Congratulations you are a Manager
The first Management role you have is always exciting and terrifying at the same time. Others have seen some talent in you so you probably have the right skills and attitude to succeed. That bad news is that most great Managers learn from their mistakes, and learn fast.
Here are my top 10 tips to succeed in your first role as Manager.
- Remember you are part of a team. A big mistake is to start calling your team, YOUR team, YOUR people, YOUR staff as though they are some kind of possession. No, you are all part of the same team and you simply have the tole of planning, organising, delegating, monitoring and developing. This doesn’t make you more important than anyone else on the team, you just have a different role. Get your ego out of the way and get some humility.
- Listen. Your team may have loads more experience than you, so ask questions and listen. Failing to do this will immediately rub people up the wrong way and create an us and them mentality. You may have some great ideas, but hold back from sharing them or making any changes just yet. By listening to your colleagues you will gain vital insight into why something is the way it is, or how attached they are.
- Growth Mindset: We all keep learning, every second of everyday. It is easy to think you know all the answers, but adopting a growth mindset means that you will continually learn, reflect, change, develop and improve. Learning from a team member doesn’t make you weak. It makes you self-aware, humble and super efficient.
- Be Honest: Your team will give you so much more respect if you are open and honest. If you don’t know the answer, ask for help. If you don’t like an idea, say it and ask for more information. If you have plans, share them and listen to feedback. Honesty and transparency builds trust, and you need to trust your team and they need to trust you.
- Develop empathy. Empathy means being able to put yourself in the shoes of others. It always feels a little worrying when you get a new Manager. Change is unsettling and until you have formed a relationship, both you and every member of your team may feel uncertainty. Use empathy to meet them where they are and to create a safe environment. Too much energy, gossip and second guessing is wasted otherwise.
- Show respect. Just because you could have everyone fired doesn’t mean you should act like it. Don’t go stamping your feet or peacocking around the place. Show some respect. Everyone on that team is a human being and employed by the same employer. You are no better than anyone, you just have a different job to do.
- Be a Coach. Telling, selling and yelling doesn’t motivate or inspire people to do their best work. We are all self motivated, your job is to create the right conditions to enable everyone to flourish. So use coaching skills to ask questions, find solutions, motivate and engage your team. The coaching Manager is respected, liked and generally more successful.
- Set great goals. Once you have earned what motivates an individual, you can set goals and targets that align to their values, personal goals and approach. First you must set the goals for the team, which should be aligned to the company as a whole, but why not ask the team what they think the team goals and priorities should be?
- Accountability. Once you have set and agreed goals, hold people accountable for achieving them. It doesn’t mean blame them or make them feel criticised, it means agreeing what good looks like and then holding them to account. It means that once you have commitment that a team member will do something, then expect them to do it. And if they fail, coach them.
- Recognise great performance. If someone does a good job, tell them. If you see great behaviours, recognise it. Hopefully you will have learnt how people like to receive praise by now, so act on it. It’s not all about the stick. A thank you goes along way, but so does a gift, a reward or some form of recognition. Start making role models.
Good luck, have fun and be the Manager you wish you always wanted.
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