alignment.”


We also hear things like “they're ramping up into their new roles faster;” and “they seem wiser, they’re able to 'punch' above their weight.”

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Register for our next foundational workshop, Leadership and the Middle Path.
– Starts 27 July –
Or contact Russ for more information.

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“My Managers are Great Technicians, but They Struggle with the People-Stuff”

“He’s a brilliant engineer, but not too good at holding his people accountable.” “She’s great at the technical work but doesn’t know how to have performance conversations.” “My workforce is telling me they want better people-managers, but I don’t have a clue how to develop something like that.” Sound familiar?


How about these? “Y’know if she could delegate better, her plate wouldn’t be nearly as full.” Or “He’s fine with technical conversations, but when he has to communicate something difficult—like bad news or asking someone to do something they don’t want to do, well, he freezes, he just can’t do it.”


You are not alone

Mastering leadership skills—especially problem-solving skills when working with people—seems to be a universal problem, especially for new managers.

A recent SHRM survey reports that

  • 84% of workers say poorly trained people-managers create a lot of unnecessary work and stress

  • 57% of workers say managers in their workplace could benefit from training on how to be a better people-manager

  • The top five skills people-managers could improve include communicating effectively, developing the team, managing time, delegating, and managing team performance.


From a Center for Creative Leadership white paper:

  • 50% of managers in organizations are ineffective. That’s one in every two managers!

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey:

  • 58% of new managers said they never received any training when transitioning into their first leadership role.

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You're in the Right Place

Lack of people skills is the leading cause of dysfunction in leading and managing organizations.


Fortunately, you’re in the right place.


We teach these critical skills using proprietary techniques and tools with acknowledged success in companies throughout the world.

"Today’s position-based approach to conversations—"I’m right; you’re wrong”—greatly needs the skills taught and practiced in Leadership and the Middle Path. I love that the program calls out familiar but sometimes inscrutable traps we fall into in important conversations and problem solving. It unravels the complex mental processes needed for effective conversations, and includes enough practice and support to enable the leader to own the skills by the end of the program."


Mary Anne Rasmussen


Rasmussen Consulting


Our Solutions

We help your new and emerging people managers build better problem-solving skills in three ways:

  • Workshops

  • Practice Sessions

  • One-to-One Coaching


Our foundational workshops, Leadership and the Middle Path, Leading One-to-One, and Leading Teams, help new managers build foundational leadership skills, learn how to coach others, and develop skills for managing teams, respectively.

Learn more >

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Practice Sessions

The practice sessions which follow the workshops, not only help new managers integrate the frameworks we teach into their day-to-day lives, but they also help build peer-coaching skills— a practice widely recognized as having impacts that exceed what’s possible in one-on-one coaching.

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Our coaching services include developmental, performance, and transitional coaching. Developmental coaching helps leaders who have been tapped for more senior positions shift their leadership skills and styles to match the requirements of the new level. ​Performance coaching helps leaders examine and close specific situational or skills gaps. It focuses on the situation and the capabilities required to be successful in it. Transition coaching is for leaders moving into new positions. This is a critical time for leaders and transition coaching helps them hit the ground running.

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Grounded in HPT

All of our work is grounded in the fields of human performance technology (HPT), integral theory, and socio-analytic theory. Our workshops, and Russ’ coaching style, are heavily influenced by his experience in these fields. ​What this means for you is that the frameworks Russ teaches are tried and true. They have been tested and proven useful in over 125 tech start-ups and other businesses (including Fortune 100 companies) in 15 countries around the world. Russ is known for his passion for and expertise in the development of high-performing teams and their leaders. His educational foundation in the behavioral sciences, coupled with decades of experience in management and leadership in business, make him uniquely qualified to develop leaders and teams.

"I highly recommend RPC's Leadership and the Middle Path workshop. It offers powerful frameworks for analyzing and addressing problems in human systems."

John Wickson

Chief Strategy and Planning Officer

Current Aviation

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How Do I Learn More?

It's easy to get started.

Register for Leadership and the Middle Path

Explore our other workshops

Look into our coaching services

Schedule a call with Russ


What Our Clients Say

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"My team now has a shared language for solving problems, and tools for having more ‘data-rich’ conversations. I use Russ' Middle Path frameworks daily and recommend them highly."

Peter Bui

Senior Software Engineer



Year Established


Projects Completed


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Client Satisfaction

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The RPC Advantage

A focus on proven, actionable practices and strategies is what sets us apart:

Problem-Solving Orientation

Conventional wisdom in leadership coaching—reflected in popular book titles such as Crucial Conversations and We Need to Talk—puts communication at the forefront. But while effective communication is critical, its ultimate goal is to enable you and your team to solve problems. Thus, we approach every aspect of leadership—from conversational skills to people skills—through the lens of problem-solving and solution-finding.

Simple but Not Easy

We teach simple, relevant, practical, and useful models for everyday problem-solving—frameworks that are easy to understand, but not always easy to put into practice. This is why our workshops and coaching both emphasize hands-on practice and skill-building—so when you complete a training with us, you’re ready to put your new skills into action.

Biological Systems Perspective

Our years of real-world experience in team building and leadership training have shown us that people are not machines, and any management model that treats them like machines is doomed to fail. Instead of forcing people into an unnatural mechanical model, we show you how to navigate the inherently messy, non-linear nature of human systems—and how to effectively manage the real, flesh-and-blood people within these systems.

The Middle Path

Binary thinking—including cognitive traps such as “I must be either a tough manager or a nice manager” or “we must choose to be either profit-centric or customer-centric”—can paralyze leaders and businesses, leading to poor decisions and increased conflicts. Our Middle Path curriculum for developing leaders, designed by world-class team- and leadership-development expert Chris Holmberg, shows you how to transcend binary thinking and find constructive third options—the Middle Path—that yield better, more productive, long-term solutions.

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About Russ

After earning two degrees in the behavioral sciences, Russ Powell spent over two decades building and honing expertise in human performance technology (HPT).

Having developed and led award-winning teams in telecommunications, hospitality, high-tech, military, and start-ups, Russ is known for his passion for and expertise in building high-performing teams and developing leaders. One of his colleagues refers to him as a “behavioral engineer.”

Russ holds several professional designations, including certifications from Hogan Assessment Systems, Middle Path Consulting, and Development Dimensions International (DDI). He's also a certified facilitator of DiSC programs.



In New Orleans they call it lagniappe (lan-yap)—a little something extra. Just for visiting today, here are two bonus items.

Daily Reflections Exercise

One of the most common questions I get from new managers and other leaders is, "How do I get better at making changes in my life?"

My simple answer is practice—conscious practice.


And the next question is "Okay, well, how?"


And I invite them to start with this exercise. It’s a reflections tool that helps you consciously and deliberately review your day and plan for tomorrow. I suggest that regular use of it will help you make those changes you seek.

Download the PDF

Systems Thinking and the Juggling Girls of Berlin

This is a PDF of my most popular blog post.


In my leadership programs, one of the most important things I teach is how to think systemically.


This post helps break down the It-We-I model for helping you consider non-obvious root causes in almost any problem-solving situation.

And it's a fun read.

Download the PDF

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We Guarantee Our Services

We are committed to providing high-quality and effective training programs and coaching services that help new and emerging managers reach their full potential. We are confident in the value of our programs, which is why we offer a satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you're not satisfied with any of our programs or services, please let us know right away. We will work with you to address any concerns and find a solution that meets your needs. We just ask that you let us know within 90-days of the completion of the program or service.


Organizations With Which We've Worked

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Similing Team

Want more information?

Schedule a meeting with Russ to discuss your needs and RPC's services. 

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