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New Manager Guidelines

New managers generally face the same challenges as seasoned managers, but they also have to contend with a few special issues. Understanding the manager's role is the key. The skills and management styles that are developed will influence a manager’s effectiveness.

Time management becomes a bigger issue. Not only must the new manager plan how other people will use their time, but different demands have been placed on their own time. A difficult challenge for the new manager is learning to let go of some of the day to day technical tasks and delegate to other people-people who might be less capable or who might simply take a different approach. Friends and colleagues have suddenly become subordinates. There is a need to hire people and give feedback-both positive and negative.

Part One - The Manager's Role

The role has changed-and there is value to the new responsibilities. As a new manager you may have some ambivalence about your new role. Believe it or not, it is more than going to many meetings, although it may seem like that is all you do. Management means getting things done through others. You need your people more that they need you. As a manager, you significantly influence the performance, morale, and retention of your direct reports.

Over the course of your career, you have experienced managers with different styles and know what was effective with you and your colleagues. You have probably formulated some opinions about what you would do, either the same or differently, as a manager. It's time to put your theories to the test. What leadership qualities do you have and what qualities do you need to develop or change to be an effective leader?

Dictator Manager:

This manager controls others, "my way or the highway", creates resentment and fear in direct reports and creates a relationship of low trust with direct reports.

Manages only for results

"Mother-hen" manager:

This manager does everything for their direct reports, creates self-doubt and uselessness in direct reports, and direct reports become dependent on manager without sense of responsibility. By doing everything, the manager becomes overwhelmed with too much to do.

Coach Manager:

This manager is collaborative. Direct reports have a sense of accomplishment, they are empowered, and a supportive environment of high trust and mutual respect is created.

As the manager, it is important that you understand yourself so you can understand others better. You will be able to adapt your style in ways that motivate your people and help them grow. Your role will grow and take different shapes as you progress through your career. Building on a strong foundation will keep you flexible to handle all the new challenges that are coming your way.