Along with all the excitement and progress the role of a manager offers, it comes with its own share of hurdles – much like anything new one might take on. An obvious part of any new journey entails learning through mistakes we make. Another part of the journey is to learn from the experiences of others who have walked the path that you are now on. If you are a first time manager, here are some mistakes you should definitely be wary of.
The first thing that you must sort in your capacity as a manager is defining and maintaining the communication structure you expect to have with your team. Lay down the guidelines for the structure of the overall reporting and communication system. This will help you with a number of key issues such as accountability, time management and delegation.
Not making an effort to get to know your team is probably one of the worst mistakes managers could make. Building a rapport with your team makes a world of sense since a lot about how team progresses is now your responsibility. The first chance you get after stepping into the shoes of your new role, organize an informal team meeting where you all get a chance to know each other. During this meeting, emphasize on your expectations from the team and how you plan on helping them work towards them. Make it a dialogue and ask your team about what they expect from you, make a note of them for sure!
Let your team know what’s working, and what’s not! One of the common mistakes most first time managers make is delaying feedback. Feedback is probably the singular most essential thing to help your team grow. Along with assigning tasks, and following up on them, offering feedback once the task has been completed forms an integral part of the entire goal setting – achieving process. When your team has done a good job, applaud them. When there is something they could do better, let them know in a suitable way.
Now that you are a manager, you are responsible for your entire team besides being responsible for your own work progress. In order to maximize your potential (and hence, in a way your team’s potential) you need to put in some extra planning into figuring out how you are going to be managing your time. Putting things down on paper is great way to visualize what your goals are, by when you plan on achieving them, and the going on to create a road map for the same.
Just because you are the manager doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a sense of fear for your team to do their work. Neither do you have to be excessively chummy. Keep reminding yourself that your real role as a manager is to lead your team and help them achieve their goals, and not to be the quintessential tyrannical boss. If you have to be a boss, be one who inspires, motivates and leads by example.
Been there, done that? Tell us about some common errors you’ve made in your journey as a first time manager.