If you’ve just been promoted to your first management role, you’re about to find out why managers get paid the big bucks. Many people find their first management position to be the most stressful of their career.
Good management is a learned skill, so you need to accept that you’ve just stepped up onto the bottom of a new learning curve and knuckle down. No-one becomes a good manager without applying themselves to it for a sustained period of time.
Don’t let that put you off, however, every year millions of people are promoted to their first management position, and the majority of them make a success of it.
As ever when tackling something new you should take an 80:20 approach. Being a manager requires a range of skills, but you should focus your effort on the few key areas and skills that will give you the majority of the benefit.
Let’s look at two of the biggest:
1. It’s A Team Game Now
Your success is no longer dependent on your output. It depends on the overall success of the team that you are responsible for.
If they have a problem, it is your problem. If they have a big win, it is your big win. Your job is to make them as productive as possible. You need to change your mindset and behaviour accordingly.
“If you don’t know where you are going then any road will get you there”
You need to learn to communicate clearly with your team members. If they aren’t clear on what you would like them to do, by when and in what order of priority then you’ve no-one to blame but yourself if work isn’t completed on time.
This means that you need to focus on communication in a way that won’t have been necessary before.
If you don’t know what is going on how can you understand what your team is doing and help them to be more productive.
If they are stuck and can’t progress with a project for some reason, then you need to ensure that they are comfortable bringing it to you. It’s your job to figure out the way forward even if that is drafting in another member of your team to help them out.
If you can master these two big changes, then you will probably already be in the top 50% of managers. If you want to take your skills further then this infographic below from Acuity Training covers it in far more detail.