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Stepping Up: Dos and Don'ts for Transitioning Into a New Manager Role

Posted by Mary Bradbury Jones on November 21, 2016

transitioning-into-a-new-role.jpgAfter an exciting promotion to a management role, the transition from co-worker to manager needs to be as smooth as possible. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure you earn the respect of your team as well as your organization’s leaders.

DON’T

  • Let your new role go to your head. You were recently just a coworker to those you are now leading. By acting like a know-it-all, you might hurt the working relationships you need in order to achieve success as a manager.
  • Be a recluse. You might feel like you need to buckle down in your new role, but it is important to continue interacting with other staff members. Adopt an open door policy to offer more availability to your team.
  • Attempt to do it all on your own. It takes an entire team working together to achieve a goal. Don’t attempt to carry the workload yourself; delegate tasks to employees who have the specific skills to complete the task efficiently and effectively.
  • Micromanage. You once worked side-by-side with the people you now lead, so you probably know a lot about their work preferences and understand their strongest skills. Use this knowledge to your advantage by allowing your employees freedom to thrive in an environment that works for them instead of trying to control every detail.
  • Assume everything is already perfect. Maybe you were satisfied with the way your previous manager lead the team, or maybe you are already happy with your team, however, don’t assume improvements can’t be made both in your role and in the team’s quality of work. Find ways to take your team to new levels of success by setting strategic goals, enhancing staff performance, or changing your management style.

DO

  • Know the ins and outs of the company. While you might know a lot about your team and its daily tasks, it’s time to expand your knowledge of the company itself. Learn the company’s history and purpose, understand it’s competition, and get to know company leadership. You might find more success in your role when you perform your job tasks with these details in mind.
  • Learn details of the new manager position. You also need to have a thorough understanding of your own role and responsibilities. What are the goals and expectations for you and your team? What functions in the company do you oversee? What deadlines are you up against? By learning about the new role you stepped into, you can set yourself up to succeed.
  • Listen to everyone. Every person in the company brings some expertise about how the company works, whether it is day-to-day operations or large-scale efforts. Meet and listen to as many people as you can, including those who report to you, those you report to, and other employees in different areas of the company. You can learn a lot about how the company works, what’s going right and what’s going wrong, by having different perspectives.

>> Learn more about Running Effective Meetings

  • Meet with Human Resources. Human Resources can provide training options and education resources that are available to you as a new leader. They can help you find ways to improve the skills you need to fulfill the responsibilities in your new role.
  • Complete a personality assessment. Personality assessments can help you and your team improve communication based on how each person works best and prefers to communicate. If you can, have each member of your team take an assessment. After analyzing the results, you should better understand how to lead your team and encourage productivity and efficiency among everyone.
  • Define boundaries. Though you might be friends with the people you oversee, set some boundaries and maintain a good work-life balance. The conversations you used to have might not be appropriate anymore. Assess how you interact with your employees and ensure it’s in a way that is professional, but also approachable, positive, and personable.

You can successfully transition into a management role, but it takes careful planning, relationship building, and some additional education. While you might have a few hiccups along the way (no one is perfect), always learn from your mistakes and continue attempting to achieve success and reaching for higher goals.

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Topics: Professional Development, Management

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