Like becoming a parent for the first time, moving into management doesn’t come with a ‘how to’ manual. It can be a tricky path if you have been promoted over work place ‘friends’ and you now have to manage them. I liked these 5 tips from The Glass Hammer and have expanded on them based on my work coaching women in business, their words are in italic:
- Look up before you fall down – Your first job as a new manager is to build relationships with peers and those above you. This strategic move will allow you to obtain the resources you need to be successful. Remember that members of your new more senior group will be watching and testing you. Proposals you make will need ‘socialising’ individually with each member before trying to get ‘buy in’ in a group meeting.
- Your success depends on the success of others. Sit down with your new direct reports and ask them what they need in order to do their jobs well. Make sure that your team gets the recognition it deserves, and they will work ‘for you’.
- Choose respect over love. Your employees are relying on you to be their boss, which means that you generally cannot be their friend. Women often have the need to be ‘liked’ but remember you are being paid now to manage a team and get results and sometimes your team won’t like your decisions. As long as you remain fair and give feedback you will earn their respect.
- Be credible. It is difficult, if not impossible to get others to follow you if you aren’t perceived as being credible. Never make promises you know you can’t keep. If you know you are going to miss a deadline speak up as soon as you realise. Routinely failing to meet expectations, that have been set to high, can be a career-breaker. Better to push back when an unreasonable deadline is set.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Hire for fit, train for skill and if the opportunity presents itself, hire people who are better than you. If you do make a hiring mistake, take corrective action immediately. Brief new staff on how the team and the organisation works and what you expect from them. If you have a team member who is being disruptive they must be dealt with before the rot spreads. Savvy business women will build a valuable network that they can use to find team members when they need to recruit.
You can find more information on achieving career success in “Beyond the Boys’ Club”.