Many first-time managers experience a let-down when they shift from being an individual team member to a formal team leader. They discover that the skills and attributes that made them successful in the past are not nearly as helpful in leading others—and they are not quite sure what to do differently. For those who were promoted from within, there is the added struggle of transitioning from peer/friend to boss.
How can you and your organization help new managers navigate these treacherous waters and develop the skills that will accelerate success in their new role?
Acknowledge the Challenge.
Many first-time managers feel alone, and they are surprised (relieved!) to learn that most new leaders struggle. Here are a few of their common challenges:
- Leading a team
- Engaging, motivating, and coaching others
- Building relationships
- Finding constructive responses to conflict
Acknowledge that this learning curve is natural and then provide them with the tools and encouragement they need to gain the skills.
New leaders need to make an identity shift away from the individual contributor mindset. The new reality is that their success is about working with and through others. Communicate this to your new managers, and provide feedback on how they’re doing. Let them know their work is important, and reinforce their efforts when they perform well.
Provide Knowledge and Practical Tools
You want to develop leaders (not just bosses), so it is essential that you help new managers understand the desired mindset and behaviors needed in their new role. Offer training that is specifically tailored to the challenges embedded in first-time management. When you provide leadership development, whether in-house or through external partners like us, ensure the content is relevant to their unique needs, rather than generic.
New managers also need to understand their leadership style, listening and communication preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. For a real and lasting impact, assess these areas and help new leaders understand their assessment results. Training can then be tailored to close skill gaps and help individuals develop the key competencies they need to succeed in their new roles.
How Can Innolect Help?
Improving the caliber of leadership on your organization’s front line requires commitment and intentional effort. At Innolect, we are known for helping our clients “Think Differently.” We help build the foundation for employees to bring their best selves to work, and we thrive on growing the leader in everyone.
To set up training for your first-time managers, contact us today. Additionally, our products and assessments will help new leaders develop the skills and capabilities they need to grow into their new role.
Contact us to schedule a consultation: