Starting any job is stressful, but there is nothing as nerve-wracking as becoming a first time manager.
Here, you are not only responsible for yourself, but are in charge of leading other people.
If you fail, they see you fail—which means you must fully be prepared with these first time manager tips.
Be willing to learn
Yes you will be the leader of the pack, but as a brand new manager, you must be open to the idea that some of your colleagues may be more experienced in the field than you.
Be open to to learning from your teammates, and find their strengths to see what you can learn on the job.
To create mutual trust and camaraderie with your subordinates, be open about your feelings in being a new manager.
Tell them that you are likely to make mistakes, and that you hope they will be able to ride this journey with you.
It’s not a good idea to come into a department with the intent of changing the status quo right away.
While leaders should make their mark on their team, you should do so slowly and respectfully to let your employees know you value what they have set up so far.
Be a good listener
Sometimes it’s more important to listen than to speak, especially if you are a first time manager.
Instead of dominating the chatter during the meeting, step back and listen to what is discussed.
This will fill you in about topics, personalities and goals of the department better than anything else.
Have a high emotional EQ
Modern managers are prized for their emotional intelligence.
Always remember that your workers are human beings with thoughts, emotions and individual personalities.
Having empathy, being kind and understanding the emotions of others is critical to succeed as a leader.
Know how to set SMART goals
Learn how to set time sensitive and detailed objectives that will get you and your team on the same page
Time bound goals will help you to make specific goals that will lead to productivity.
Ask open-ended questions
There will be much more that you don’t know than you know on the first few months on the job.
As such, you must rely on those reporting to you to fill you in.
Instead of asking questions that require a yes/ no answer, ask open-ended questions that make the other party elaborate to truly see the full picture.
Have good team making skills
Your colleagues will be essential as you learn the ropes in your new position.
You must know how to form a true team, empower your employees and reward them to keep them working for the good of the company.
Learn how to reward employees
To get your colleagues on your side quickly, learn effective ways to reward them.
This may be in the form of gift cards, time off or simple kind gestures, such as saying “thank you” publicly.
Be the example
Don’t come into a team and expect to be respected as a leader.
To do that, you must show your employees that you are committed and driven to succeed.
This means coming in early when they are, staying late when they do and showing them you are even more hard working than they are.
Senior Management Trainer and Consultant
Originally published: 10 July, 2018
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