How to act in your new dynamic as a manager
One of the early missteps a new manager can make is to let their newfound “power” get to their head. Becoming a manager is a responsibility that comes with challenges, but also exciting opportunities to develop yourself and those around you. Your attitude toward this new responsibility will ultimately set the tone for your entire management career.
A recent study from the Harvard Business Review found that most people who are “rookies” in their roles are “surprisingly strong performers in terms of both innovation and speed.” The one category of people the research didn’t apply to was new managers. Why? Rookies in other roles proved more likely to listen, ask for help, test-and-learn, and eagerly receive feedback. Managers–not so much. This group seemed to double-down on what got them promoted in the first place (e.g. focusing on themselves/their own asks), instead of empowering their teams.
The big takeaway: Approach management as you would taking on any other new skill:
- Listen and get feedback: Formalize feedback loops with your team to help optimize your approach.
- Seek guidance (see our article: Identifying your management mentor)
- Experiment: Be flexible in your approach early on, and make adjustments as needed.