Things couldn’t be better. You love your job, you love the company you work for, and to boot you love the people with whom you work. Then in a blink of an eye it changes. You are promoted to manager and now the friends you use to work with now work for you.
What do you do when you become a first-time manager and your would be peers become your subordinates. It doesn’t have to be a bitter sweet experience; it can be a smooth transition once you learn the three survival tips for first-time managers – iterate, educate, and communicate.
Tip #1 – Iterate
Don’t lose yourself in the transition. You haven’t changed only what you do has changed. Continue to be yourself; after all it was because of who you are that you received the promotion. Iterate to yourself and reiterate to your subordinates that you are the same person but your responsibility will be different.
Resolve that, regardless of what you say, others will reject you; because change is always difficult for people to embrace.
Tip #2 – Educate
Once you have shored yourself by maintaining your identity, develop clarity on your future responsibilities. Knowledge increases confidence. Clarify what is expected of you and do as much research as possible on how to effectively accomplish the task. Then write out your plan for how you will carry out your new responsibility.
Tip #3 – Communicate
Communication is critical in creating a team climate. Don’t use communication to try to make people like you; use your communication to inform your team of the plan you have carefully researched and written out. Allow your communication to demonstrate your competency. When your team is convinced of your competency it promotes their confidence, trust and security.
Remember the goal of a manager is not friendship but followship.
Being a manager is a wonderful opportunity and should be a pleasant experience. You are helping people reach their goals because of the special talents that you possess.
Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker and author.
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