In a case like this, experts say speak to your supervisors and make sure you are in agreement about what’s required of you. Identify people and places in the company from which you can get the information you need to do your job effectively. This could include human resources for information about the company culture, another manager for information about meeting procedures, or an administrative assistant who can give you valuable insight about how a particular department operates.
Be creative, throw out some ideas, be your own professional advocate. And reassess your outlook on the situation. Think of your position as the grand opportunity that it is. After all, how often are you given near carte blanche to do something your way?
Establishing yourself as a manager is crucial to your success as a leader. Infiltrating the ranks of leadership is exciting but “can be very lonely,” says Eneli. If the promotion occurs in-house, “there will be a transition period where he or she is no longer completely at ease with his or her peers and not quite accepted by other, more established managers.” It’s a rough time for managers new to a company as well, as they try to establish alliances with, and earn the respect of, their new staff, peers, and upper management.
If you have recently become a new manager, understand that developing the trust and confidence of your co-workers will take some time. Immediately revamping how everything is done will, in most cases, be resented and perceived as arrogant. So what do you do with your authority and how much or how little of it do you use? Here’s a secret: Making a good impression has a lot to do with what you don’t do and say.
Being a good listener is one of your most important leadership skills. After a few weeks as manager, when your staff has gotten used to the idea of you being there, sit down with each staff member and let them talk about work-related issues, suggests Gary Topchik in The First-Time Manager (AMACOM; $17.95). The key here is to let them do most of the talking. This opens the lines of communication between you and your staff. It lets them know that what they think and how they feel is important to you, that you care about them as individuals and are there to help them achieve their goals. Also, share stories of your own professional successes and failures. This makes you real to your team.
Sometimes other managers can be slow to accept you. Don’t take this personally. In most cases, they’re just waiting to see what you’re made of. It may be helpful to “spend social time with your fellow managers — even those with whom you may not initially think you have much in common,” says Stewart-Pellegrini. This kind of networking can be especially beneficial if you or your colleagues change positions or move to other departments.
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