Tips for New Managers: Part 2

Being promoted to a manager for the first time is one of the most challenging transitions a manager will ever have to navigate.

You’ve come to the right place! Here’s the advice I would give to any new manager, over a series of two meetings.

Tips #16-30:

16. Learn and practice a coaching model.
Coaching is the art and skill of helping someone remove their own roadblocks and unleash their potential. GROW (goals, reality, options, and will) is as good a coaching model as any. Again, read about it, take a course, or ask someone to teach it to you.

17. You’ll make some mistakes.
No, you’ll make lots of mistakes! Get used to it, and most importantly learn from those mistakes, and don’t repeat them. A dose of humility will go a long way.

18. Learn to ask awesome questions.
Too many new managers feel like they have to come in with all of the answers. While leveraging your experience and expertise is always a good thing, it’s even better to ask the right questions that harness the experience and expertise of your team.

19. Have a box of Kleenex on your desk.
Trust me on this one – don’t get caught short-handed. Unlike baseball, there is plenty of crying involved in management. Learn to deal with it in a way that treats your employees with respect.

20. Read Bob Sutton’s 12 Things Good Bosses Believe.
There are a LOT of great articles and books I could recommend, but this one is a must for any boss. Read it over and over at least once a year. The key take-a-way: get over yourself.

21. Subscribe to at least 5 leadership & management blogs and read at least one leadership book each year.
I know a lot of managers that read a book a month – but I realize that’s not realistic for many. Blogs are free, easy to read and digest, and plentiful. I’d of course recommend this site, as well Susan Heathfield’s Human Resources.

22. Be you.
It’s called “authentic leadership”, and it involves being clear on who you are, where you came from, what you stand for, and your vision for success. Then, it’s about communicating and behaving in a way that consistently reflects your core beliefs and values.

23. Develop a strategy.
Better yet if you involve your team in creating a vision, mission, and goals. It’s all about engagement and alignment.

24. Be clear on and agree on expectations.

Expectations should be a part of hiring criteria, job descriptions, performance goals, and behavioral norms. Expectations shouldn’t just be a one way dialog – ask your employees what they expect from you as a manager.

25. There is no “on” and “off” switch.
Being a manager is a 24/7 role. It’s not something you can turn off after 5:00pm and go out and let your hair down with the gang. You’re a role model, good or bad, and your behavior sets the standard for the culture you create for your team. From Marshall Goldsmith, author and executive coach.

26. Be your team’s influential champion.

You now have the task of getting them the resources & support they need, which means learning how to be persuasive in more complex situations. The converse also holds – read the environment & give your team the context for their work.

27. Re-brand yourself.

 If you’re being promoted from within the same department – think about your promotion as an opportunity for “re-branding” for yourself and possibly your department. From Jennifer Miller.

28. Keep your manager informed.

Make sure your boss is kept up to speed on your team’s accomplishments and any issues where your boss wouldn’t want to hear it from someone else and be caught by surprise.

29. Deal with employee performance issues sooner than later.

Most new managers will always look back and admit they didn’t move quickly enough on dealing with employee performance issues. It’s one of the hardest aspects of management, but one of the most important.

30. Take a course for new managers.

You’ll not only learn how to manage, but you’ll develop a support network of other new managers to lean on.