Getting a promotion to a position of manager is probably one of the best signs that your career is going in the right direction. Your hard work has finally been recognized, you have moved up on the corporate ladder, and after years of putting out your best performance, you are finally in a position to take the lead and help others follow in your footsteps.
This is where the real trouble begins. Namely, throughout our careers, we have learned to add value through our work and our personal commitment. The role of a manager is so in contrast to these instincts all newly promoted leaders have to feel completely out of their depth.
Let us take a look then at a couple of tips that should help you overcome these issues and avoid some of the most common after-promotion pitfalls.
Learn to delegate
This is exactly the problem we have described above – whenever some problem pops up your first instinct is to roll up the sleeves and get the job done. Soon after, you find yourself micromanaging every single thing your team is doing. This is wrong for a number of reasons. First, your involvement will slow everything down. Second, you will stretch yourself too thin and take responsibility for issues that have nothing to do with you. So, the first thing you should do is to believe in your team and learn to delegate the responsibilities. You will create a more positive work atmosphere and a far more effective workforce.
Ask for help
Getting a promotion puts a lot of pressure on the newly promoted manager to prove value and justify the expectations of the senior staff. Most of them do that by trying to appear self-reliant, covering up mistakes, and avoiding situations where their lack of expertise will become evident. Of course, these things can have very negative consequences. Therefore, whenever you face some problem you can’t manage with your own resources feel free to ask for help from your colleagues or even team members. Remember, your job is to manage. So, manage that problem with someone who knows how to solve it.
Enroll in management training
The fact that your previous work experience or formal education hasn’t prepared you to lead a team shouldn’t be of much concern to you. We are living in a time of workplace mobility and lifelong learning – you will be able to easily find effective business management short courses that will cover all the basics and quickly get you up to speed. Ranging a variety of subjects ranging from finances and business strategies to more personal aspects of running a team as well as carefully crafted simulations, these courses do a great job of ramping up your skillset without exposing you to taxing real-life stations.
Learn to diffuse difficult situations
Workplace conflict is a fairly common and, in some cases, very healthy thing. The extent we are ready to escalate it, on the other hand, is nothing short of surprising – according to a recent survey, each week US workers spend as much as 2.8 hours on workplace conflict. Your goal as a manager should be to prevent such situations, and, if they already break out, diffuse them and transform them into a more constructive form of debate. Try to actively listen to team members’ problems, identify early signs of frustration, and put them in situations where they need to acknowledge their colleagues’ feelings.
Build rapport with team members
The key to being a successful manager lies in being able of providing and asking for honest feedback. Honesty, however, can be a double-edged sword and if you don’t have a good rapport with every single person you are in charge of, the simple exchange of opinions can rub everyone involved a wrong way. That is the reason why you should spend a lot of time understanding what makes other people tick, learning more about their personality traits, and simply engaging in healthy and open communication. This approach to management can generate a lot of trust and build strong mutual respect within the team.
Be able to see the big picture
This was often cited as one of the main qualities the manager should possess so there is no reason not to add it to your personal skillset. Even the most experienced managers often end up so caught in the immediate problems they develop a sort of tunnel vision that prevents them to see the ‘big picture.’ Do your best then to hit the ‘pause’ button, and see how your team performs in terms of long-term development or far-reaching company policies. In some cases, you may have to make unpopular moves and subject personal needs to the needs of the collective, so be ready to deal with the eventual fallout.
So, there you have it – the top six strategies that should make your transition to a role of a manager as smooth and stress-free as possible. You always have to keep in mind that none of your colleagues, no matter how sharp they might be looking at first glance, came to be successful managers from the get-go. They took some time to grow and make a couple of mistakes along the way. All these things are a part of the learning process. As long as you stick to the strategies we gave you above, you should be going in the right direction.