You are now a manager. For the first time, you have several employees reporting to you. You are thrilled to take your career to the next level. But any new responsibility comes with a set of rules you do not know. In fact, there are several things about a manager’s job that you probably have not heard much about before. Whether you are a natural-born manager or you have to learn step by step how to lead a team, the following five points are important. Your team has to trust you. That’s why it’s good to find the balance between authority and the autonomy given to your team members, working with them on each project.
1) You will get all the attention, so be balanced
As a manager, you will be loved, hated, but never ignored. It can be an uncomfortable situation, especially when one of your goals is to be more visible to the company leaders. When you are in the spotlight, people are following you and forming opinions about you. This means that they “read” your words, actions, and gestures more carefully than before. This is not necessarily a bad thing. You do not have to suddenly change your personality or censor your actions (in fact, both approaches can affect your performance). However, you have to recognize the impact you have on your colleagues in your new role and see the opportunity to contribute to the good working environment.
2) You will have to solve all kinds of problems, so be wise
As a manager, you will find that some colleagues come to you with various professional and personal problems. You will hear things you have to analyze and decide what to do next if at all. Any team member can come to you to tell you about their personal problems – from health problems to family life issues. As a manager, it’s not your job to solve all your colleagues’ problems. There may be occasions when it is appropriate to deal with a particular situation, but sometimes you have to direct them elsewhere (for example to the Human Resources department). The key is understanding the situation correctly. It may take time for you to get the right perspective on these matters. Just be aware that some of the decisions you make may have a big impact on the company.
3) You will have to ensure performance, so be prepared
A manager needs to help those with low performance become better. It is therefore important to clearly identify if their problems are a question of ability, skills or knowledge and if it is something they can improve. If you do not think their performances can change for the better, even after you have given them a number of opportunities to do that, then you will need to answer the question if those colleagues still need to be part of the team. After all, the time you spend to fix their mistakes is the time you do not use to develop the skills of those with better performances. On the other hand, if you think the low performers can improve, include “training moments” in your daily interactions with them. There are many situations in the workplace when you can provide real-time feedback.
4) You will have many messages to deliver, so be clear in your speech
The role of the manager is to translate the company’s strategy into the day-to-day actions of the team. That’s why you’ll need to constantly reiterate the company’s strategy and goals and explain the link between the two. At first, you may think you’re doing well as a communicator. Then, one day, it happens that someone in the company says he does not know something you explained to not long ago. Unfortunately, the role of a communicator is an essential requirement of the manager. As a manager, you need to have enough knowledge about the company policies to answer questions from your colleagues. If the topic it’s beyond your field of expertise, make sure you direct your questions to someone else in the company, as relevant.
5) You will have access to confidential information, so be careful
Sometimes being a manager means having access to information that no one else can know. Sometimes it means to have a different view of other managers when it comes to allocating resources. Sometimes you can face situations in which you have not imagined that you will enter. You may be tempted to share this information with your colleagues. But as a manager, it is in everyone’s interest to keep confidential information confidential.
Being a manager involves far more than taking on new responsibilities. Being aware of these five points, you can make a plan to address the possible challenges. You just need to understand that you need time to learn how to be a good manager, and for that, there is no shortcut.