The first time you take on a leadership position, it’s scary. It’s common to feel like you’re not up to the job. “Why me?” you might find yourself asking.
A better question to ask is, Why not you?
You can do it. And to help you, here are 3 critical things that you should do as a first time manager, to get you started.
1. As a first time manager, set up regular meetings
It doesn’t matter what type of manager you are, you need to set up some regular times to meet with your team. There is a lot of hatred for meetings out there. However, meetings are important for leaders to make sure they have time booked in to keep close to their team.
When it gets busy, many managers don’t make the time for regular catch ups with team members. That’s why it’s important for a first time manager to book them in early, so everyone can get used to the schedule.
Regular meetings let you see how your team is feeling, offer support and have conversations about performance or goal setting. You don’t need to make them formal. Have a coffee, go and get lunch. But don’t underestimate how important they can be.
2. As a first time manager, ask your team for ideas
The worst thing you can do as a first time manager is to be “the boss” and start telling everyone how things should be. Your team is more likely to respect you if you take the time to understand the way the team works first.
It’s common for a first time manager to take over an existing team. This means that your team members have been working in the team for longer than you.
Ask them about what is working and what isn’t. Ask for suggestions about how they might improve the situation. This will help you build trust as they feel like you have their best interests at heart.
Once you take on some of their ideas, they’ll be more willing to listen to yours.
3. As a first time manager, understand your team members
As a first time manager, it’s easy to just take a “one size fits all” approach to leading your team. While this is sometimes easier, it doesn’t usually work very well. Every team member is different, and you may need to take a slightly different approach.
Speak to and observe your team members and find out what makes them tick. Do some of them need more support than others? Will you need to coach and mentor them? Do some team members need flexibility in working hours or to be able to work from home? Are some of your team introverted and others extroverts?
All of these questions will help you better adapt your approach to suit your team members. Don’t treat them all the same, take the time to understand the differences so you can get the best results out of everyone.
Being a first time manager is never easy. But you’re only a first time manager once, so make sure you do these three things and get off to a great start.