A New Manager's Tutorial
Your boss has just rewarded your dedication and hard work by giving you a managerial position. But, you have never managed before, and you don't know where to begin.
"New managers often suffer because they haven't had good role models and have experienced training that only helped in their prior job," says Alan Weiss, Ph.D., author of The Unofficial Guide to Power Management.
Here are some tips to transform your panic into progress as you begin your new career as a manager.
Be effective, not popular
"Managing is about effectiveness, not about being liked," emphasizes Dr. Weiss. You can drive yourself crazy if you try to please all your employees all the time. Instead, focus on communicating with clarity, firmness and fairness, realizing you may not be able to give your employees exactly what they want all the time.
Employees also have different work expectations. Some prefer a structured environment, while others want more freedom. Some like to work in teams, while others work best alone in a quiet office. Some need a lot of recognition for their work, while others prefer to stay out of the limelight.
Regular one-on-one lunches with your employees will help you to understand their personality styles as well as their work expectations and personal goals.
Manage your time
"Invest in your best people and don't be usurped by attention to your remedial performers," says Dr. Weiss. In business, time is money. Instead of using your time trying to transform poor performers into dynamos, give them simpler tasks they can perform well, then spend your time and effort building your best people.
Do the right thing
"Ethical conduct doesn't exist in operations manuals or the legal department. It exists in your own value system. Always ask yourself, 'What's the right thing to do?'" says Dr. Weiss. "This will not only be best for your company but also will help you avoid sleepless nights."
Appreciate your employees
Managers and supervisors who show their appreciation to their employees will find their employees willing to go the extra mile. Take a minute to write a note of appreciation, create a certificate of progress or give a small gift or award.
Keep a daily journal
What worked? What didn't work? What got accomplished? What were you happy about? Frustrated about? This will help you analyze your problems as well as see your progress.
Find a mentor
"These times are too complex for trial and error or gut feeling. Don't reinvent the wheel. Find someone who's successful and respected to guide you," says Dr. Weiss.
"Don't worry about your next job or promotion or about future raises," says Dr. Weiss. "Worry instead about delivering value to the customer and support to your subordinates. If you do those two things well, all the rest will happen, too."