If you’ve recently been promoted to your first management position, you know how exciting — and overwhelming — it can be. As a new manager, you have more influence and authority within your organization, but also more responsibility. And frequently, new managers don’t receive training on how to effectively lead a team. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to make your start as a new manager go smoothly.
Tips for New Managers
Even across industries, there are common qualities that all good managers have. These tips can help you develop those qualities.
Seek Educational Opportunities
As a new manager, it’s important to understand how the business works, why certain decisions are made and how to help your reports work within the company’s structure. According to Entrepreneur, you should learn what you can about different aspects of your business and industry early on, and keep pursuing that knowledge throughout your managerial career. Making informed decisions can help you avoid many managerial pitfalls.
Network With Other Managers
An ideal way to learn more about your new role and how it relates to the rest of the company is to network with other managers within the company. Ask them questions about why certain decisions are made, why particular departments function the way they do and so on. But don’t stop with managers at your company; networking with outside managers can give you a sense of the broader industry, which may further inform your decisions.
Learn Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s also vital to learn more about the people who report to you. Knowing your employees’ strengths allows you to assign them tasks at which they’re likely to excel, while learning their weaknesses gives you the opportunity to help them shore up those deficiencies.
Observe the Political Landscape
It is important to understand where you fit in your company’s managerial structure. Different offices and departments have their own quirks and political structures, and knowing how to work with your peers and superiors can help you become more effective at your job, as well as avoid unnecessarily stepping on others’ toes. Taking the time to learn how management operates in your company before making significant decisions or asserting your authority allows you to make those moves more confidently.
Face Issues Directly
Do not shy away from making decisions when called upon to do so. Be consistent with the choices you make, and always keep your word. It’s acceptable to delegate the additional work your decisions may create, but ultimately, the responsibility lies with you.
Making confident, well-informed decisions and working collaboratively with other managers can help establish your credibility, especially if you establish a reputation for sticking to your word and getting results. In order to establish credibility with your employees, show them that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work with them. New managers sometimes make the mistake of cherry-picking the interesting work and leaving the boring work to others. Avoid that temptation. And, when tasks are complete, be sure to share the credit.
New Manager Checklist
Before digging into your new managerial role, review the items on this new manager checklist to ensure you get started on the right foot.
1. Find a mentor.
Seeking help and advice from a more experienced manager is useful for learning how the company works, what the political landscape looks like and why certain decisions are made.
2. Clearly define expectations.
Meet with your supervisor early and have a discussion about how you both define success in your roles. Make sure you understand all of your responsibilities and how far your authority extends.
3. Define your goals.
How do you define success? What short-term goals do you want to achieve, and what do you want to accomplish in the long term? Write your goals down and revisit them often to track your progress.
4. Schedule one on one meetings.
Get to know your employees. Find out what kind of work they really enjoy and what obstacles trip them up. Look for opportunities to help them succeed.
5. Address changing relationships.
Some of the people you are now overseeing may once have been your peers — they may even be your friends. It is important to address directly how the relationship dynamic has changed and clearly define boundaries and expectations on both sides. Friendships don’t have to end, but they must not be allowed to influence business decisions.
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