Becoming a new manager, or even the boss, has major perks (hello higher salary and maybe even a fancy new desk!), but like most things in life, it has its drawbacks as well. Some people jump into the role blindly knowing how to manage others on their team, but for me, it was something that took a lot of experimentation. As a pretty independent person, I never had trouble keeping myself organized and all that, but when it came to overseeing others, I pretty much sucked at first. BUT! I got better! Here’s how.
Figure out what type of learner they are
We are all different types of learners, and one of my mistakes upfront was assuming the girls under me were the same as me (aka auditory). Obviously everyone is different, though, and it wasn’t until I realized that someone was not getting a task after many long phone calls that she might be a visual learner. Sure enough, I did one screen share with her and she killed the task instantly. If you aren’t sure what type of learner someone is, simply ask! Or try a few different versions of teaching a task to see what sticks.
Set clear expectations
Managing people involves building a relationship with your team. And just like in any relationship, it’s important to set clear expectations instead of assuming someone can read your mind. For me, it really helped to have weekly meetings where my team and I could meet and go over the week ahead (even though it took an hour out of a busy schedule). That was followed up by an email outlining tasks and due dates. That way, expectations are set and hopefully having a written track of it resolves future issues.
Give and receive feedback
I once had a manager who never gave feedback or asked for it, and though I thought it was awesome at first (no criticism or awkward meetings!), I realized soon that I was feeling unfulfilled in the role. I had no idea whether I was doing a good job or able to express frustrations, and turns out, that was really important to me. Whether that means creating anonymous surveys where teammates give feedback on you and each other, or something else, try to give and receive feedback in a positive way. Allow people to give their thoughts in a compassionate way. I like to foster this 2x a year, in January and July.
Since I’m still learning, please send any other ideas you managing bosses may have. Or, what’s something you have appreciated in a manager before?