Congratulations on your new role as a manager! You’re brilliant at your job, you’ve gone for that promotion and worked so hard to get it, and now you’re a manager. Maybe you’ve been promoted within your department, so your colleagues now report to you, or maybe you’ve started a new role, with a new team.
It’s exciting and it’s daunting.
So, how can you become more than ‘just a manger’? How you become the leader that your team will want to follow?
Here are some of the most common pitfalls that can occur in a new management role and how to avoid them first:
1. Manage resentment from your colleagues or team
If you have a very competitive culture in the business you work in or if you were suddenly promoted when someone else thought they were a ‘shoe-in’, chances are you’ll feel like you’re starting off on the back foot.
The initial bitterness from colleagues may be difficult to bear, but if you go in with a positive and open mindset you will gradually reassure them that you have the business’s best interest at heart.
Don’t be tempted to belittle yourself to make them feel better because they will lose respect for you – you earned your place and now you have to prove to them that you’re willing to work hard to be the best manager you can be.
2. Get the training you need to manage people
Sure, you may be excellent at what you do and be a natural choice for progression, but we are not all-natural people managers.
And that’s ok! If your boss has thrown you into this role with no training or guidance, then they’re setting you up to fail.
I’m not saying that they’re doing this consciously, but we meet so many so-called ‘accidental managers’ who just feel like they’re floundering in their new roles, with the associated pressure of managing people, often whilst training someone on their old role.
It can be overwhelming so make sure that you ask for the training and development you need.
3. Confirm and follow your new targets
Another very important step is to confirm your new roles and responsibilities if these haven’t been given to you. You want to make sure that you know what your boss expects of you in your new role and what your targets are.
If this hasn’t been clearly communicated, then how can you achieve them? Be proactive and ask for a meeting to outline your new role and target structure. Your boss will thank you for this and you’ll feel more confident.
4. Let go of your old role…
There is the temptation of just picking up your new role in addition to everything you do at the moment and overwhelming yourself. In the short term you’ll be fine but after a few weeks? You’ll burnout.
Plan in training and delegation of your old role while you transition to your new one. Create “How-Tos” for each aspect of your existing role so that the handover is easier. If you do this gradually you will be able to review each part of the training as you go and you’ll be able to trust your team to take on your role without micromanaging.
Now, let’s look at the top five tips every manager should know in order to become successful:
Your mindset as a manager:
1. Be a leader, not a dictator
Show up with positivity and encouragement every day.
2. Upscale your personal management system
Manage your own time so that you have an hour each day where your team know they can come to you for help and support
3. Hire to your values, not just a CV
Does the person feel like the right fit? You can train for skill, but you can’t change someone’s personality.
4. You can train for skill, but you can’t change someone’s personality
Create a training system where everyone knows what’s expected of them and what their progression is. Use a training tracker to store your “How-Tos” and schedule in training refreshers.
5. Give feedback that inspires improved performance
Encourage your team by giving them ongoing positive feedback. If you need to deliver constructive feedback, do it in private. Never use negative feedback.
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