You have worked hard, hit all your targets and even got employee of the year recognition. You are a star! Your boss recently called you in for a meeting and told you that he thinks you are ready for management. You are excited at the prospect of moving up. As you prepare for outstanding performance, you need to beware of pitfalls that come with new management positions. Some can hurt your reputation and working relationships and others can even put an entire career in jeopardy. Below are some of the new manager mistakes to avoid.
Failing to Establish Right Relationships with Direct Reports
A common mistake by inexperienced managers is a one-size-fits-all approach to management. You need to understand that personal motivation is key. Good bosses invest time and effort to know their direct reports on an individual level. You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each member in your team.
Failing to Get the Right Support from Upper Management
Sometimes people get promoted to management positions because they are stars. Being a star doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be great at leading a team. This could be your situation. You might be very good at excelling on your own, therefore, before you accept a promotion ensure you have the support of the higher management. Get a mentor within management if you have to, in order to ensure you get a smooth transition into management. Additionally, get acquainted with the polices and rules of the company.
Trying to Change Everything Right Away
Normally, new managers are often so excited to make changes that they want to attack everything at once. Politically, this may rub people the wrong way and actually increase the ‘but that’s the way we’ve always done it’ syndrome. So, take your time, and make sure you’re getting team consensus when you can.
Being Too Friendly
When you develop personal friendships with employees it can lead to trouble. As the boss, you have to keep a professional distance. You’re on unequal footing. You’re going to have things you can’t tell them, you’ll need to make decisions that will impact them, and you may need to give them difficult feedback at times or even fire them. You should have warm, cordial relationships with the people you manage, but you cannot be friends with them.
Being a manager is not about making it on your own, its about making it as a team. You need to have your team in mind and understand the pitfalls that may bring about challenges in your leadership. Work on them and see success in management.