It can be scary at times when you are managing a team for the first time. You’re moving into a role that requires you to manage targets, delegate tasks and keep people motivated to come back to work everyday and do their very best. If you are searching for some advice, here are some tips to help you gain confidence and start your path to the world of management.
Prepare yourself by learning from others, even the people you are managing. Everyone that you meet has something valuable to teach you so create the space for your team to add value to your experience too. You can also get further accreditation and education. Taking a project management course such a prince2 training course, for example, can help you improve your management skills while you’re on the job. Just because you’ve reached a management role doesn’t mean your training stops.
First of all, this is just the beginning and you still have plenty to learn. You have worked incredibly hard for that promotion (so don’t let any clouds of self-doubt settle). You might find a lack of confidence on leading your own team because this is the first time that you’ve been responsible for a group of people. But there are plenty of ways to boost your confidence and create an environment where it’s OK to make mistakes and learn from them. Prepare yourself by learning from others, even the people you are managing. Everyone that you meet has something valuable to teach you so create the space for your team to add value to your experience too.
You need to make sure that you communicate clearly to your team, talk to them about the project or team goals, priorities and most importantly, the deadlines. One of the most vital things to do when managing a team is to communicate because it gives moral support to the team and provides a clear sense of direction. By encouraging communication within your team, you’ll be able to create a space where feedback is given naturally.
It can be difficult sometimes for a team member to speak up about any issues unless you talk to them. Maintain an open conversation with your team as this shows that you are a good listener so that you can act on issues quickly.
It’s almost impossible to expect people to behave or think in a certain way if you’re unable to show them that you’re practicing what you preach. Setting a good example is a fundamental ingredient to becoming a successful manager. More than keeping a level of professionalism, you should show a degree of compassion and understanding with your team. If you expect your team, to be friendly, then make sure that you are. If you recognise the efforts and achievements of your team, you’ll build their confidence and also encourage them to keep that momentum going for future projects.
A good manager is able to make well-informed decisions, when it counts. If you keep batting back and forth or procrastinate when your team needs an answer, your team will begin to lose trust in you. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bring your team in and get their opinion, but it does mean that you have to learn to make decisions while thinking about the bigger picture.
Most importantly, it is vital to stay patient with your team members and with yourself. Developing as a group or an individual takes time and you’ll have to adjust to your new position. Take inspiration and guidance from your colleagues and use these abilities to perform as a successful manager. Remember that all great things take time and intention is as important as your actions. If you intend on becoming a better manager, then you will progressively get better.
Think that we’ve missed anything? Share your tips in the comments section below!
Bethany Pembrook is a Project Manager and freelance writer. She works closely with MSP Training giving talks about their Prince2 Training course in particular. She enjoys pushing people forward and encouraging them the take a hold of their careers and realise their potential.