5 Important Lessons Managers Must Learn

There’s nothing more exciting than achieving promotion into a managerial position. But when you step up to the plate on day one, you’re bound to be more full of questions than confidence. Take a deep breath and read on for some lessons every manger ought to know.

Lead by Example

Remember before you were promoted? You spent every day giving work your all. Now you’re management, nothing has changed. If you want your team to respect you, it’s important to lead by example. Be prepared to arrive first, leave last. When your staff faces a heavy load, pitch in with their work as well as your own. Make sure your team views you as dependable. If they feel they can rely on you, they will be happy to work with you.

Share Your Secrets

During your time as an employee, you’ve probably built up skills, techniques, and tricks of the trade. To build a better team, it’s important you let go of the copyright on your knowledge and share what you’ve learned with your staff. After all, that’s part of the reason why you’ve been chosen for a management role. Keep staff learning up to date – don’t let your department fall behind. Consider formal training and assessment to make sure skill level is consistent across the board, but make sure to leave time to talk to individual employees about problems they may be facing.

Look Forward

In a managerial role, it’s important to have a viewpoint that looks beyond the daily grind and plans for the future. Set long and short term aims for yourself and for your team. Make SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Time Oriented. Go through your expectations with your team, and make sure they view your plan as realistic and achievable to avoid dropping employee morale. It’s important to maintain a positive outlook. Problems will arise, but remain solution focused. Keep tabs on the sales numbers, but only so you can plan for the months to come.

Photo: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Maintain Professionalism

To win the respect of your team, it is important that you maintain professionalism, especially when they don’t. In times of stress in the office, or when things go awry, it is easy to slip into anger or defensiveness. Never lose your cool in the face of a tough situation or an argumentative employee. You will look back on it as a major embarrassment. Don’t play the blame game when problems arise. If there is a systemic error you will need to identify it, but avoid pointing the finger at individuals. When the pressure mounts, avoid making snap decisions. Stick to process, and don’t cut corners. Just as vital as keeping your cool in the face of a work problem, you will need to keep your cool in the face of workplace disputes. You staff will expect you to authoritatively resolve arguments or act as mediator. Avoid taking sides at all costs. Don’t participate in office politics. It will cause drama and may even tear your team apart.

Know Your Team

Although consistency is an essential aspect of management, it is important to respond to your team members as individuals. Every employee has different passions, motivations, and reasons for coming to work. Take the time to find out what they are, so no staff member feels left out. Build on your team members individual strengths to achieve unique results. Consider mentoring a team member – you will learn just as much as they will.

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