Moving into Management

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Have confidence in your abilities and be creative in your ideas to develop the business explains Claire Lister

Recently been promoted? It’s quite rightly time to celebrate and enjoy the fruition of your hard work and dedication to your career. At the same time; it’s also quite natural to feel some apprehension. You need to build respect in your new position and show that you are the right person for the job; you may be managing people who were colleagues or even those who went for the same promotion and weren’t successful. How you navigate through the initial transition will set the foundations for a successful managerial career.

There are ways in which you can train yourself to be the best manager you can be. I fully believe the managers I have around me at Pitman Training are the motivating factors that push towards team success. Without well trained managers, success and productivity would be much harder to come by. So, if you have recently achieved promotion here are a few points that will help you to make the transition from peer to manager successful:

Lay the foundations

Once you’re in your new role, it’s important to set the tone for your managerial method from the outset. Take the time to meet with your team individually where you can let them know how things will operate from this point on, your expectations, any role changes and how you’ll be measuring performance. This is a vital step to ensuring ongoing respect and reduces potential worries any of the team members may have.

Use your authority wisely

Be aware and mindful that those under your management get the praise they deserve, and the discipline they need too. Praising individuals, or the team as a whole, ensures morale and productivity levels stay high. If people feel good about the work that they’re doing, it creates a positive domino effect.

Similarly, if it becomes necessary to discipline a member of staff, remember that everything is relative. Put some time in the diary to have a discussion one-to-one, explain the issue and ensure you offer a firm, clear explanation but be constructive. Personal feelings need to be removed but it’s important to end the meeting on a positive note so they don’t go away from the meeting feeling deflated and unmotivated.

It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between peer and manager, but it is imperative that professionalism forefronts everything.

Learn to delegate efficiently

According to Stanford University, 37% of managers say that they need to work on their delegation skills, so don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t grasp it straight away. Evidently, it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to people; however, it is one of the most important skills to embrace when you take on a managerial role. It’s impossible to do everything yourself, and your staff will understand that. It can be tempting to think “it’s quicker if I just do this myself”, or it might be a task that you did before your promotion that you would like to keep hold of, but all those tasks add up and you have to remember you have a different focus to your role now. You need to let go and trust others to do the job so that you can focus on improving and progressing your team and the business. Effective delegation can have a beneficial effect on members of your team who will appreciate the opportunity to expand their experience and feel more valued and trusted.

Connect with your team

With all the different areas you now need to oversee, you cannot be on top of everything and everyone all the time. With the move from peer to manager you have to re-establish the boundaries. You can’t have staff members taking advantage of your friendship and managerial role. You may not be able to have the level of friendship you may have had before, but through trust, respect and encouraging your team to strive for their goals you’ll remain approachable and accessible through a new level of connection that works well for all.

Build a network

For any manager it’s important to have a network of people you can go to for advice and to use as a sounding board. Firstly, I’d recommend you take the time to connect more with fellow managers in your organisation. They are best placed to guide and advise as they understand the company ethos and aims more than anyone.

I’d also recommend seeking out external managerial networking events. Gaining an outside perspective on things can often lead to new ways of thinking and working. Sometimes, being in management can be quite an isolating place that can become stressful and overwhelming. Networking reminds you that others are in the same position as you and gives you a place to unload any queries while developing social and professional relationships. Make time for networking, sharing best practice and socialising within a management community and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits.

Don’t pretend you know everything

Unfortunately, we’re not superhuman, there’s no way of knowing everything all the time. If someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t fret, be honest and ask for help. It’s not a failure to seek assistance, you’re striving for better. If you try to make things up as you go along, you could end up losing respect. Remember, no matter what position a person is in, there is always something to learn.

Avoid any unnecessary negativity

It’s inevitable that you’re going to have good and bad days but sometimes, you just feel as though everything is going against you. Try to keep perspective, don’t let it faze you and plough on. You were put in to your position for a reason and your executive has faith in your judgements.

Similarly, be mindful of the personality you portray to your team. It’s no bad thing to let them see you’re having a bad day.  In fact, I believe it shows your human side, but don’t prolong the negative vibe. Positive attitudes work wonders within the workplace and filter through to others around you. Positivity = productivity and high morale.

Have clear aims

Everything needs to have some kind of purpose or outcome. If you’re not aiming for a particular outcome at the end of a task then it can be argued that it isn’t necessary, and will not be done well. Having a clear aim gives you and your team something to work towards and means everyone understands their expectations as to what is wanted and needed.

Don’t stop learning

Never get too comfortable, always strive for more. Life-long-learning is always an option. Push yourself and go on courses, training seminars, read relevant articles and stay connected via networking events. Doing all these things will ensure that you’re putting yourself in the best possible position you can be and keeps you engaged. Your managerial role doesn’t have to be the peak of your career, view it as the start of bigger and better things.

Your role as a newly appointed manager may be completely different to the position that you were in before. If this is your first role in management, be sure that you’re ready for a big change. Don’t worry if you don’t feel immediately comfortable in the role; that will come in time.

However, know that it is time to step up to a new challenge and focus on what you want to achieve. You know what’s best for your team and in what ways they work the most efficiently from your time as a former peer, or from experience elsewhere. Have confidence in your abilities and be creative in your ideas to develop the business.

Good luck in your new role!

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About Author

Claire Lister

Claire Lister is the Owner/MD of Pitman Training Group (www.pitman-training.com). Pitman is a market leader in the PA and secretarial training industry, delivering exceptional results for tens of thousands of students each year. Pitman also provide training in areas such as IT, accountancy and business skills. As a passionate advocate for education and franchising, Claire thrives in helping others succeed. She says “Our mission is focused on helping people achieve their employment goals, to provide them with more fulfilled futures. I love being a part of creating more successful businesses and individuals around the world with a truly global brand”.

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