stepping up into a management role

Taking the leap into management for the first time can be a little daunting, but it’s a necessary step to take if you want to grow to be a great leader.

So firstly, congratulations! You’ve landed a management role, which is fantastic, well done.  And thank you for visiting the Momentum South West blog to read more about the leadership journey that lays ahead of you.

Some of the things that new managers tell us they’re most challenged by are;

  • Giving staff feedback that they don’t want to hear
  • Setting goals
  • Handling conflict, absences and other HR issues
  • Recruiting new staff

If you haven’t had to do these things before, and you don’t have a mentor by your side to give you advice and guidance, then it’s totally understandable that these unfamiliar challenges will feel tricky.  But it’s ok, we’re here to help.

Firstly, ensure that you’ve established good relationships with your line manager, your peer group of line managers and most importantly, your new team.  You may be feeling nervous about the expectations that others have of you, but you’ll be able to handle anything if you’ve built solid relationships as the foundation to your leadership style.

Your first 1:1 meeting is most important

It’s good practise to hold regular and consistent 1:1 meetings with your people, to enable you to praise, feedback, agree goals, coach, mentor and manage performance.  But the first 1:1 is the most critical.  This is the meeting where you’re going to build your management relationship with each team member, and it starts with understanding.

Here’s what we suggest you discuss in your first 1:1;

  • Properly introduce yourselves – share your background, experiences, your family, your hobbies and your ambitions. Think of it like a 5 minute CV, sharing only the most important things to you.  This will help you to get an insight into each other.
  • Ask your staff what motivates them.
  • Ask what kind of a manager they think they need.
  • Ask them how frequently and by what methods they like to keep in touch with their manager (especially if there’s a remote-based element to your work.
  • Ask if there’s anything they feel they need support with right now.
  • Create an agreement about what you can BOTH expect from each other. You’ve asked all about them and what they need, next tell them what you need and explain why those things are important.

Staff who benefit from a monthly 1:1 meeting with their line manager, are at least 25% more productive in their roles.

Succeeding in a Management role

Whether you’re managing a small team at supervisor level, or leading a big department in a corporate business, your principle concerns are likely to be the same;

  • How will I know if my leadership is working?
  • How do I set effective goals for my team to keep them performing at the highest levels?
  • Will my position as a team leader mean I can’t be ‘one of the team’ anymore?
  • How will I motivate everyone every day?
  • What if the team doesn’t like me as their manager? What will I do?

Our advice is to avoid stepping in the management role and immediately making changes and trying to fix all the things that bothered you before you were promoted.  Start by changing nothing.  Start by understanding, by listening to your staff and customers, and only then will you be informed enough to implement any changes.  Your primary goal is build trust and enable your team to be the best that they can be.

If you’d like to attend our next Essentials of Leadership training course, then we have 2 dates coming up soon.

We hope you found this blog helpful – let us know if you try any of our suggestions out, especially if they work well for you.

Thanks for reading.


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