You have worked hard to prove yourself at work. You have put in long hours, taken on projects no one else wanted to tackle and consistently outperformed expectations at every turn. And now your boss has entrusted you with an entirely new set of responsibilities, one that includes being a manager.
Making the transition from hourly employee to manager could be great for your career and your earnings, but success is never guaranteed. If you want your first foray into management to be a successful one, the following tips from United Car Care Executive Vice President Rory Angold will help you avoid the most common pitfalls, including the desire to micromanage your new team.
Reframe Your Points of Reference
If you want to avoid the micromanagement trap and be successful in your new role, start by reframing your points of reference. If you have spent your career thus far as an hourly employee, you have probably learned to embrace that role, but now you need to learn a new set of skills.
Start by looking at the company with a new set of eyes, one that includes managing employees instead of simply being one. The better you understand your new role, the easier it will be to change your point of reference.
Get to Know Your New Team
As a new manager, your success is largely dependent on the qualifications of your team, but that does not mean you have the ability to build that team on your own. Most new managers inherit the teams they work with, and they need to make the most of the resources they are given.
If you want to avoid the micromanagement trap and get off to a great start, get to know your team. Take a hard look at their strengths and their weaknesses, then build on what you have been given to create a support system you can rely on.
Start Small and Keep Building
If you have been doing everything on your own as an hourly employee, it can be hard to let go all at once. The good news is you do not have to abandon your old ways immediately; a successful transition often involves a more gradual approach.
You are still new to your team, and to the world of management in general, so take a go-slow approach to avoid the micromanagement trap. Giving your new team some small tasks to complete will help you build confidence in their abilities, so you can let go of larger and larger projects down the road.
Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Whether your new boss is sitting in the corner office or just the next cubicle, he or she was once a brand new manager. Rest assured that your current supervisor once felt the same anxieties and insecurities that you are feeling right now.
The best managers know what they are doing well and how to motivate their teams, but they also know when to ask for help. You should never be afraid to ask for guidance when you need it. Far from being a sign of weakness or uncertainty, asking for tips can actually make you a better manager in the eyes of your boss.
No one is born a great manager, but the best team leaders do have a few things in common. From the ability to motivate those around them to strong communication skills, these qualities help to define great leaders.
If your hard work has finally been rewarded with a management role, you need to cultivate these qualities in yourself, but above all, you need to avoid the micromanagement trap. The tips listed above can help you be a great manager, one who trusts in the abilities of the team and knows when to take a step back.
About Rory Angold
Rory Angold has spent the past 20 years assuming leadership and executive positions within various companies. Mr. Angold worked with Zurich North America, managing and, more importantly, developing field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. His goal was to connect with automotive dealers and industry partners to help them increase their wealth while managing risks and protecting their assets. Mr. Angold is now serving as Executive Vice President at United Car Care, a company that offers vehicle service contracts that provide reliable protection at an affordable cost.
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