Congratulations! After many years of hard work and dedication, you have just been promoted to your first management position. Now what? Becoming the leader of a team can be just as challenging as it is rewarding. You are now accountable for the success and well-being of an entire team. Coaching, training, hiring, and firing, tasks your boss used to handle, are now all your responsibility. Consider the following tips to help you reach your maximum potential as a manager.
Understand that you have a lot to learn: It takes time to develop strong managerial skills. You can acquire new skills and techniques from other managers but don’t forget that your new team will be a very valuable resource as well.
Encourage feedback: Sometimes employees may not feel comfortable speaking up unless they are encouraged to. Create an environment that your team will feel comfortable approaching you in. An open-door policy usually helps your employees understand that you are willing to listen and help provide solutions to any issues.
Provide recognition: Do not overlook the power of positive reinforcement. Recognizing your team’s efforts and accomplishments builds their confidence and encourages them to stay motivated. Your employees will appreciate your commitment to their progress.
Set a good example: As a manager you should lead by example. Demonstrate the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from your team. If you expect them to show up on time and have a positive attitude, then be sure you do the same.
Use your own experience as an employee: Try to implement management techniques that you think were effective from your previous managers into your own management style. Remember that what worked for you as an employee may not work for everyone. Adjust your techniques to fit your team’s needs.
Be clear in your expectations: A quality leader will make decisions and stick to them. Providing well-defined expectations and following through with them will help you gain credibility and support from your team.
Communicate with your team: Communicate project goals, priorities, and important deadlines with your team on a regular basis. Effective communication is an essential key to increase your team’s productivity and success. Remember that communication is a two-way street. Give your team a chance to respond with any questions or concerns they may have.
Ask for advice: Why not reach out to someone who has already been in your position? Challenges and concerns from your team and other colleagues will arise and sometimes may cause you great angst. A mentor can be a great resource to provide you with guidance and feedback.