You’ve worked your way up the greasy pole and secured your first significant managerial role, and you are eager to show your boss that you can get results…..
You know the product inside out; you’re great at increasing sales and wooing new clients. What more could you need?
Well, you haven’t got a clue about managing people and teams, generating trust, drawing out potential, managing conflict, or motivating others and the only role models you have of management are your previous bosses who ran their teams like dictatorships. Recognise this scenario?
We know how the story ends, disgruntled employees who don’t respect you; you brow beating staff, not delegating responsibility; you’re overworked and productivity has taken a nosedive.
People are almost always promoted into managerial roles because they are so good at what they have done, they are rewarded with promotion, more money, more responsibility and a motley crew of employees to manage and get results.
But this is not a complete recipe for success. Often overlooked are the people-focused skills needed for teams to deliver and often exceed their objectives.
Although there is continuous debate about the differences between leadership and management, the truth is, if you are in a managerial position responsible for other people’s performance, people are your greatest asset. To do the job well, you need to possess and use leadership skills as well as focusing on processes and results.
“I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.” Woodrow Wilson
It makes sense to use all the talent and capabilities within your team to achieve the required results. A manager who focuses an equal emphasis on the task and people, while sharing the credit for successful outcomes has a winning combination. They are rewarded with high motivation and job satisfaction within their teams, and employees who will bend over backwards to please them and get the job done.
When there is unbalance – too much focus on the task at the expense of the people – performance and productivity are compromised. Managers will regularly be taken off course fire-fighting conflict, stress and low morale within their teams.
Do you recognise yourself in any of the above? Has this struck a cord with you? The good news is that skills required for managing teams can be learned.
Coaching is often used as an effective way to support managers to develop the additional skills needed to perform well in a new role. So if you are curious to know more, or this article has highlighted your own need for development in this area, dip your toe into the water, complete the two exercises below to get a general assessment of where you are right now.
Step One: Learning from your experience
Think of a time when you have been managed……
What were the characteristics of that manager?
What did they do well? What did they do not so well?
What was the impact on you and the team?
What was the impact on productivity?
What would have improved that experience?
What would you do differently?
Think of someone that you admire?
What leadership qualities do they demonstrate?
What can you learn from their example?
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it.” Dwight Eisenhower
Step two: Assessing your managerial skills
As a good manager, your main priority is to get the job done. You can make things happen by:
1.Knowing your objectives and having a plan for how to achieve them
2.Building a team committed to achieving the objectives
3.Helping each team member to give their best efforts
Where you are in relation to the above three points? Score yourself out of ten for each one. What can you do to increase your score in these three key areas?
Finally, Some Wise Reflections
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” Mohandas Ghandi
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” President Harry S Truman
“Behind an able man there are always other able men [and women].” Chinese Proverb
Professional coach, Suzanne Simmons-Lewis provides bespoke coaching services for new managers to develop their key competencies with a strong focus on developing leadership, strategy and communication skills.