Congratulations, You’re A Manager! Now What?

First-time supervisors should properly prepare for the new challenges

Tarsha Polk learned to make the rules on the fly.

Managerial Missteps

  1. Not stepping up to the plate: You’re in a leadership role now. Others will be looking to you for direction. Don’t be afraid to give it. “One mistake I made early on was to be too passive with others. I had to be more aggressive in making sure employees were meeting our guests’ expectations and following up with them to make sure they were responding to my directions,” says Tyrone Dugan, assistant manager at Qdoba Mexican Grill in Florissant, Missouri.
  2. Trying to be everyone’s friend: Many new managers want to show that they are just “one of the crew” and inadvertently give away their authority in the process, explains Danville, Illinois-based author and career coach Aya Fubara Eneli: “Friendship works best between equals. If you were already friends with some of the staff, expect those relationships to change. It’s difficult to be a friend while giving orders and judging performances.”
  3. Micromanaging: Your responsibility as a manager is to get the job done through others; you don’t have to be involved in every single aspect of a job. Learn how to delegate. Don’t overburden yourself and waste the talents of your staff members.
  4. Not communicating clearly: Fully understand what your managers expect of you and make sure your staff knows what you expect of them. Set clear goals and deadlines. Encourage feedback and respond promptly and positively to questions.
  5. Becoming complacent: Don’t rest on your laurels. You’ve proven yourself worthy of the promotion, now prove that you can handle your new responsibilities.
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