It’s finally happened: You’ve made the jump from worker bee into a management position. Now you have to prove you deserved it. How do you make sure that you set a positive example as a leader? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Amy Jen Su outlines the major points that will distinguish you as a capable manager.
As manager, one of the first steps you need to take is to create an aspirational goal for yourself moving forward. However unlike in the past, this goal should encompass others beyond yourself, and there should be a focus on supporting and coaching your team. This focus on others also comes into play when trying to motivate or influence others. What drives them may not drive you, and you need to be able to know which approach to employ at the right time.
This ability to identify the differences in others plays a major role in being able to communicate with them effectively. Being able to be clear and direct, yet respectful, is a balance that a manager needs to maintain, and doing so may require some effort. You need to stick to what you believe, but at the same time have an open enough mind to acknowledge if new information should change those beliefs. Along those lines, Su expresses how you need to be able to share the “whys” behind your decisions:
As a new manager, it’s also critical to share the WHY behind your vision, priorities, expectations, feedback, or requests. Don’t dilute your message… Help connect work deliverables or professional development to what’s happening at the organizational level. For example, in giving developmental feedback to someone, you could include additional context such as: Because the organization is growing so fast, there is opportunity for each member of the team to stretch and step up in the following ways. I’d love to see you take on….” Or, you can strengthen the message by painting the picture of the aspiration: “I’d love to see us become best in class at this, and here’s what will be required.”
Lastly, as a manager you need to be a rock during difficult times. Your team will look to you for guidance, and the best way to put their minds at ease is to demonstrate the positive qualities you want to see in them.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/08/how-new-managers-can-send-the-right-leadership-signals