Found yourself in a management position with little or no background in leading and managing people? Follow my suggestions below for ways to define your management style – and remember that time and experience are the best sources of natural confidence, so don’t worry if you’re not ‘feeling it’ now.
Your approach needs to be consistent. This is not the time to launch into a gung-ho, commandeering management style – due to both your newness at the in the role and your lack of experience as a manager. But at the same time if you’re awkward and hesitant, it likely won’t support your team’s conviction in you. There’s a fine line in between, but you’ll find it.
It’s important your reports know where they stand with you, and so your approach needs to be consistent. Whether it’s the way you communicate business successes and challenges, or the way you deal with office mishaps, being consistent and fair will encourage your credibility. So start as you mean to go on.
Be a great communicator
You need to swallow your nerves, however embarrassed or awkward you might feel in these early days, and concentrate on getting clear messages across that are objective and constructive. Practice hard – reflect on what has gone well and what you could do better. Don’t be afraid to seek support from your supervisors or from HR if, for example, you’d like guidance on conducting a performance review or on having a difficult conversation. If
you can get some training for new managers, get it. See what VEROSA can do for you – contact Beth for a free consultation.
Great managers always want to learn and never think they know enough. Take time to learn from your team who may have longer tenures, and hear their shared experiences of working there. And be open to feedback you may receive – but ensure you carve your own path.
Be a motivator
Take time to learn from your team. Listen to them and celebrate success with them. Your personal work ethos will quickly translate into your team’s work ethos. So make sure you reflect what you want your team to achieve, that you (collectively) have clear agreed goals, and that you’re forthcoming with praise, gratitude and trust.
And, importantly, take time to motivate your reports individually. By understanding what’s driving their own career aspirations and acknowledging the part you might be able to play in supporting their career development (and proactively following it up), you’ll win respect and develop a working relationship that’s mutually supportive.
Being a manager means you are accountable for a portion of your employer’s business, and that means keeping good records – of the goals you yourself are given, of those that you give to your reports. So be organised, and encourage responsible behaviour amongst those around you.
If I had to choose only one tip in this list to give you, it would be this one. You need to focus above all else on being authentic, and on finding a management style that is true to your personality and working style. If you try to transplant an approach that is at odds with your natural self – say, developing a ‘tough-guy’ persona that is at odds with how you behave in your home life – your reports are likely to see through you before too long.
Leading with integrity is the surest way to inspire respect, support and trust from those working for you.