How to be a good first-time manager

January 27, 2020

Whether you have worked your way up the ladder, transferred to a new company or just sort of fell into the position, becoming a manager for the first time can be exciting and stressful. No matter what industry you work in, management is key to your organization. While there are no one-size-fits-all strategies for successful management, there are some things you can do to improve your chances. 

Tips for successful managing

If you have just stepped into a managing role for the first time, the challenges can seem daunting. You may start to feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities. Managing employees is no easy feat. Here are some simple steps you can take to be successful in your new managing position. 

  1. Educate yourself - Good managerial skills develop over time and with experience. The sooner you start learning more about your role, the company and successful leadership skills, the sooner you will pave your way to success. Consider taking some workshops or online training courses designed for managers. You can also pick up a few books written by leaders you admire for some inspiration. 
  2. Find a mentor - Despite what Simon & Garfunkel say, no one is an island. Getting yourself connected to a mentor is key to helping you grow in your management position. A mentor can guide you through the ups and downs, advise you on goals and steps to take to achieve them. Look for someone who is the kind of manager that you would like to be. Remember, you can have more than one mentor at the same time. It is all about setting up a support team to help you be your best. 
  3. Mentality - As an employee, your focus is on your performance. However, as a manager, you need to have a team mentality. Basically, it is no longer just about you. This means that not only are you leading your team to success, you will also have to share the credit. Remember not to micro-manage but to create an atmosphere of teamwork. It also means that just because you are a manager doesn’t mean you don’t have to give it 110 percent. In reality, managers should work just as much as their employees. This can set a great precedent for your team. 
  4. Relationships -  Good managers know how to build and cultivate relationships. This means assessing the thoughts and feelings of your employees before making any big changes. It also means that you should try and have an open-door policy with your employees. Let them know that you are there to listen to their concerns. But, don’t forget to act on their input otherwise, your open-door policy is useless.  
  5. Act as a model - Once you put on your manager hat, things will change with your former co-workers. While you were once one of the gang, you are now in a position of authority over them. This can be awkward and difficult. Yet, one of the best things you can do for your current team is to demonstrate good behavior. That means you can’t show up late to meetings, take extended lunch breaks or gossip about others in the office. You’ll have to be on your best behavior at all times. 
  6. Transparency - Being transparent and consistent are key characteristics of a good manager. Employees should be able to trust you and even if they don’t agree with your decisions, it can benefit the team 

Conclusion

Being a manager can be a great honor but it comes with different demands and responsibilities than being an employee. Training yourself, focusing on team building and finding a mentor are some of the best things you can do to prepare yourself if you are a first-time manager. While learning the ropes can be a challenge, being a successful manager is possible. 


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