5 leadership tips for new managers
A promotion to a management role provides an opportunity for personal and professional growth, but this shift in responsibility can also bring new challenges. Here are some tips to make your first weeks in management a successful start to a long career in leadership.
Evaluate your own experiences with management
Think back about your relationships and experiences with previous bosses, managers, teachers and leaders throughout your career. What did you like or dislike? What did you learn from them?
Avoid the negatives and incorporate the positives into your leadership style. Evaluating others’ behavior is beneficial but it’s also essential to take a look in the mirror. Do a self-evaluation and look at your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t fret about your shortcomings and don’t try to pretend to be someone else. Be yourself. If you find, for example, that you’re an introvert, take the time to learn about how to leverage this character trait and in turn, become a successful leader. Utilize outside resources and read books such as Daniel H. Pink’s Drive or How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie to build up your knowledge base.
From the first day, set guidelines for employees and make your expectations clear-cut. Always be consistent about your team’s purpose and priorities. The pygmalion effect has shown that workers rise to their leader’s expectations. If you set higher expectations and goals for your employees, they are more likely to achieve them than if you set the bar low.
Develop your team
Take the time to get to know your team members on a personal and professional level so that you can give them the tools they need to leverage their skills and interests. Employees want to feel like they have growth opportunities at work. Implementing a reward program or offering professional development opportunities is a beneficial way to let your team know that you care about their advancement. Investing in your team will build confidence and will motivate them to accomplish their goals.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. As you’re aiming for perfection, it’s hard not to want to put your hands on everything. Loosen the reigns and put trust in your team. Decide which tasks should be done by you and then assign the other responsibilities to appropriate team members. When you delegate, consider your employees’ workloads and skill sets. Provide your employees with the support and tools that they need to be successful, but also give them the independent authority to complete their assignments. Find a healthy balance between micromanagement and support. When your employees have more responsibility, they will feel more connected to their work and to the vision of the company.
Be inquisitive and communicative. Request a regular performance review where you are able to give and receive feedback. Ask your employees what they need to do their jobs more efficiently so that you can set up each member to succeed. Encourage your team members to give their opinions and voice their concerns in an inclusive company culture. Although communicating over the phone or through a messaging system is convenient, attempt to speak face-to-face when possible.
As you find yourself in a leadership role for the first time, it might take some time to get settled. From your first day, management is a skill that you will continue to perfect throughout your entire career.