While we did the usual overview of business updates and company goals, we also had the opportunity to do team building activities. We had our own scavenger hunt, attended a yoga class and tested our rhythmic skills in a drum circle.
Make sure that you understand where they can go wrong, and what you can do to avoid this. Active listening is another important skill for managers — and others — to master. Most good managers are active listeners: Communicating With People Outside Your Team Your boss is probably the most important person you need to communicate with.
Introduce the subject with a summary of your thinking, and then say where you need help. Also, as a manager, part of your job is to look after your team and protect it from unreasonable pressure. Learn skills like assertivenessso that you can either turn work away, or negotiate additional resources.
Another part of your job is to manage the way that your team interacts with other groups. Use stakeholder analysis to identify the groups that you need to deal with.
Then talk to these people to find out what they want from you, and what they can do to help you. You can give feedback on their phone manner, for example, but handling problems with timekeeping or personal grooming can need a different approach.
Obvious breaches of the law or of company policy are easy to identify and deal with. But what of other situations? Use these rules-of-thumb to decide whether you need to take action. If the answer to any is yes, then you need to arrange a time to speak to the employee in private. A graphic designer regularly gets in to work late, although he stays late to make up for this.
Does the issue adversely impact the cohesiveness of the team? Individual designers tend to work on their own projects, with few meetings between design team members, so cohesiveness is not impacted.
Does the issue unnecessarily undermine the interests of other individuals in the team? The designer sitting next to the latecomer is unhappy that she has to field calls from clients before he reaches the office, and is unable to give a firm answer to the question "When will he be in?
They agree that coming in to work late is not a problem he has a long commute, with heavy traffic en route but that he will commit to being in by 9. Discipline issues rarely go away of their own accord, and they usually get worse, often causing considerable resentment amongst other team members.
Traps to Avoid There are a number of common mistakes that new managers tend to make. Take care to avoid them! Thinking that you can rely on your existing job knowledge and technical skills to succeed as a manager.
It is essential that you take the time to develop good management and people skills as well — these can be more important than your technical skills! Failing to consult regularly with your boss, in a misguided attempt to show that you can cope on your own.
Approaching your boss without having thought a problem through, and without having considered how the problem could be solved. Embarrassing your boss, or letting her get a nasty surprise.
Follow the "no surprises" rule. Doing anything that requires your boss to defend you to others. This can cause your boss to "lose face" with his peers and superiors, and it makes it look as if his team is out of control.
Failing to talk to your customers whether internal or external about what they want from yourself and your team. Using your authority inappropriately — make sure that everything you ask people to do is in the interests of the organization.
Key Points When you move from being a worker to a line manager, you need to develop a new set of skills, and make use of new tools and techniques. These will help you with the key management activities of organizing, motivating, developing and communicating with your team.
Above all, learn how to delegate effectively.
However, also learn how to motivate people, develop team members, communicate effectively with people inside and outside your team, and manage discipline effectively. And make sure that you avoid the mistakes that many new managers make! Subscribe to our free newsletteror join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!Inspire your team with 2,+ resources that will help them to develop their skills and become more effective in the workplace.
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Derek V.W. Felske is the Chief Investment Officer at Annex Wealth Management. As the Chief Investment Officer, Derek is responsible for establishing investment policy and strategy, strategic and tactical asset allocation, active manager selection, and the development of Annex’s discretionary managed account portfolios.