This week we are posting a brief synopsis of an excellent article by Jennifer King of Software Advice, entitled 5 Tips for First-Time Managers, From First-Time Managers. Jennifer interviewed new managers to find their perspective on what helped them most as they moved into their role.
5 Tips for First Time Managers
Congratulations! You’ve finally been promoted to “manager”. While the bump in salary and new job title are nice, you now have heaps of responsibility you didn’t have before. As a manager, part of your new job is being responsible for the growth and well being of an entire team.
You may be crying for help at this point. I spoke with a few recently appointed managers and a coach to get their tips for first-time managers.
- Get to know your people and what they want. Take as much time as possible in the beginning of your transition to get to know your direct reports. Talk to them about their career goals, what they want out of their current position and how you can best support them.
- Learn to see your work through others. As a manager, you’ll likely be spending most of your time in meetings, discussions with senior management, and one-on-one conversations with your team, which will leave you less time to work on your own projects. You’ll eventually begin to see your work shine through your team as you give direction and offer guidance.
- Listen. The ability to listen to your team and give guidance without assuming you immediately know the right answer will be critical as you spend more one-on-one time with your employees.
- Develop your own style. While it may feel easy or natural to mimic the management tactics of your previous boss, those same tactics might not work for you. Instead, think about what they did and how you can learn from them to develop your own style.
- Don’t expect to “get it” at first. One of the biggest misconceptions held by first-time managers is that they’ll be good at management from the get-go. In most cases, though, new managers need training and development just like any new hire within an organization.
What tips do you have for new managers?
One more thought
I agree with all the points made in Jennifer’s post and would add one more. Learn to manage expectations in two directions, up to your supervisor and down to your team. Work with your supervisor to create clear goals and objectives for you and your department and set up clear lines of communication and reporting. As a new manager, better systems will create greater success.