moving into management
Are you considering progressing with your current company into a management role? Are you feeling slightly anxious and not sure what to expect? Don’t worry, we are here to help you.
- Cultural shock - stepping into management can be a cultural shock in that one day you're a member of the team and the next day you are supervising the team. This can prove to be difficult if you are to be respected as a manager and friendships may need to be kept out of office hours if you want to avoid the impression of favouritism.
- Personal boundaries - that doesn't mean that you have to become a different person overnight, but you may need to put up a few personal boundaries so that you ensure people are treated as equals. Don't gossip about work in the pub or wine bar if you then want people to treat your views seriously the next day when you are towing the corporate line. As a manager you can still be a team player as well as a team leader.
- Don't panic - you probably have more management skills than you realise, learnt subconsciously, picked up from experienced superiors or gained in a social environment, such as sports or as a parent. Believe in yourself.
- Treat people as you would like to be managed - this is the golden rule. Although remember that because everyone is different, they need to be managed differently, as do their expectations and motivations. Be clear with goals. Make them realistic and measure them. Communicate regularly. Hold review meetings. Listen to your staff and make them feel valued.
- Don't expect to get it right all the time - as a new manager (or even an experienced one) don't imagine you'll get it right each and every time. Most people have to learn how to manage a team effectively, often by trial and error. Pause to think before acting. The team may be wary of their new manager. Try not to be too heavy handed.
- Remember to manage yourself - don't forget that you also still need to manage yourself to achieve deadlines and control your own workload whilst finding the time to manage others. Time management and delegation are key.
- Try not to cling onto your old job and don't expect, or pretend, to know everything there is to know about your new role from day one (unless you've already been deputising in the post). Talking to others who have recently assumed management responsibilities can help you to talk through some shared experiences.
- Identify a mentor within the organisation - a manager who you respect who can dedicate some time to spend with you on a formal or informal basis each week over your first few months. Maintain an open dialogue with your own manager. Discuss with them situations you're unsure how to handle. Ask for training if you think it will help.
If you need further advice on your move into management, contact your local consultant.