So, what does it mean to be in charge? For an individual contributor, playing the role of a manager for the first time is a formidable experience. The transition, while exciting to begin with, is laid with risks, challenges, failure, strained relationships, and a growing awareness that this is nothing like the leadership experience that one thought it would be. An individual contributor’s success depends on personal commitment and expertise. For a new manager, these success factors witness a tectonic shift. Managers are required to drive the organizational agenda through others. And this means that a manager’s performance is largely authored by their direct reports.
New managers are nudged to make psychological adjustments at multiple levels – cognitive, behavioral, and emotional levels. Strengthscape’s First Time Program prepares incumbents to make this transition, an uninhibited and structured experience as they form their leadership paradigm; that would probably stay with them for a lifetime. New managers are required to understand human psychology; in specific motivation, stress, fears, and behavioral preferences to be able to manage people and drive business outcomes.
Strengthscape’s First Time Manager program addresses multiple myths especially those related to power & authority; influence & motivation; and business priorities and results.
Making New Managers Successful
Enhance the management skills of your emerging leaders so that they are prepared for success.
All organizations, regardless of their size, recruit successful individuals for critical management positions in the hope that they will be effective leaders. Even though many of these new managers possess significant functional expertise, they lack the ability to effectively lead a team.
New Manager Challenges
You are likely to encounter many different challenges as a manager in contrast to what you have experienced as an individual contributor. It’s exciting to become a manager for the first time, but many first-timers fail to appreciate the fact that they now have responsibility for a team as well as themselves.
It is not uncommon for first-time managers to report finding the transition to be challenging, feeling a sense of dilemma in managing conflicting priorities and experiencing self-doubt, leading to the need for additional training to enhance their skills. They must be able to transition from being individual contributors to being managers of others, as well as possess practical tools tailored to their individual needs.
Need for Training New Managers
Assuming the role of manager of people requires more than just acquiring new skills, but also a complete shift in identity. No matter how intelligent or motivated an individual may be, the transition from individual contributor to manager, peer to superior, and doer to leader is always challenging. Their success no longer depends on themselves. It depends on how well they organize, motivate, and empower others. With the right strategies, you can minimize the effects of this transition on the dynamics of your team and minimize surprises.
It is possible that their individual habits are no longer relevant in their newly acquired position. It may be detrimental to hold on to old habits. There is no doubt that new leaders require a change in mindset and skillset. Most first-time managers do not receive any training prior to their appointment.
Participants have described Strengthscape’s First Time Manager Program as very effective. The program required participants to engage in a wide range of teamwork-related activities over the course of several weeks, and they received immediate feedback on both their individual and collective behavior. The program concluded with the development of a plan for implementing the learnings within the organization. Surveys conducted before and after the training indicated that participants’ attitudes had changed. Invest in the least experienced tier of your organization’s management team if you are looking to strengthen your leadership pipeline and bottom line.
Team Management Skills
There are several key team management skills you need to be an effective manager. They’ll help you rally your team toward common goals and motivate them to do their finest at work and in your career. Developing these will make you a better leader, whether you’re a first-time manager or an experienced executive struggling to manage teams.
- Directing & delegating
- Feedback: Giving and receiving
- The art of planning and organizing
- Building a cohesive team
The ability to delegate is one of the most significant team management skills. Choosing the right people for the job is part of a leader’s job. A manager’s success depends on holding team members accountable while trusting them to do their jobs.
Managers who are unable to cede control to their teams are micromanaging. Leaders should refrain from constantly reviewing or performing tasks that employees can complete independently. In addition, leadership responsibilities are often overlooked. When managers get busy micromanaging, they don’t have time to analyse data and evaluate progress, assess, and coach employees, and make executive decisions. There is a tendency for managers to take on a lot of responsibility because they are unable to delegate effectively. This is counterproductive.
- Feedback: Giving and receiving
Feedback can be a powerful tool for improving team results and relationships with direct reports. A manager who is effective exchanges feedback continuously, focuses on an employee’s strengths, and offers criticism in a private setting—in one-on-one meetings. In our opinion, the most effective managers are those who provide feedback as work takes place, rather than only during cycles that dictate when feedback should be provided. To help their direct reports grow, managers should set clear expectations and provide specific feedback as often as possible. As a result of mastering this skill, you can eliminate the two biggest barriers to your reports performing well-unclear expectations and inadequate skills-so they know exactly how to aim and hit their targets.
The ability to give and receive feedback requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Team management soft skills such as emotional intelligence (EI) are of paramount importance. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and respond to the expression of feelings. Leadership involves being able to recognize and respond to the expression of feelings. Developing strong interpersonal skills can prevent conflict and accelerate relationships, allowing employees to connect with their supervisors and achieve the psychological safety they require to succeed in the workplace.
Feedback given in a coaching-centered conversation is most effective.
- Make sure you know your people
- The second step is to provide immediate feedback
- Praise in public and criticize in private
Organizing and Planning
The ability to organize is another significant team management skill for managers, and it is one of the most critical ones in cross-functional teams. It is common for projects and collaborations to comprise many moving parts and individual contributions, and leaders may overlook crucial details if they do not have a well-organized system in place.
A well-organized team leader keeps teammates on task, executives informed, and operations running smoothly. When managers have a clear plan, they know when to schedule meetings, where to find critical information, and who to contact for updates. Confidence and ease are instilled in collaborators because of the resulting sense of calm and control.
Building a Cohesive Team
In a team, cohesion refers to the degree of interpersonal connection between the members. Due to this interpersonal bond, members can participate readily and remain motivated to achieve the goals that have been set. It is imperative for a manager to foster a sense of mission, belonging, and trust among his or her team members to build team cohesiveness.
The process of teamwork is complex and requires higher order team management skills. In your role as a manager, you should consider all the various factors contributing to the multidimensionality of the group. It is inevitable that the goals and objectives of the team will change over time due to its dynamic nature. One aspect of a team relates to its objective goals, whereas its emotional dimension deals with the benefits that its members receive because of remaining cohesive.