Landing a leadership position is an exciting and rewarding moment for your career, but it can also be daunting. This is especially true if you are managing people who used to be your peers. One of the biggest tests new managers will face is knowing how to go from being a co-worker to being a manager.
Laurence Brutsaert, senior consultant, gives us 5 key leadership tips new managers should follow in order to successfully make the leap into management.
1. Give your relationships a new perspective
Realise that the relationships with your co-workers will need to change. This doesn’t mean that you need to become the one “everyone hates”, but you may have to let go of being your peer’s daily confidante and realise you might become the person others talk about. Don’t allow previous work and/or friendships with former peers to influence your new responsibilities. You can step confidently into your new role as by honouring old office friendships without overindulging them.
“Avoid office politics and gossip at all costs - always present yourself as a positive professional with something to offer,” advises Brutsaert.
2. Have one-on-one sit downs
Schedule face-to-face meetings with staff members to address any concerns, talk about your vision, and connect on a personal level. In each meeting, the goal is to listen more and talk less so you can learn and build trust.
At the same time, sit down with your new manager to fully understand his or her expectations as well as any strategic plans or goals set for your team. By doing so, you can be more confident in your ability to lead, set expectations and give direction.
Find a positive leadership style. The best way to get support is to involve your team and welcome suggestions on how to move the group forward.
3. Establish your authority
Demonstrating you’re in charge does not mean barking orders or being bossy. Being negative and criticizing your staff is a quick way to alienate them. Try to not come across as too demanding - instead of telling others what to do and how to do it, coach them.
4. Honour what is already in place
You probably have tons of ideas about how to lead the team, but don’t jump right in and rock the boat. Incorporate as few major changes as possible. Identify small decisions you can make fairly quickly in order to establish trust and authority, but save the big ones for until you’ve been in the role longer.
“Stepping in and immediately changing everything is one of the worst things you can do as a new manager. Wait until everyone is on board with you and your vision before making any drastic changes”, says Brutsaert.
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