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  • Michael Unhoch

What to Expect as a First-Time Manager

Becoming a manager is a goal many of us set our sights on as we climb the career ladder. At some point, you’ll find yourself up for the big promotion to manager - how exciting! While this transition from an individual contributor to a leader can be thrilling, it can also be daunting. You will be responsible for managing a team, setting goals, delegating tasks, providing feedback, and driving results - which can seem like a lot to handle. However, with the right mindset and skills, you can excel in your new role. Here are some things to expect when being promoted to manager and tips on how to succeed.

 

Alter Your Mind(set)


When you find yourself going into a management position, you will need to shift your mindset from an individual team member to a team leader. This means pulling focus towards the bigger picture and prioritizing team needs over your personal goals. You will need to think strategically, plan for the future, and make decisions that benefit the team as a whole. To develop your leadership mindset, seek out mentorship, attend leadership training programs, and read books on leadership.


Stay Connected


Staying connected with your team will be a huge focus as you transition into becoming a manager. You not only need to establish trust and rapport with your team, but also with stakeholders and customers. It’s essential to be a good listener, practice empathy, and show genuine interest in the people you work with. Following up with your team and leaders will be crucial as well - schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your team members and seek out feedback from others.


Delegate, delegate, delegate!


You will quickly realize that as a manager, you simply cannot do everything yourself. Delegating tasks to team members is going to be a key part of your role. This involves not only involves assigning tasks but also being available and open to your team. You will need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team members, assign tasks that align with their skills and capabilities, and provide guidance and support when needed. Delegating effectively requires clear communication, trust, and follow-up. Practice giving clear instructions, provide feedback on completed tasks, and always be available to answer questions and provide support.


Communication Is Key


Being clear, consistent, and actively communicative is the mark of a great manager. You must communicate clearly and effectively with your team, stakeholders, and customers to set expectations, provide feedback, and align on goals. This also means being available to those who may have questions, concerns, or feedback. It's important to develop your communication skills by listening actively and even asking clarifying questions, and as mentioned before, seeking out feedback from others.


Time is of the Essence


Finally, when you become a manager, you will have a lot of responsibilities that demand your time and dedicated attention. Managing your time effectively is critical to achieving your goals and meeting the needs of your team. This means organization! Set priorities, delegate tasks, eliminate distractions, create schedules and deadlines - just a few ways to stay on top of things and manage your time effectively.


 

Being promoted to manager is a huge step in anyone’s career, and can be an exciting opportunity to lead and make a difference in your organization. There are many ways of being a successful leader, but being a successful manager requires a shift in mindset, effective communication, delegation and time management skills, and building and managing relationships. Remember that becoming a great manager is a journey, not a destination, and that continuous learning and improvement are essential to success.


 

References:

  1. "The Manager's Handbook: 104 Solutions to Your Everyday Workplace Problems" by Business Management Daily (2015)

  2. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni (2002)

  3. "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler (2002)

  4. "The Effective Manager" by Mark Horstman (2016)

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