Have you just been made a manager for the first time? Congratulations! It’s so exciting getting a promotion, and it’s something worth taking time to celebrate. But after the initial celebration is over, maybe the nerves have set in.
Are you nervous about being in a leadership position? You don’t have to be! Your company clearly saw the personality and skills you offer and think you’d be perfect for the post. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a little prep. Just like any significant change, being a first-time manager will take some getting used to. Here are some ideas for how to stay ahead of the curve.
Get to know your team
You might have become manager of a brand new team, or been promoted within your existing one. Whatever the case, it’s time to get to know the people you’re working with. Even if they are familiar coworkers, you need to get to know a different side of them. Look at how they work best and what their performance is like. You might ask them how they like to be managed or what their career goals are. These are probably conversations you never had as a regular coworker.
It’s a great idea to establish yourself as a new manager by having a meeting so you can introduce yourself to the team and get to know them. You might also follow this up with individual sessions to set goals and targets and have more of a personalized conversation.
But don’t try to be friends
One of the biggest challenges with promotion is suddenly becoming senior to coworkers you might have spent years alongside. Of course, you can stay on friendly terms with everyone, but you’ll have to draw some boundaries that you wouldn’t have done before. Staff might have to come to you now to talk about personal issues, like the need to take medical leave. Plus, you don’t want to be accused of favoritism if it looks like you are buddies with certain people. Be warm and pleasant with everyone, but you might decide it’s best to keep any friendships with staff members outside of the workplace from now on.
Leadership isn’t all about taking control. It’s also all about inspiring your staff, recognizing their qualities, and dealing with issues proactively. It’s a lot to handle and might seem overwhelming at first, but it’ll soon become natural. Don’t be hard on yourself or add unnecessary pressure.
Remember that as a leader, you don’t have to be an expert in everything. You can empower the staff you manage to find some of the answers. This can bring out the best in them, too. Everyone loves to be asked for their opinion.
Leadership can mean different things to different people. It’s worth finding out what your boss thinks a good manager should be. There are lots of different ways for companies to measure good leadership. One of them is to undertake leadership surveys, which can help to provide assessment and feedback on what leaders are doing right.
Good luck with your new position and enjoy the journey ahead.