Stepping into the role of a manager is both an amazing accomplishment and a daunting task. Your skills and smarts have brought you up the corporate ladder, but transitioning into a new role and performing it effectively also requires a significant shift in mindset, approach, and perspective.
If you’ve recently been promoted, one of the biggest difficulties you’ll face is the process of transforming from peer to supervisor. Research has shown that getting a promotion is the second most stressful life event, with divorce being the first.
You may have camaraderie amongst your colleagues, but now that you’re a team leader, many different factors can come into play and affect your department’s dynamics. For a smooth and seamless transition, here are eight tips to keep in mind.
- Empty your cup
It’s a new job, so embrace your new role as a leader. It’s easy to get stuck up in your old responsibilities, but you have to let them go. By shifting your focus on your new duties and developing your current skill set, you’ll eventually find comfort in performing these tasks over time.
- Listen and observe
There’s a good chance that you had hoped for changes when you were under your previous boss. If you want to push these changes and do things your way, you don’t need to implement them immediately.
The processes you’ve followed when you were just a team member were made for a reason, and making any immediate changes can throw your team off their rhythm. Other than affecting their day-to-day productivity, the new policies may even end up losing your team’s trust.
- Know your employees
Be approachable and get to know your employees by heart. Taking note of the things that make them tick will make it a lot easier for you to motivate and lead them. Joining them for lunch or conducting one-on-one sessions will enable you to establish a good working relationship and eventually allow you to see managerial potential amongst your subordinates.
- Let your members feel valued
During meetings, a simple question such as “what do you think” or “what do you feel” can go a really long way. If one of your members is performing exceptionally well, don’t forget to give credit where it’s due. Trust is an essential factor in any team and letting your members know that they matter is the most effective way to earn it.
- Remember that you’re a boss first
For effective project management, you’ll need to take charge and establish your authority. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy relationship with your team, but you should always remember that you’re a boss first.
You may be friends with some of your subordinates, but now that you’ve stepped into a new role, you shouldn’t be afraid to be in command. Delegate tasks efficiently, provide constructive criticism and avoid having favorites. This will ensure that everyone stays happy and productive while keeping performance issues at bay.
- Define your goals and vision
Now that you’re a manager, you’re no longer setting goals and expectations for yourself. Instead, your success will ultimately depend on the performance of your team, so you have to make sure that everybody is held accountable.
One way for you to get everybody to work as a cohesive unit is to establish SMART goals. Setting clear and attainable milestones will make it easier for you to align everyone’s efforts and guide your team in the right direction.
- Be flexible and adaptable
When you were still working under your old boss, you likely developed a work style that allows you to perform at your best. When you become a manager, you’ll discover that each member of your team progresses at different levels and has a specific way of doing things.
Situational leadership is an essential skill for any manager. When it comes to the development of your team, remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Instead of making your employees adapt to you, you should be a flexible manager and adjust your leadership style to fit the pace of their development. This will ensure that their individual growth is consistent, effective, and comfortable.
- Be a lifelong learner
Learning doesn’t stop once you get a promotion. Now that you have a larger role to fill, you need to find ways to improve. Learning more about the kind of business and industry you’re operating in will make it easier for you to work with other departments, and allow you to produce better strategies for your projects and campaigns.
Be an effective leader
Just like any big change in your life, shifting to a managerial position can be very overwhelming. When you’re an employee, most of your time and effort go to getting your tasks accomplished. Now that you’re transitioning to the role of a manager, the first change you need to accept is that things are no longer centered around you.
As the leader of your team, your most important role will be directing everybody in the right direction. Other than being the center of your department’s operations, you’re also a source of guidance, inspiration, and strength. Don’t pressure yourself to get things right immediately. Take things slow and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are no perfect managers, but you can be a good one.
Author Bio Valerie Chua is a Content Specialist at Manila Recruitment, a company providing headhunting solutions for the recruitment of executive, expert, technical and specialist positions in the Philippines. Follow Manila Recruitment on Twitter @MNLrecruitment or connect with them on LinkedIn.