Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tips For New Managers

Everything that I am, I've worked hard to become. Don't be afraid to be ambitious!   

It's been a little over 3 months since being promoted to my first management position. Though I was eager to make my transition and take on new responsibilities, leading and motivating my team, I knew that I still had a lot to learn. 

Up until my promotion, I was solely responsible for my success in my role. It's always been easy for me to identify how to fulfill my expected tasks and responsibilities, both quickly and efficiently. 

Now as a leader, I know that my success is dependent on the performance of my team. Their ability to exceed expectations reflects on me as an effective leader, and I can't feel confident as a "GOOD" boss without seeing them happy and thriving. 

I did a lot in the days prior to my new role to ensure I was ready. If you're currently stressing about your transition into a management position, here are some tips to hopefully inspire you and get you started in this next chapter of your career:

Define your personal definition of a "GOOD" boss 
Think about every boss you've had in your career. Over time, I'm sure you've developed a clear vision of what a good boss looks and acts like. Use your former bosses as a guideline into who you want to become. Focus on the positive qualities you want to develop as well as the negative qualities that you want to avoid. 

To me, a good boss takes a genuine interest in everyone around them and wants to see everyone succeed. They are effective communicators and believe in the abilities of their team without needing to micromanage. They know how to delegate responsibility and work toward overall success for the benefit of everyone. They give praise and credit when it's due, and they have high emotional intelligence. 

When you create your personal definition of a good boss, you know what you're striving for. It's hard to be an effective leader if you don't have a clear and succinct idea of what a successful leader looks and acts like.

Once you've defined what you need to do and be as a good boss, focus on identifying your strengths and weaknesses. No one expects you to be perfect during your initial transition, but identifying the areas where you can improve will help overtime. 

Self-awareness is the first step to improving. It's always been easy for me to be a good listener. I'm also resourceful, inspiring, and motivating, but I personally have trouble delegating tasks, due to my pride. It's important to identify where improvement is needed, rather than pretending that your leadership style is perfect. 

Learn about your team and take a genuine interest
It's important to know your team and take a genuine interest in their growth. How can you help someone succeed, when you don't even know who they are or how they think? 

I prioritize bi-weekly 1 on 1 check-ins to catch up on my team's personal lives as well as to ensure that they feel supported enough to be successful. I ask engaging questions to hopefully identify any challenges they may be facing. I also strive to instill them with a growth mindset. Just as I'm doing my best to grow, learn, and improve, I want them to believe in themselves and reach their full potential. 

I want my team to be able to talk to me about anything that may be hindering their performance and not be afraid to use their sick days and Vacation/PTO (Paid Time Off) when they're feeling burnt out. Maintaining a good work/life balance is just as important for my team as it is for me.

Create a fun working environment 
No one should be forced to work in a boring work environment surrounded by robots. Majority of my day is spent working alongside these individuals, and I want to create a fun working environment where they feel free to express themselves. I want to keep morale high, so I prioritize positive team engagement. 

I don't shy away from acknowledging success and showing my appreciation for hard work. We dress up according to themes on Thursdays, (Check out the past Theme Thursdays I've featured on my Instagram!) and I plan birthday celebrations, team lunches, happy hours, and team offsites. Work should be fun, because I want my team to be excited to get out of bed every morning. 

Becoming a new manager can be daunting, but hopefully my advice will help alleviate any anxiety you may be currently feeling. Be upfront and honest with your team and ask for feedback. They'll understand while you're learning and still adjusting to your new role. I recently asked my own team for feedback on my management style, and I was pleasantly surprised by their kind words and compliments. I love seeing the growth, improvement, and success of my team members over time. I promise that it will all be rewarding in the end.