Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Congratulations on becoming a first-time manager! You’ve worked hard.
Your team is looking to you to lead them and they’re ready to hear your instructions. Even those resistant to change are watching you and, if you handle things well, they will eventually come around and follow your example or move on to somewhere else where they can be successful.
Here are some tips to help you excel as a first-time manager guiding your team toward your organization’s vision and goals.
1. Listen Well
Active listening is one of the core qualities of a natural leader. As a first-time manager, listening is going to be one of your most important leadership skills and one you continue to develop over time. You will want to hear feedback about experiences at meetings, training, and especially with simple daily tasks. A great idea may become evident to you simply by listening to your team.
2. Communicate Clearly
Communicating well and often is important to keep in mind, despite how busy your days become. Your team needs to know that you trust and respect them. They need to understand the audience for the work they are doing.
They need to understand the reasons for changes. Be clear in all forms of written and verbal communication. This will help build respect and understanding, and help your team perform better.
3. Work For Your Team
Providing an encouraging and stimulating atmosphere is part of good leadership. As a first-time manager, it is understandable that you are excited and proud of your position, as you should be. A great leader is not prideful and arrogant about having other people work for them. Remember, as a manager, you are working through your team and for your team.
As a first-time manager, it can be hard not to do everything yourself. It can be hard to keep control and to know and trust the outcome. Delegating is a leadership skill that cannot be overlooked. It may be difficult to trust the competencies of your team at first and it may be difficult to actually ask someone else to do something for you.
As difficult as it might be, you absolutely cannot control everything. Learning to delegate is crucial; people will make mistakes, but they will learn from them and do a better job the next time.
5. Don’t Walk Around Feeling Threatened
Your organization has selected you as the manager. Be confident. Don’t walk around feeling threatened. You are the key influence on your team and cannot worry about someone else succeeding or even doing better than you.
When you see a team member whose strength is one of your weaknesses, utilize their skills. It will help you succeed as you learn to use other team members’ expertise and let your own unique talents shine. It’s a skill to let others work to their strengths so you can work to your own.
6. Be the Manager
You’ve got the position and now it’s time to act like the manager. You should not vent about the company or any individual to your team. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun or socialize with your team. However, it does mean that you need to be the respectful, responsible leader that your company has hired.
7. Find a Mentor
Last but not least, you will need to find a mentor. Find someone, preferably outside your company, that you respect as a leader and ask that person if they are willing to meet, talk, or chat with you on a monthly basis to share their tips for success and help you in your new first-time manager position.
As a first-time manager, trust yourself and be ready to continue learning, growing, and developing your leadership skills.
How Do You Lead as a First Time Manager?
If you have ideas about first-time managers that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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