Our Resources for New Managers page
Listener question! Yay!!!
Today we answer a listener's questions about becoming a new manager, and how to go from individual contributor to manager without looking like a newbie.
We discuss the potential lack of development opportunities for new managers, and how to learn how to managing people and being someone your team will look up to and respond to.
First, do you want to be a manager? Do you want to be dealing with the people stuff?
If you do, how do you be your authentic self, and stay consistent to yourself while also moving up in role. If you develop a persona, people will probably respond negatively to it.
Read books/articles and talk with people about management- what’s worked and what doesn’t. Invest in yourself with a management course if that will help you feel more prepared for your new role.
Have you called your Board of Advisors? Who are great mentors and managers that you’ve worked for? Time for coffee and learning from them! A great manager will share their secrets and give you advice. Who of your friends are managers? Time for coffee, and talk about the transition and their experience.
Getting advice from friends vs colleagues can help you be transparent, and can help you have people who will support you without being punitive to your career.
Think about what made your favorite managers be your favorite? What about them do you want to emulate? What about your not-so-favorite? What was it about them that you want to avoid?
How do you deal with your ex-co-workers? Are you struggling with imposter syndrome around them (see episode 12)? Be kind to yourself and patient, and know you won’t be perfect. Don’t try to know everything at once.
And, when you’re in new meetings and privy to new information, take it in and fight the urge to prove that you “deserve to be there”. Watch the norms of your new groups, and see how you fit in before you jump in.
Practice self care, get good sleep, and take care of yourself.
When you don’t know an answer, the answer is “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you,” and then do.
Set up regular calls with your HR person to know what HR needs and expects from you. They will help coach you, and also help you get on top of your management responsibilities so that you know what’s needed from you.
Take notes. Document document document. Make sure you have time after meetings to take notes on your interactions.
We talk about managing your former peers- learn how to shift relationship from co-worker to direct reports. Strong communication and follow through. Show them why you were promoted by opening doors that were closed to them, helping when they are stuck, and know their career goals.
It’s time for 1:1 with each member of your team, calling out the awkwardness and reminding them that you’re there for them.
We walk you through building in space with your colleagues, but also being authentic.
Continually learn, build your practice and use your mentors. Regular meetings with your direct reports- keep them! And know about your employee’s lives, their goals and what their goals are. If you can help them make work work for them, they will appreciate you.
What about when you are managing someone who you didn’t get along with? Try for a re-start, and if that doesn’t work, time for a conscious uncoupling….
When you’re making decisions, you may have to do things on the fly….sometimes you need to send a crying Jimmy home to Ben and Jerry….
To be a good manager, you need to be able to give and receive feedback. Own mistakes, use your resources and get input to make things different. Make sure that people know what to expect in reviews by giving regular feedback.
What’s the difference between leadership and management? We talk about the differences, and how good managers have good leadership- ability to inspire, align with a vision, give feedback, and help people grow. A manager is more about the tactical. A good manager is a leader.
Give credit to others in those management meetings- and have opinions- but only talk when you’re adding unique value. And listen!
Our Resources for New Managers page