Improving R & D Manager and Department Skills
to End Conflicts, Achieve Development Milestones

The client is a global biopharmaceutical
developer and manufacturer of new medicines.

Case Studies


An R & D (Research & Development) Department was experiencing a large amount of internal criticism; disputes; and heated arguments. As a result, progress was delayed in new drug experiments; development milestones were missed; and complaints and requests for transfer were lodged with Human Resources. It was determined that changing and improving the R & D Manager’s management style and communication skills were essential for resolution.


1. My due diligence included background; input; concerns; and objectives from the Director and Manager of Human Resources. A plan was developed and approved to provide training and coaching for the manager who was notified that failing to make improvements would result in termination.

2. The Manager shared his view of the situation, including concerns, needs, frustrations, and objectives with me. A 3 part “working agreement” was established with him to gain his confidence and establish a good comfort level; and to also allow him to speak confidentially.

3. A series of training and coaching sessions were conducted over a period of 4 months; Summaries included his progress; session content; and an assignment for implementation and reporting between sessions.

4. The Manager learned and practiced new skills, and worked diligently at applying them with the scientists who reported to him; they communicated his progress to HR.

5. As needed, some adjustments were made to the sessions with HR’s review and approval; skills received reinforcement.


The company retained the R & D Manager.

Scientists were encouraged to explain and share more information with the Manager, resulting in improved decisions and next courses of action.

Comfort levels, rapport, and morale noticeably improved.

The fear of disagreeing with the Manager about how to proceed on drug experiments was replaced by listening; discussion; and collaboration instead of criticism and arguments.

>The achievement of drug development milestones improved.

 Free people to communicate & do more productive work.

Conversations at Work helps people in organizations have the workplace
conversations they’ve been avoiding—and improve productivity.

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