For those of you who have been appointed to your first management or leadership position, and may be feeling some uncertainty and anxiety – let me reassure you that it is a perfectly natural feeling. Eighty percent of new managers experience varying degress of apprehension, simply because the nature of their new role is now so completely different.
Instead of doing the work yourself, you are now having to get it completed by planning, organising and giving direction to other people for completion of those tasks. And as you will have discovered already, your people skills become so much more important.
Whereas in the past when you were a member of the team – and if you didn’t quite get along with a co-worker, you could often find a way to reduce your interaction with them – or simply work around them. Not so easy to do that as the leader of the workgroup, is it?
I have worked actively in the field of management development for some twenty-five years, and would offer a few brief tips
- Be willing to ask for advice and guidance from more experienced managers, who seem to have their act together (ie. they are respected by their staff, and deliver good results)
- Give yourself time to become familiar with the new role – don’t expect that you will wake up tomorrow and suddenly have discovered a formula for leadership confidence. To some degree, it is a time and experience thing – your confidence will grow as you gain more experience
- As well as experience however, take some time to try and think about issues from the management perspective – which takes a longer term view and considers the “bigger-picture” of not just individual interests, but also those of the wider workgroup, department and company!
- Always take some time to de-brief yourself after a critical incident and reflect upon whether you could handle it better next time – again consult more experienced managers if you’re not sure you’ve been able to extract the lesson from the experience.
- Don’t lose sight of your strengths – that’s what brought you to the attention of more senior management, and why you won the job! Remaining mindful of your inherent strengths will support you in staying positive – which is imperative if you are going to have the energy and enthusiasm you need to succeed in the leadership role.
Have a look around at our pages here on Management Skills, Conflict Resolution and Stress Management in particular. There are plenty of tips and videos that you will find useful as a new manager – and even for experienced managers who may be seeking some renewal! And if you are located in Melbourne, Australia and are seeking a management skills course, visit Management Training Melbourne