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Wash Wisdom: Development tips for new managers

Being thrust into a managerial position, you might not have all the skills you need.


According to the article “Five tips for new managers to survive and thrive” by contributor Carla Palmer on The Globe and Mail’s website, employees who show problem-solving skills and initiative on the front lines of the business often get promoted into managerial positions. However, if the new managers are not given the proper training, they may lack some of the interpersonal skills or emotional mindsets needed for the new position. As such, the company will suffer overall. While new mangers will learn the hard skills — such as budgeting and scheduling staff work — on the job, some of the “softer” skills of managing people themselves may not be taught and must be learned at the individual’s pace. As such, Palmer recommends new managers follow these five tips to help manage their own growth:

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  • Ask for a development contract. After taking on the new position, you should do a self-evaluation to determine your competency level. Furthermore, you need to find out from your employer what your limits of authority are and when you need to consult someone at a higher level — for instance, when disciplining a staff member. New managers need opportunities for coaching and check-ins, so work a development plan into your contract so that you can devote time to developing yourself throughout the first year.
  • Ask for a comprehensive job description. In addition to listing your responsibilities, make sure the job description lists the skills you should have or are expected to develop. You can also ask for clarification on these requirements with a question such as, “What do I need to be good at to do this job?”
  • Make a learning plan. After having done a self-evaluation, set objectives for your development with specified learning and training activities. For instance, consider which management style you’ll use when leading team meetings. Palmer says, “Think about the specific personal and organizational values you need to commit to, identify the training you need in areas for development such as cultural competency, and seek feedback from your supervisor and staff regarding how they perceive your style and whether it is effective.”
  • Have regular performance reviews. If these reviews aren’t already scheduled, ask for them. This opportunity allows you to get feedback on the development you’ve planned for yourself. Use it in your learning plan to track your progress and set new goals.
  • Ask for training. Training is especially useful when peer managers are involved and can share their anecdotes and expertise. It will also give you the opportunity to explore different management styles, and you’ll be able to develop and utilize different techniques for communicating with staff — especially for difficult conversations — and discover the tools you can use to keep track of multiple priorities.

Read the original article here.

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