Getting started as a new manager:
Congratulations you got the job! Now what to do next? Being appointed into a managerial position can be daunting, especially if it is your first time, or you are managing peers.
Before you begin, take some time to reflect. You may wish to use the following questions:
- What do you believe the role of a manager is?
- What are your expectations of managers that have managed you?
- What are your likes and dislikes from your past experience?
In your first meeting with your new direct reports, it can be helpful to use these questions to find out their likes, dislikes and expectations of you, and to communicate your expectations of them, so that you can ensure your expectations are aligned and address any differences.
Your values are crucial as they will determine your priorities, and will become the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to, bringing satisfaction where your values and your actions are aligned.
They will help you make difficult decisions and determine what motivates you.
There are four types of values found in organisational setting: individual values, relationship values, organisational values and societal values. Understanding your values will help to understand what makes you tick, as well as helping others to understand their motivations and needs.
The first step to aligning your life and work with your values is identifying what they are. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life – to identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.
You can use this tool to guide you through the process.
The Wheel of Life assessment measures your satisfaction in different areas of your life, giving you a chance to reflect on what balance looks like for you. You may have different priorities in your life, and so not be concerned about the wheel being disproportionately representative of a particular area. However, having your life out of balance may make it difficult for you to be at ease, and impact your outlook and your approach as manager.
The concept of the Career Anchors was introduced by Edgar Schein. A Career Anchor is something that develops over time and evolves into a self-concept, shaping an individual's personal identity or self-image and includes:
People won’t remember what you said but how you made them feel. This is a great phrase to have at the front of your mind. Building trust is important, but takes work.
There are different elements that make a relationship 'good' but they include trust, mutual respect, mindfulness, welcoming diversity and open communication.
Moving from ‘drama to empowerment’ of your team will be key. The below TED triangle model demonstrates a set of relationships or roles that offer an alternative to the drama triangle and to living life as a Victim. It encourages a shift in mindset towards taking a more positive role.
Learn more about The Empowerment Dynamic by clicking here.
Tuckman's stages of team development - When joining a new organisation, the team is likely to go through different stages of development. Recognising where your team is at can be useful as a basis for conversations
90 day plan – How to make the most of your first few weeks as a manager
Building great work relationships - Making work enjoyable and productive through good relationships
Working with someone you don't like - it is completely human not to get on with everyone. But how do you make the best of a bad relationship?
Coaching is a tool to support employees in their individual development and the development of the organisation.
It uses questions as a way for the coachee to come to their own way forward, supporting learning and ownership.
- Focus on organisational learning
- To assist performance management
- To prepare and support people in leadership roles
- To support learning and development
If you want to start coaching, the first step could be to find someone who is a good coach, either inside or outside of your organisation, and ask them to tell you about it. What do they do? Why do they coach?
Understand that before you start coaching, you will need to develop a culture of trust and a good relationship with the people you will be coaching.
Lastly, learn some basic principles of managerial coaching, that will help you develop own expertise. This NHS coaching resource will give you a good overview of the methods and tools available.
Remember, coaching isn't about telling people the answer, but rather enabling people to reflect and arrive at their own conclusions.
Ability to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues and staff is an essential skill to develop.
For more information look at this TED talk playlist to help you become a better listener.
Start by working on your top communication skills:
- Listening - really hear what people are really saying to communicate effectively and have productive conversations.
- Non-verbal communication - develop an awareness of body language to pick up on cues.
- Clarity and concision
- Confidence - build trust and confidence with your team members
- Empathy and EQ
- Open Mindedness
It’s always good to get feedback on your communication style.
Why not ask a colleague you trust on how you come across?
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Research shows that one of the best ways to help employees thrive is to give them feedback. It’s one of the primary levers leaders have to increase a sense of learning and vitality. Giving your direct reports regular updates on personal performance helps them feel valued.
The best feedback is:
- Timely: Feedback will have more impact the sooner it is given
- Private: If feedback is negative, ensure it’s delivered privately
- Prepared: Know what you want to say and why
- Specific: Use examples, explain why something was + or –
- Open: Ask to hear their perspective, don’t defend – listen
- Proactive: Find specific actions/changes to move forward with
- Followed Up: Acknowledge if/when agreed actions are taken or not taken and commend positive change.
- Regular: Talk about how to make giving and receiving feedback part of your ongoing team/ management relationships.
- Mutual: Ask for feedback for yourself, be an example of action
- Balanced toward the positive: Give more positive than negative
Preparation is key
- Practice self-awareness: understand the assumptions you have of yourself, the other and the situation
- Know your alternatives, and their alternatives
If conflict is related to an event, ask yourself what the facts are. Try to separate these from your interpretation of these facts. Be open to a different meaning.
In the conversation:
- Seek to understand by listening and asking questions.
- Be open to their perspective
- Focus on the problem (behaviour, incident), not the person (blame).
- Suggest a break if necessary
Positions and Interests - The Iceberg
Practicing self-awareness - developing emotional intelligence, identifying and acknowledging emotions. Pay attention to what you feel and how those feelings contribute, distract, enhance, or challenge you.
7 Keys to Having a Courageous Conversation with Anyone - The following 7 keys will help you to be courageous and have conversations in which you are able to express your deepest feelings.
How to impede conversations - Daniel Goleman on how to avoid communication breakdown
Asking the right questions - you can drive a positive conversation by knowing how and when to ask the right questions.
Processes and Meetings
- Regular line management & one to ones. Don’t let these slip and ensure these link to appraisal process within your organisation
- Agree at start of relationship who is taking down actions, you or staff member.
- Solution focused; 'what support do you need?', 'What are the barriers?'. Agree next steps and review them next meeting
- Ensure you’re developing clear objectives, thinking about the WHAT and use values or competences to address the HOW.
- Remember, you are in charge. Keep to time, and don’t be afraid to enforce timekeeping if the conversation is going off track.
- Check ins at the start help check temperature and leave other issues behind
- When there is challenge invite others for their opinion
- Understanding your team dynamics (maybe using tools such as Myers Briggs) and where they are at in formation (forming, storming, norming, performing) and implications on meetings
Self-care is about looking after your own mental health and physical wellbeing. Our personal resources are far from infinite and can easily become exhausted especially as a new manager. If we fail to exercise self-care at work, it not only affects job performance and morale, but it also puts your health at risk.
Find someone who you trust that you can talk to, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Remember to find space for yourself, and consider carving out and scheduling in you-time to recharge - whether through meditation, exercise or binging on your favourite TV show.
Book: Getting to Yes - Roger Fisher and William Ury
Book: 7 habits of highly effective people - Stephen Covey
Video: What I learnt from 100 days of rejection
Article: How to handle difficult conversations at work
Article: Choose the right words in an argument
Resource: Reflection tools
Resource: Resilience tool
Resource: Business Balls - a set of articles on different topics, including feedback, communication and coaching.
Open University - free courses on management
Article: Five strategies for new managers
Why create this resource?
As part of the Clore6: Youth Emerging Leaders Programme, a group of Fellows identified the following research question:
In a values driven sector, how might we support individuals to better use and respond to performance management approaches?
As part of their discussions they identified that in the charity sector it is common for people to step up into management, with either no or little management training, in values-driven environments. To find reliable resources as a new manager can be difficult in a world of information overload.
They created a quick, practical resource that would appeal to different learning styles, that would give new managers relevant information at their finger tips.
We hope you find this resource helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with Clore Social Leadership.
Sally Marsh, ThinkForward
Stephanie Papapavlou, Leap Confronting Conflict
Fiona Ellison, Step Up to Serve
Sue Burchill, Brook
Kamaljit Thandi, NSPCC