Moving into management is generally a big step in a person’s career development. It’s an exciting and rewarding step but there are also many challenges that can come along with the added responsibility. Jack Bland talks us through his experience.
I have recently stepped into a management role with Speller International so I thought I would explore some of the challenges that I have faced in the transition. Generally, you’ll be experienced in your chosen profession and will hopefully feel confident in your professional skillset. However, this is not all you need on the road to becoming a good manager.
How you act is important
I found this one of the most important changes when moving into a lead role. As a part of a team you can sometimes get away with having an “off day” or being a little grumpy, although it’s not ideal it doesn’t always have a huge effect on people around you. As a manager though it’s important that you think about how you act and how that effects the people around you on a daily basis.
It’s important to remain intelligently optimistic, motivated, positive and encouraging as often as you can. How you act has a profound influence on the team. If you’re having an off day, walk round the block, reassess and try to improve your attitude. If you have had interactions that haven’t gone the way you had hoped, try to reflect on the reasons why and learn if there is anything you could do differently next time.
People need to feel comfortable talking with you and providing feedback. Make a genuine effort to get to know people, understand their goals and interests, and be friendly. And don’t be afraid to own your weaknesses.
Nobody is perfect. Being transparent can help you gain trust and respect from your team. You don’t have to be feared in order to be influential.
Good Management training or find a mentor
I have been lucky enough to work under a manager who is experienced and has helped to train me as a manager. But they have also let me find my own style, make mistakes and learn from them as I go.
I think it’s important to have someone that you trust so you have a sounding board for ideas, can correct you or make you think about how you can improve. If you don’t have that in your organisation I would suggest finding a mentor or a trusted advisor you can chat to.
Not everyone likes what you like
For me this is an important one. I hear the phrase treat other how you like to be treated but whilst that is true for basic things it isn’t always a one size fits all. Your team is made up of individuals who all have different aspirations, personalities, strengths and flaws. It is important you adapt your style to each person in the team as everyone is different.
Think through your decisions
As a manager I think it is important that you are making good decisions as often as possible. Sometimes in the heat of the working day you can be pressed on certain issues or be asked to make immediate decisions.
I think in these situations it’s important to give yourself some time and think through before you decide. Ultimately the buck stops with you so you need to be confident you are making the best decision possible at that time.
It’s still important you can have fun. I feel the days of fire breathing bosses are over. Although you have to remain professional, it’s important to still have fun with your team, stay social and take an interest in what people are doing outside of work.
Its Okay to make mistakes
I’m still relatively new to management so I still have a lot to learn. But you need to remember you will make mistakes and that’s okay, but it’s important to learn from them as if you make them again it will damage your credibility.
I think it is also important to try not to make basic mistakes as this can be seen as sloppy. Set yourselves a standard of behaviour and professional standards and ensure that you meet them each day.