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Tips for First-time Managers

publication date: Feb 20, 2012
author/source: Aoife Gorey

You Made it to Management - Now What?

 10 Tips for First-time Managers

Aoife Gorey on Wed, Feb 15, 2012

leadershipYou have a new management position opening up in your organization and you are responsible for selecting someone to fill that position. On your team, you have a pool of determined hard working candidates that have been working hard for years to deserve such a position. They are high performers and you have assessed that they would fit such a position. Clearly it’s a win-win, right? Wrong!

Leading other employees can be a significant adjustment for most. Just because someone is high performing in one position, does not mean that they will be high performing as a manager. There are many factors to take into account, especially if the new manager is to lead a group of his peers.

The “Top 10 Leadership Tips for First-time Managers” report offers 10 simple yet advantageous tips to help you prepare your first-time managers for their new position. While this list is intended for new managers, you could likely share these tips with your seasoned managers to remind them of the basics and help them avoid derailing. Reminders such as these might help to give them a new focus or outlook on their daily job, which will not only improve their own effectiveness, but increase the performance of those whom they lead.

We have outlined 5 for you here today, for the rest, simply access the full report!

1. Accept that you still have much to learn. Congratulations! You finally made it to management! After the celebrations die down, there are a few issues you need to address. You will have worked hard for your promotion and have ample expertise in your chosen field, but you may find that you lack self-confidence in your ability to lead. Be prepared to learn from others – including your new team.  All people react differently to being managed and being a manager. Take time to get to know your team and how they work. Remind yourself that this is just the beginning. You too have a lot to learn professionally and personally about how to be the best manager that you can be.

2. Communicate clearly. Always keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and those all-important deadlines. Effective communication will be essential in both establishing your credibility and gaining the support of your team, so be sure to provide clear direction and always welcome questions and feedback from others. Ensure a fair and consistent message is communicated to all levels of the organization. Communication is key – it is the means in which you will be able to ensure your employees are invested in your organizations goals!

3. Set a good example. I'm sure we have all worked with that hypocritical boss before. The one that demands punctuality, but is constantly missing from the office, or the boss that insists no cell phones in work, but is clearly texting all day. As a first-time manager, you must demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. If you expect the team to be upbeat and friendly, then make sure you are! If you expect written reports to be error free, then double check your own work! This will encourage your team to follow your procedures and rules.

4. Encourage feedback.  Have an open door policy! Sometimes employees are unwilling to speak up about certain issues unless they are prompted. Canvass for opinions on issues such as support, training, and resources while maintaining an open-door policy so that your team knows that you are willing to listen to their concerns and ideas as well as help provide solutions to any problems. Some employees may need a nudge in the right direction in order for them to tell you what’s on their mind. Gently encourage them, but don’t force them.

5. Offer recognition. Everyone likes getting the gold star from the teacher! By publicly recognizing the efforts and achievements of your team, you not only build up their confidence, but also encourage future contributions and effort. Praise does not always have to be formal – praising employees can be part of your day-to-day communication with your team. In the video below, Ken Blanchard suggests that managers take an extra minute to offer praise, criticism, or make sure that instructions are understood.

What lessons did you learn as a first-time manager? What advice do you have for preparing new managers? Leave us a comment below, or share with us on Facebook and Twitter (#ProfilesIntl-10tips).

For the final 5 leadership tips for first-time managers, access the full report:

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