When you find a job that you love, it is only natural to want to progress through its ranks as fast as you can. If you are willing and able to put in the hours, you can one day make it to the level of manager. This will give you an opportunity to oversee a new generation of workers in your industry and pass on the skills and experience that you have developed over the years.
But no matter how good you are at your job, and how naturally-suited you might be to the role of manager, managing a business for the first time is always going to present a significant challenge. Of course, you won’t be the first manager to find themselves thrown in at the deep end when they first take on the role. Even with preparation, you will inevitably make some mistakes during the early days of your tenure as manager.
By preparing adequately beforehand, you can significantly reduce the chances of you running into unexpected but avoidable problems. Avoiding these common mistakes will make it easier for you to establish your authority and your management style as soon as possible after you take over. They will also help you to bond with your team and foster a mutual respect, something that will make your life as a manager much easier.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Know Everything
Many managers hold themselves up to very high standards. This can include feeling as if they should be able to handle every single issue that comes their way with barely a second’s thought. However, this is an impossible standard to try and reach. Even if you are being promoted within a business that you already have plenty of experience with, that doesn’t mean that you will know everything there is to know about being a manager.
You should never be afraid to admit when you don’t know something. Instead, you should focus on showing your employees that you can still effectively solve any issues that do crop up. When you encounter issues that you don’t know how to solve, working out solutions will be a valuable learning experience. It is also important to show your employees that it is ok to not know things.
An important part of your role as manager will be nurturing the efforts of those that work beneath you. Some of this will come from your own past work experience, but as with any role, you will also need to do a fair amount of learning while on the job. When you encounter things you don’t know, use them as learning opportunities and encourage your workers to do the same.
The best leaders are those that others would follow even if they didn’t hold a more senior position than them professionally. An important part of nurturing this kind of relationship is showing your workers that you value their opinions, skills and experience. Encouraging them to think for themselves as much as possible is an effective way of doing this.
You shouldn’t be looking to stamp on everyone with your newfound authority; if you set up a hostile atmosphere from the beginning, you will never be able to win them back around. One of the most common mistakes that new managers often make is in trying to control every aspect of what goes on during their watch. If your workers find you overbearing, they will be less likely to respond to your demands.
It is much better to gently guide your team, while encouraging their natural talents to shine through. What matters is that your team are able to navigate through most challenges on their own. Again, remember that when you don’t know how to do something, it is an opportunity to learn it. When your team don’t know what to do, encourage them to formulate and evaluate their own solutions to problems.
Don’t Change Everything Overnight
If you come into a new role with the attitude that everything that was done before you arrived was wrong, you will be instantly setting yourself up for confrontation. Instead, you should show respect for the existing procedures and techniques that those working under you have grown accustomed to. It is likely that some of those who now work beneath you will have been involved in formulating the processes that are in place when you arrive.
If you arrive and instantly dismiss everything that was done before, this is unlikely to win you respect. Instead, look for existing processes and procedures that you can get behind. Instead of aiming to make your mark by changing as many things as possible, look to make the most difference with the least amount of changes.
Don’t be Indecisive
In business, decisions often need to be made relatively quickly. A quick decision in business isn’t necessarily one that has to be made right now. In some cases, a quick decision for your business will be a decision that needs to be made in a few days, but requires back and forth communications within the business. If this is the case, there may be very little time to spare.
Similarly, when you are looking for ways to improve efficiency and save money in your new role, show that you are able to make and execute solid plans. For example, if your business needs to ship goods to consumers, don’t be afraid to ask what does it cost to ship each item. There is a plethora of different shipping types out there, each best suited to different cargo. Identifying the right service providers for your business is essential to its long-term success.
Taking on a managerial role is a big responsibility. However, for the most ambitious members of the workforce, rising up to the level of manager is a natural progression. As a new manager, you will face some significant challenges but, with the right preparation, these can be mitigated or overcome. Do everything you can to avoid making any of the above mistakes.