Typically, it takes up to 6 months for a new employee to feel comfortable in a new job. As a newly promoted manager within your organisation, you may not have the luxury of time to settle in. Operational demands mean you must get on with the job of leading your team from day one.
Even if you know it will take some time to truly understand the needs of your new position, fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure you get off to a great start.
1. Know why they chose you
Understand why you were the preferred person for the role. You hold key skills and experiences which are highly regarded. Use this knowledge to guide you during your first few weeks in the decision-making process. For example, maybe the company is going through a huge change process. You have extensive experience in managing change from previous roles. Use your experience to help guide and lead your new team.
2. Behave like a leader
Transitioning from team member to a management role can be tricky. You may have some people on your team who you also consider being good friends. Now you’re in a senior role, there may come a time when you must manage them. It’s important to behave like a leader, not a friend. When communicating be clear when you’re in manager-mode and when you’re in friendship-mode. Be open about your approach to the team, this will help them understand your new behaviours.
3. Run a great meeting
The priority is to spend enough time with your team to understand their pain points and where they need your support. Developing a reputation for holding a good meeting will provide huge benefits as it generates active participation. This leads to productive conversations and measurable results.
4. Learn how to say “no”
Before you can say no with confidence, you must be clear about why you have said no. Becoming a manager includes more extra work than you’ve experienced before. Effectively managing your workload without getting burnt out is key when transitioning to a manager role. Your team relies upon you to be present and available to them. Identify what you’re responsible for and acknowledge what’s not your responsibility. If you don’t know what your boundaries are, then you won’t be able to communicate them to others.
5. Learn from every experience
Your new role will throw you some challenges, so be open to those experiences. It’s likely you had a perception of what your new position would be like before you applied. Be prepared for these perceptions to be challenged. Take each experience and learn from it. What worked well, what could be done differently? Overtime these experiences will build your confidence. You will learn and grow into the leader you aim to be.
Know perception isn’t often the reality, it will take time to understand the demands of your new role. Adopting these tips will help you get off to a quick start while you determine what needs to be done to move the team forward.