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The Essential Guide for New Managers

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7 Common problems for emerging managers – and how to overcome them

Stepping into management is fantastic – sort of. A huge achievement and a massive career change, yes – but which for most of us is also pretty daunting. You’ll find plenty of blogs and articles online to help with the change, but where do you start? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a list of links to the top management techniques you’ll need that you can refer to whenever you need? Et voila…

An early question we ask participants on our Emerging Managers Programmes is what they worry about as new or about to be managers. Here are the seven concerns they most often talk about – and links to solutions.

1. I’m really excited about being a manager (and secretly terrified)


Person looking surprised and pointing up

There is nothing quite like becoming a manager for the first time. With greater power comes pride – well done! You’ve done it! You’re on your way. Now you get to call the shots, make the decisions, make a difference. BUT… as we all know, with greater power comes greater responsibility. You might get it wrong. It’s the big unknown. What if you mess it up? Unfortunately, this kind of see-sawing can lead you astray. The first thing you need to do is get a hold of your management mind-set:

2. But we used to be friends. Nobody loves me anymore


Being a manager can test your relationships at work, particularly when you are close friends with your colleagues. Now you’re the boss, you need to adjust those workplace boundaries and accept a change in your friendship. However, that doesn’t mean nobody loves you. You just have to fine-tune how you work together and see the value you bring to the relationship. It’s a different kind of love. See here:

3. Giving feedback is so awkward

Woman looking nervous

Being a manager means managing the performance – good and bad – of your team. This means getting used to giving feedback. Sometimes people need to hear good things about themselves. Sometimes they need to hear what they should be doing differently. The good news is, the more you do it, the less weird it is. It doesn’t have to be awkward, and this should help:

4. I want to be fair – but everyone is different

It’s a universal truth that people are people, and everyone is different. This worries a lot of managers. We often hear that managers want to be fair – and treat everyone the same. But how do you balance this with the fact that different people have different needs? Well, it is all a matter of style:

5. I’m drowning – I don’t have time to be a manager

Man overwhelmed with paperwork

Management time is always under pressure. You are responsible for yourself, your team, and your projects. That is a lot of stuff to fill your day with. However, it is critical that you figure out what matters most and manage your time effectively. Great managers spend their time on planning and prevention – being proactive not panicky:

6. But I’m still drowning – what else can I do?

Matchsticks together with one burnt out

Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, you’re not a hero and can’t do it all yourself? Many people moving into management try to add management to their job, rather than realising they need to change their approach. This is where delegation comes in – learning to manage others so that they deliver results. It’s a real skill:

7. But what if I’m a terrible manager and I don’t even know it?

Plant growing in person's hand

Developing as a manager means developing your self-awareness. Don’t expect it all to happen at once. You are allowed to learn – take your time. Ask for feedback from your team – what do they find helpful? Is there anything else they would find helpful? Is there anything hindering them in their roles? And if you are really worried, we have a quiz that can help identify behaviours to avoid:

What’s next?

To overcome your management worries, book onto our Emerging Managers Programme. We’ll look at becoming a manager, managing teams, developing your management style, performance management, personal effectiveness, delegation, feedback and much, much more. It will work for you whether you’re already started in your manager role or are getting ready to move into one.

If you’d like to discuss your management needs, contact us online or call 020 7978 1516 to speak to a consultant.

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