Are you excited about your role as a first-time manager? Great! There are probably one of two ways that you ended up in this position. The first is that you are brilliant at what you do, and your role has been elevated. This means that you got a promotion as a reward for your hard work.
The second is that you met the criteria in terms of qualifications and possibly experience. Now you have been hired as a manager. Both of these may form an excellent foundation for you to start. You will soon find out that there is a big difference between being able to do something well and being able to lead a team.
Take a deep breath, as there is no need to panic. You may be expected to wing it, but with this checklist, you will have the right tools and information to get started.
Becoming a manager requires a change in mindset. Whereby your known set of skills form your backup or foundation, and you work on developing new skills that will fit perfectly with your new role.
You will quickly realize that other people will start depending on you and expect specific actions and results from you. To begin with, the performance of the people who work under you will rest on what you choose to do.
Additionally, their success and personal growth within the business will also be dependent on your actions. You will need to give plenty of feedback and watch what your team is doing daily.
Here is a checklist that will help you sail through your early days as a first-time manager:
- Get basic training
- Meet the team
- Figure out your management style
- Learn how to manage conflict
- Seek out a mentor
- Focus on communication
- Leave room for learning
- Help is at hand
- Remember to touch base
- Be transparent and open
Acquire Basic Training
Start on the right foot with some basic training. You may have years of experience in a role that resulted in your promotion. However, management needs a new approach to the way of working. By going through training, your mindset will be elevated, and you will also acquire essential skills, such as how to delegate to your team members.
Meet the Team
Your premier objective as a first-time manager should be to meet the team that you are working with. You will need to introduce yourself to them as your manager and inform them that you are looking forward to working well with them for the success of the organization. By doing so, you are setting the tone for your new relationship and can share information on your working styles.
Figure out Your Management Style
You need to be self-aware when figuring out the way that you will manage your team so that you are productive. There are various management and leadership styles that people adopt. There is the top-down leadership or management style, which requires all the decisions to be made from the top or even laissez-faire management, which takes into consideration everyone’s contributions.
One may choose to communicate as an autocratic manager or a participative one. Knowing your management style will help you understand how you will communicate and how the team will react.
Learn how to Manage Conflict
When managing a group of people, you will need to learn or discover the best way to manage conflict. Managers are responsible for having sensitive conversations with the teams working under them. This requires actively seeking ways to have awkward conversations. The best way to discern how you would manage conflict is to look at your own life and the way you deal with challenges thrown at you on a personal level.
It also helps to establish open communication and build relationships with each member of the team. This way, when a conflict arises, it is easier to manage it before it becomes heated or emotional. As a first-time manager, it is essential to handle these situations as calmly as possible. Being a role model, you can expect that members of the team shall be watching you so that they can imitate your behavior.
Seek out a Mentor
There must be a manager somewhere that you admire when it comes to the way that they lead a team and the results that they achieve. Learn everything you can about management from this mentor, and you can then copy what works from them.
A mentor does not need to be someone that you physically meet and get advice from. You could learn about them by reading books they have written, or even listening to their speeches on YouTube. The mentor is simply someone that you look up to.
Over time, and as you get better at management, you will need to connect with a mentor that you can speak with. This will enable you to bounce off ideas and challenges and improve where you need to.
Focus on Communication
Feedback will be a vital role for the first-time manager, especially when it comes to engaging with members of the team. This feedback must be constructive, particularly if it has to do with criticism.
Feedback should not always be positive, as you must improve any issues that pop up during work. One of the biggest challenges a first-time manager will need to overcome is the fear of not being liked or the fear of the reactions of people they are working with. This becomes even more challenging when the people receiving criticism are old colleagues. One must accept that they have moved up and need to have those hard conversations.
For communication to be effective, the manager needs to be able to articulate what they require from the team, as well as when they are facing frustration. The best part of the communication will be acknowledging or praising those who are doing a great job and working hard. This will help to develop and maintain morale.
Leave Room for Learning
Within your role, you will be learning, and the people working with you will be learning as well. Getting everything right, maybe your primary goal, but you also need to allow your team to make some mistakes as well. This is not a sign of failure, but it does allow you more room for growth and learning. The team should feel free enough to explore ways of working without fear that if they get something wrong, they may lose their positions.
Help is at Hand
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is essential to help you attain success. When you face any problems or challenges, ask for help. Support can come from your superiors or colleagues who are facing the same situations that you are each day.
Another way that one can get the help that they need is through research. The research will call for you to read, finding articles, or books that can assist you in troubleshooting and resolving issues that arise in the course of duty.
Remember to Touch Base
Make sure that you allocate time to touch base with your team often. Usually, having a 30-minute meeting week is enough. In this meeting, you can create and review goals. Additionally, you can find out from your employees what they are doing, and if there is any direct assistance that they will need from you.
Be Transparent and Open
Confidence and trust of your team will be easily attained if you are transparent and open. This will assure the group that you have positive motives and great goals that you want to fulfill. To further build their trust, remember to put their needs before yours.
Trust them first, so that they do not feel as though they need to overcome hurdles and earn trust from their manager. By being transparent and open, you are also inclusive, helping everyone feel like they are part of the team.
The above checklist will help you tremendously, as will knowing what your new responsibilities will encompass. These responsibilities become more intense as you continue to climb the ladder.
- Planning for upcoming tasks and evaluating results.
- Developing goals and standards that are to be maintained.
- Creating clear roles and responsibilities for all team members.
- Supporting, motivating, and rewarding team members.
- Build up a healthy and productive work environment with clear communication and excellent procedures.
New Manager Role
Stepping into a management role brings you closer to the heart of the organization. Your actions will have a direct impact on organizational development as well as the motivation of staff. Becoming a manager will inevitably increase the amount of power that you have in the workplace.
However, your new role will encompass much more than being powerful. As a first-time manager, work hard to make sure that you can offer your team support, as well as to lead them towards fulfilling their potential.
Finally, remember to be yourself. When people sense that you are authentic, they will always respond positively.