You've made it to management. Congratulations! With new responsibilities, there may also be challenges. Below are important tips to avoid the most common challenges of first-time management.
Meet One-on-One with Your Team
Any new relationship is a two-way street of sharing information. Can you share a fun fact? Why did you take the role? What inspires you? Sharing about yourself is the first step to establishing trust. Remember to keep it professional. The goal is to be relatable, not establish yourself as their friend. Learn about your team with similar questions to them.
Uncover Employee Challenges
The success of an employee is the manager's success too. Are employees performing their best? To understand this, ask each employee what barriers they may face. That's not to say the manager will fix everything. There may be things out of your control. But it's a place to start and earn your management chops. Remove obstacles if you can, then get out of their way.
Don't Tell, Ask
This is the hardest thing for a new manager to do. Your promotion to manager is because you rose above other candidates. Presumably, that is because you have talent that others were not able to show. So, it can be challenging to witness an employee accomplishing a task in a less than satisfactory way, either from their inexperience or indifference. The knee-jerk response is often telling them how to do it correctly.
Instead, consider asking questions as a way to manage the employee. It creates a learning environment and doesn't cause the employee to become defensive. Ask questions like, "Why did you choose to do it that way?" or, "Do you think it would make a difference to try it this way?" This allows the employee to think through the problem and learn in a directed way.
You Won't Know Everything
You want to rely on your team as much as they want to rely on you. To do that, request their feedback. You don't have to act on all the suggestions, but it's helpful to get their input. Not only are you able to make better, informed decisions, there's a better chance for team buy-in to the final decision that you make.
Becoming a great manager won't happen overnight. Allow yourself some time to learn the ropes. For more useful tips on management and leadership, check out our Infographic with even more first time manager tips.
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