How to Establish Yourself as a New Manager

How to Establish Yourself as a New Manager - Style Nine to Five

You’ve done it – you’ve finally gotten promoted to a managerial position! It was exciting until the anxiety kicked in – how do you establish yourself as a new manager and, of course, make sure you’re a great one?

1. Include Your Team

Remember that your team is just as important as the managers are. Style Nine to Five Founder, Christie Lohr, says your employees’ perceptions of how things have been run so far will be a huge help when you’re finding your footing in your new rule. “Ask your team to be active participants!” says Christie. “Get their feedback on what’s worked/not worked in the past and ask them what changes they’d like to see.”

This will be a big help to you for a number of reasons. First off, you want the team you’re managing to both like you and respect you, and this is a way of gaining both of those things. “Showing them that you value their opinion makes you instantly likeable and they’ll appreciate and respect a collaborative approach,” says Christie.

But, more than that, their input will truly help you be the best manager you can to this team. “This also helps you out as a newbie, giving you ideas and input straight from the trenches that you can use to shape your management style,” advises Christie. Although you’re in charge now, your employees may have been at this job longer than you have and have seen the best and worst of it.

After all, the more ideas you can take, the better. Everyone has different perceptions of things from each other and some members of your team may bring forward thoughts from past experiences that you’ve never encountered before or would have never even considered. Any input is good input – once you have it all, you can decide what’s most useful to you.

2. Take Your Time

Starting any new position is scary – even when you’re the one in charge! “Like with any job, don’t expect to have everything figured out on day one. It takes time to figure out what your leadership style is and to fall into a rhythm with your new team,” says Christie. So, since it takes time, don’t be nervous about doing just that – taking your time with it.

“Take the time to get to know your team and let them get to know you—a human approach opens the door for communication and collaboration which is a more modern approach than a superior/subordinate mindset,” Christie says. Seeing that you’re still learning even in a managerial position will be good for your team, too.

Even when you start to have it all figured out, “take your time” is valuable advice to keep in your pocket for troublesome situations. If something comes up that you don’t know how to deal with even when you’re established, you’re still allowed to take the time that you need. Keep a cool head and assess the situation instead of acting on a knee-jerk response. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I need to think about the best approach to handle this” and taking a pause,” advises Christie. As the one in charge, it may seem like you need to have the answer right away, but an impulsive answer may be the worst option and you’ll find you would’ve handled the situation better if you took the time to think about it.

3. Be Firm When Needed

You want to be liked by your new team, you don’t want them to think there’s a divide between you, and you want to have friendly relationships with them all. This is great, and you can do it! That being said, if a situation arises that requires discipline or a firm approach, don’t let your managerial position fall to the wayside for friendship. “You’re the one in charge—learn to trust your gut for when times require a firm approach,” says Christie. If you have a tough time with confrontation, remember that you’re in charge and this is why you’re here—this is your time to shine by leading by example, being compassionate where possible, and being firm in your decisions.”

As Christie says, don’t ever forget your compassion during these times – compassion is an extremely valued trait in any leader, and something they should seek to showcase – but definitely remember you’re allowed to be firm.

4. Look Up to Others

Every manager in the world has started anew at some point – they’ve been through all the same scenarios you have. With that in mind, know that you don’t have to go through these situations alone. Talk things through with other managers at the store, ask them for advice and tips on your new position, and reach out to them if a difficult situation comes up that you’re not yet sure how to deal with. After all, you’re a team and you’re there to help each other out!

Your managerial network doesn’t need to end with those who work at your job, though. “It’s a great idea to start networking with other managers from other companies on LinkedIn to create a support system that you can bounce ideas off when you need it, or having a mentor who can help advise you in tricky situations too,” states Christie. This is especially a great idea if you’d like your manager gig to pivot you to a different one – look for people who started out as a manager and moved on to your dream job. They can assist you in plenty of ways!

You may not have it all figured out in the beginning, but no other manager did, either. Just take one day at a time, ask for advice if you need it, and you’ll be the best manager you can be in no time.

Need specific advice from a professional? Ask Christie 1 Career Question!

Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.

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