Tips For The First Time Manager

It has finally happened! You are no longer the rookie at your workplace. You know the processes and the quirks and now your superiors have surprised you with a new task. You have to start managing people! This is an exciting time for anybody, let alone the first time manager. If you are young in your professional career, take the following tips into mind when managing people for the first time.

  1. Be Patient – Remember ‘The Golden Rule.’ Do unto others as you would want done to you. Patience is important for the first time manager. There is a lot of anxiety that comes with the role as you want to show people that you are capable and even want to look good! But rushing your team into tasks and asking for more than they can handle will only backfire when their work is sloppy from pressure. Take time to understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can utilize strengths and fix weaknesses.
  2. Establish Transparency – You can eliminate a lot of unnecessary attitude problems when you establish transparency. Being able to articulate your position as a manager is something your team will appreciate. Giving big picture explanations is also helpful as people enjoy hearing what they are doing for the overall goals of the company. As a manager, you should have nothing to hide so why not share!
  3. Don’t Micromanage – Very few people actually enjoy a micro-manager. Your superiors have given you time to breathe and grow and you should do the same for your new reports. Assign a task and give a deadline. Let your team come up with their own way of getting to the desired result. You may have your methodologies of how you want things done, but letting team members figure things out for themselves is instrumental to their growth. If you can, share some tips along the way so that they may avoid any unnecessary obstacles but let them know that you trust and believe in them.
  4. Recognize Good Work – We all know the idiom that good managers give credit when something goes right and take responsibility when it goes wrong. As cliché and trite as it sounds, it is true. This is how you build character in yourself, and confidence in your team. Let your team know when they have done a good job. They will appreciate that you appreciate them.

The overarching theme of this blog post is how to build trust in your team. This is a crucial attribute for the first time manager – learning they can trust their team, and be trusted. It is important to remember that these tips can be reapplied through the course of your career as you reach senior management. Nobody wants to be ‘bossed;’ they want a mentor, even a friend, and at the very least, someone who understands them.

Patrick Coughlin is a Senior Marketing Analyst at Consultants 2 Go.