Into Right Relationship

Meet Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown of Into Right Relationship discusses strategies for employee-centered workplaces with management coaching client.

"It might sound odd, but i love managing people."

I have spent my career learning with and from the people I manage.

These relationships have taught me the impact of showing up as a human first. Some of the lessons I have learned come from the moments when my employees trusted me enough to be their full selves. Here are a few examples I carry with me:

I value learning from the wisdom, expertise, and experience of others.

For some managers, feedback can be hard to hear. Some avoid it at all costs. But I thrive on people naming “the thing” – because it matters to my own, my business’, and my employees’ growth.

An employee that valued traditional standards of professionalism and had a distrust of authority once took the courageous step to name issues with policies I had developed. They were nervous. I was taking deep breaths. This vulnerable conversation opened the door to a deepening of our relationship that allowed them to feel more comfortable sharing again and again (and again and again). These insights ultimately informed strategic changes in the business’ work (also again and again).

I see the whole person as more than any mistake they make – even a big one.

The term grace is reflected back to me a lot. A new employee once said she knew she was in the right job when she observed me respond to a colleague’s big mistake with kindness and consideration. People are afraid to screw up at work. I normalize that we all screw up at times. Good management focuses on what we will do differently the next time.

I grow innovators, creators, and contributors.

Some people hold back on sharing ideas in the workplace because they’ve experienced managers not listening to or incorporating what they have to say. As a longtime manager, I develop cultures in which my team knows that I not only want their input, but that their ideas will be woven into the fabric of our business – and not just their input, but their wild ideas, hard questions, and generative innovations, too.

These experiences – and many more – are what managing with a human approach is all about. My skill- set derives from 19-plus years’ experience cultivating direct and authentic dialogue, providing personalized support, trusting people to trust themselves, and building some stellar relationships and teams.

As Deputy Director at OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling, an Asheville, North Carolina-based financial services agency serving over 7,000 people annually, I directed programmatic innovation and delivery; shaped strategic and financial directions; and supervised all mid-level managers, programs, and client services team members. Over my 14-year tenure, I designed a diverse portfolio of training programs for employees, managers, and clients. Working with a variety of teams – including my own – I facilitated processes and experiences to humanize systems, transform cultures, and adapt programming to meet emerging needs.

Since its inception in 2021, IRR finds itself working with clients at the precipice of leveling up – as leaders and as humans. As Founder, and Lead Coach & Trainer of Into Right Relationship (IRR), this human-centered work is growing and I’m proud to collaborate with trusted colleagues and professionals whose expertise complements mine. Together, we work with adaptive managers at all levels, supporting professional growth in wide-ranging contexts.

You and your team are worth it

When you relate to your staff – human to human – and engage their whole person, they stay longer, do their best work, and innovate more creatively. Why? Because they want to work with you.

When you manage your entire team from a place of deep listening and honest sharing, the compounding effect is tremendous. Working into right relationship, I see individuals thrive, teams coalesce, interpersonal relationships deepen, loyalties increase, and collective buy-in go through the freaking roof.

That’s the juice that makes me love managing with a human approach.

Let's Get To Know One Another!
"When you tell me that you know I will always be there for a colleague and will give generously of my time when they want support, or that I take so much pride in learning and applying something new — and all the other subtle, specific things you notice that I didn’t even know anyone could see — it makes me feel extremely seen, appreciated and understood."
Pete Wrublewski
Former Employee
“You are an extremely skilled manager and I'm so glad that I've been reporting to you for the last (almost) 5 years. I've loved our teamwork; you're open to my crazy ideas and you even implement the ones that make sense! It's truly unusual for someone in a leadership position to actively fight against complacency with the status quo and continually challenge yourself and our agency to evolve and improve. You are insightful and you're one of the hardest workers I know.”
Kathryn Beach
Former Employee
“You created such a safe space for each of us, and got to know us as people not just employees. You allowed us to be honest with you, and you listened to that honesty. You showed you valued all of our unique contributions, and you didn't negatively react to even critical feedback when any of us had an issue we wanted to discuss. Though you were the boss, you never made me feel like I was less important than anyone else. All this is a rarity in the work world. Your willingness to see everyone’s strengths and have faith in us is remarkable.”
Virginia Wells-Layne
Former Employee
“I felt I was able to offer my best, which I really enjoyed, because I was trusted, empowered, and you had my back.”
Amanda Hunsucker
Former Employee