Essential Management Tips For New ManagersReading Time: 5 minutes
You got that position finally. It must exhilarating and at the same time a little intimidating. You knew everything about being a success in your previous role as an Individual Contributor. A management job is nothing close to what you knew before. It comes with a completely different set of skill sets, knowledge and challenges.
As a New Manager it is important for you to invest your time and money to skill yourself for this job. The investment you make now shall go a long way in your career as a manager. The things you will learn now are in all possibility used throughout your management career.
Research says that an employee does not leave an organization but leaves the manager – Yes it is very true
So then the onus is on you as a manager to ensure your employee sticks to you
Here are some essential areas you should focus on. These come from the collective experience of the experts at Global Management Mentors and are not theoretical tips you find everywhere else. Each of them come from closely observing, coaching and mentoring new managers, so you should take them very seriously !
1. Move From Individual to Collective
This is the first and most important step. Till this point your success depended a lot on yourself and your skills. You must have been that hero in the team and the “go to” person because you were adept at solving technology problems or business problems. You knew your trade well. But now as a manager it is no longer about yourself and your skills alone.
Your success is dependent on your team’s success.
Hold On ! what are you saying? yes my friend it is true and many new managers miss the point here completely. This is the point that defines your future success. You must start looking at your team as your extension. You must make a mind shift from myself to everyone. So how can you do this mind shift. Read on …
2. Know Your Team & Get Them To Know You
Invest time, effort and in many cases money to spend quality listening time with your teams. Come across as a welcoming person. Get to know their skills, strengths and weaknesses. Don’t miss a chance to engage in some good natured banter at the water dispenser or the coffee machine. Go beyond work and tread cautiously as you get to know them to build a long-lasting trust worthy relationship.
Do not make a mistake of talking too much about yourself
Yes that can simply put off people. So go easy and take the time to get know each other. Be genuine
In this new role your biggest success comes from how well you can delegate/assign work and motivate your team to get the desired results. So if you do not have a good connection with them and vice versa it is likely that people will be disengaged and not meet your goals. Remember your goals are their goals to a large extent
3. Find A Mentor
We have seen this more often in our experience that new managers shying away from learning. They are in a hurry to show themselves as seasoned managers. Reading a few books alone will not help You must spend effort in learning and training yourself. Be humble and be open to learn.
Do not go about it as if you know everything about management.
Even seasoned managers find it difficult at times to deal with situations
Find a mentor who is an experienced manager. Great if you can find someone in your organization or elsewhere whom you respect and whose management style you admire. Do not be shy to make yourself vulnerable and talk about your failings. A mentor will be helpful for you to bounce your ideas and give you guidance.
4. Build Your Connections
Another new manager blunder we have observed often in organizations. The individual contributor mindset continues and new managers do not tend to reach out proactively and build strong people connections across the organizations.
People will not extend their help just because you are manager
That is right! . Little comes in a software company from position and power. These are two redundant things
So you must be visible in all the meetings, Make yourself heard (but do not make your self appear stupid) . Reach out and connect with peer managers and seniors. Volunteer for organizational initiatives. The lesser you are at your desk the better. You must have heard the term Management By Wandering (MBW). Right! make it a routine to walk around your team area, chat up with people, find out what help they need. Be an approachable manager
By connecting across the organization you get to know the larger organizational dynamics, politics (will talk more in another article), who pulls the strings and how you could get your work accomplished.
5. Be Authentic
Not many books talk about this important trait. As a manager you can be sure that you are being watched, measured and judged. If you do not make a good mark in the first 3 months you can be sure you have an uphill task and your team has not accepted you
Be genuine in every single interaction with people
That is right! . Keep this is in the back of your mind. Be genuine. Be interested in people and their growth
You become successful by enabling your team to be successful. This is the single biggest mantra. Write it down till it seeps into your subconscious mind. Be honest & Be Open. That will give space for your mistakes and people will give you an opportunity because as a new manager you will be faced with some failures. Be ready to help, go beyond yourself and imbibe servant leadership ! Respect everyone, that is the only way people will respect you ! what goes out comes back by the law of attraction.
6. Recognize, Engage & Celebrate
Make no excuses to have a celebration. Every celebration need not be big bang. Practice celebrating little wins. Make sure you give a pat on the back for a job done on time or a colleague helping his peer or a great idea from someone. Research says recognition motivates people more than any other thing. Use the tools your organizations provides to recognize people. Do not hesitate to call out successes and make it a culture where peer recognition is rampant.
Like manager, like teams! so do not forget that you define the culture of your team and you lead by example
That is right! . Your behaviors sends a message to the team on how they should behave
So be vocal about the culture you want. Show it through actions. Shun politics and favoritism. Be brutally open and nip politics in the bud. This is real engagement. Make sure you are spending 1-1 time with every team member ad you are addressing their career goals.
This is just the beginning. Most of the tips above is around shifting gears from an Individual Contributor to a Manager. A manager’s job asks for new skills , change in mind sets/attitudes and a new energy !!
As we move forward in the next post we will be talking about specific project management skills one needs to gain for IT project managers/Engineering Managers.
If you have specific questions and/or you are seeking guidance on a management problem or you want to find resources on a certain topic you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org