So, you got promoted.
All of a sudden you have people reporting to you. Relying on you. Looking to you to tell them what to do.
Okay, a little terrifying, right?
Well, it doesn't have to be. With a little forethought and some advice from those who have experienced the transition to management before you, it's possible to hit the ground running and be a great manager from day one.
Just keep these things in mind.
1. It's not about you anymore.
In a blog for Glassdoor, Rob Cahill, founder and CEO of Jhana, a company that provides training and education resources for managers, wrote that one of the biggest lessons that he learned on his path to being a great manager was about changing his focus from I to the team.
"Once you become a manager, you say goodbye to your days as an individual contributor," he explains.
"Your new job doesn’t have anything to do with how many deals you close, how much code you write or how terrific your new website design is. As a manager, your job now has to do with how many deals your team closes, how much code your team writes and how terrific your team’s new design is.
"It may sound like a minor difference, but it isn’t. Getting great results out of a team of individuals requires a completely different skill set."
2. Reset your relationships.
If you've been promoted to a position that has you managing people you used to be on the same level with, you're going to need to reset those relationships.
As The Muse writes, "You can’t keep up your twice-weekly happy hours and closed-door lunch dates with your work BFF without feelings of distrust and resentment from the rest of your team."In order to get ahead of those feelings from the rest of the team as well as similar feeling from your friend, it's important to establish a new working relationship.
In order to get ahead of those feelings from the rest of the team—as well as similar feeling from your friend—it's important to establish new working relationships.
The Muse suggests starting your conversation with: "You know that I value our friendship, but as a manager, I need to make sure that everyone on the team views me as being fair and consistent, so our work relationship is going to change."
3. Get to know the politics and the culture.
In a piece for The Guardian, Melissa Baxter, the Director of Executive Search at management recruitment company Russam GMS suggests office politics and culture are just as important as the job at the very beginning.
"Listen, and only form opinions when you have had time to understand the culture and politics," Baxter suggests. "Jumping in with strong views can alienate people before you’ve properly started."
4. Set up a culture of constructive criticism.
The only thing worse than receiving criticism is giving it, but giving constructive criticism to your team is a big part of being a good manager.
In a piece for Refinery29, Kim Scott, the co-host of the podcast Radical Candor, and author of Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, says that in order to give constructive criticism you need to be able to take it.
She suggests starting out by soliciting feedback before giving any of your own.
Firstly, you'll become a better manager because, "People who work for you watch you more closely than almost anyone else, and you’ll learn a lot from what they have to say."
Secondly, your employees will learn they can trust you when you take action based off of their suggestions.
And finally, Scott says, "You’ll lead by example when you show how feedback helps you improve, and that you appreciate the feedback others give you."
5. Remember a great boss is made, not born.
While you can do a lot to set yourself up for success, time is the biggest asset you have in making yourself an amazing boss.
"It is true that some bosses have a natural flair for leadership, and motivating and inspiring others," writes Melanie Joy Douglas in a piece for Monster. "That said, much of what it takes to be an effective leader is learned behavior. A lot of people have innate traits that could make them great bosses; it’s a matter of developing those capabilities. A great boss rarely stays great without working at her craft. Greatness can be maintained by attending management classes and seminars, reading books, and doing a lot of self-assessment."
Be prepared, pay attention, and be open to learning and growing. And don't worry, you've got this.