Can you relate to this scenario? You have worked hard to prove yourself and put in the long hours, taking on projects that no-one else wanted and you’ve consistently outperformed expectations at every turn. Now your boss has entrusted you with an entirely new set of responsibilities, one that includes being a manager of people. How do you feel about this promotion?
In this article, we have a few tips from a seasoned manager to help you through the trials and tribulations commonly experienced by first-time managers.
Making the transition from employee to manager should be a great move for your career and your earnings, but success at the role is never guaranteed. The following tips from United Car Care Executive Vice President Rory Angold will help you avoid the most common pitfalls, when attempting to do inspire and motivate your sub-ordinates for the very first time.
If you’re wondering if you’re a natural manager, don’t, as managers are not born that way they are made with training and experience. Let’s get into how you can make change your mindset to get better outcomes with staff management.
Reframe Your Points of Reference
If you want to avoid the micromanagement trap and be successful in your new role, start by reframing your points of reference. If you have spent your career thus far as an employee with little to no team leadership, you will need to learn a new set of skills.
Reframing your immediate response to tricky situations is the starting point. Your auto-pilot will be to just do the tasks yourself. However, your job is ‘not’ to do the work that your staff are expected to do, therefore pause before you take action and let your staff do their best and likely prove you wrong.
Get to Know Your New Team
As a new manager, your success at least initially is largely dependent on who you have in your team. Your staff will have some preconceived ideas on what their manager should be like and how they, as valued employees, should be treated.
The desire to micromanage kicks in when you feel you’re losing control or have lost control of what your staff do and how they act. This can be turned around though, through getting to know each member of your team. Take a hard look at their strengths and weaknesses, and find the threats and opportunities each person has, it is likely that some staff are just in the wrong job and all the motivation you provide won’t change the outcome.
Seek to understand how you can assist your team so individually and as a group, they can be more efficient with their time and the companies resources while being more productive.
Start Small and Keep Building
Take small steps with work delegation. The process of relying on others to do what you believe you can do better is challenging, and it requires patience and tolerance.
Trusting in the expertise of your staff is the first milestone to being a great manager. The good news is you do not have to abandon your old ways immediately; a successful transition often involves a more gradual approach. You are still new to your team, and to the world of management in general, so take a go-slow approach to avoid the micromanagement trap.
Giving your new team some small tasks to complete will help you build confidence in their abilities, and they too will be eager to do a great job, knowing you’re trusting them to deliver. In time delegation will be a given and you can focus your time working on the team – not in it.
Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Whether your new boss is sitting in the corner office or just the next cubicle, he or she was once in your shoes as a brand new manager. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and the anxieties and insecurities you are feeling right now will not last forever.
Share enough of your concerns but not too much as you need your manager to have confidence in your ability to do the job. Competent managers know what they are doing well and how to motivate their teams, but they also know when to ask for help. You should never be afraid to ask for guidance when you need it.
Far from being a sign of weakness or uncertainty, asking for tips can actually make you a better manager in the eyes of your boss.
No one is born a great manager, but the best team leaders do have a few things in common. From the ability to motivate those around them to strong communication skills, these qualities help to define great leaders.
If your hard work has finally been rewarded with a management role, you need to cultivate these qualities in yourself, but above all, you need to avoid the micromanagement trap. The tips listed above can help you be a great manager, one who trusts in the abilities of the team and knows when to take a step back.