Managing for the first time can be a massive undertaking for most people, especially when the transition is external rather than internal. Being the new guy or gal on the block can already be intimidating enough and on top of that, you are expected to lead those sizing you up?! When it comes to breaking down barriers and becoming a great leader, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the discomfort and increase the ease of the transition to become an effective leader. Here are some of the ways first-time leaders can boost their confidence and gain the trust of others.
From the beginning, being transparent as a manager can show those you will be working with that you are open to learning more about them and their operations. Along with this effort to show transparency, be sure to inform your team what you will be looking for and what you expect from them. Putting these items out in the open from the beginning will help increase buy in from employees and remove the stress of uncertainty.
Be sure to communicate with your team that you are willing to answer questions and are open to them. Even suggesting everyone come up with as many questions as they want to get to know you can be a great way to increase comfort levels as a team.
Figure Out What Your Team Members Really Want to Do
The bottom line is you should get to know your team members. In most cases, employees are being underutilized or in a position that doesn’t fully compliment their skill sets. Gaining a better understanding of each employee’s background, goals and strengths can be a quick way to get your team on track and improve morale as roles are adjusted.
Get Your Hands Dirty
You’ve probably heard this one before, lead by example. Don’t be shy; follow your team members around and get to know their duties and responsibilities. Also, don’t accept the mindset that just because you are the manager you cannot perform simple, small tasks to help take the workload off others in a tough spot.
When you have built rapport with your team and have had the time to create your plan and vision; be sure to share this with your team. Be certain to move forward in a confident manner and enter this conversation with an action plan. Employees will see you taking charge and most likely will be eager to follow.
Leadership isn’t for everyone; in fact, only about one-third of workers (34%) surveyed by CareerBuilder said they aspire to leadership positions. For those that do aspire for these roles, the learning curve can be difficult, but using these tips first time managers are bound to find their way quickly.