Succeeding as a New Manager

The Fundamentals of Managing

A.‎ What change in attitude is required when taking on the role of manager?‎

Now that you are a manager, your job is to make sure that everyone else completes ‎his or her job. In other words, you were accustomed to a position where you did ‎things, and now you are in the position of making sure others do their things. This ‎shift in responsibility will require a change in attitude as well. Your overall goal is to ‎ensure that your employees develop and apply their skills to their full potential. By ‎doing so, you create a positive workforce and enhance your organization’s ‎productivity.‎

B.‎ Why is my attitude toward my employees so important?‎

Some individuals who become first-time managers make the mistake of developing a ‎superior attitude toward their employees. They see themselves as better or smarter ‎than the employees with whom they may have worked side-by-side. Managers who ‎adopt this attitude overlook a crucial fact: your employees enable you to reach the ‎goals that upper management expects you to accomplish.‎

You must view your employees’ performance as your own performance. Without ‎talented and dedicated employees, you will not be able to meet the long-range ‎objectives set before you. You are only one person, and you alone cannot do all the ‎work required to meet your goals. Therefore, you must learn to view your ‎employees’ concerns, accomplishments, conflicts, and needs as items of high ‎importance and give them the attention they deserve.‎

C.‎ How do previous managers influence how I will manage?‎

Unfortunately, many people who are promoted to management positions are not ‎properly trained for the job that lies ahead of them. As a result, they often adopt the ‎management style of their own previous managers, for lack of knowing any other ‎method of managing people. Even individuals who are trained for their new ‎management position tend to incorporate certain traits of the management style ‎used by their previous manager.‎

For this reason, it is important that you recognize the strengths and weaknesses of ‎your previous manager’s style and adopt only those characteristics that produced ‎positive results. You can learn much by studying your previous manager’s style, so ‎take the time to consider how effective he or she was instead of blindly adopting that ‎style as your own.‎

D.‎ What are the different styles of managing?‎

The different styles of managing are as unique as the individuals who manage. ‎However, two fundamental styles of management are extreme opposites:‎

‎‎•‎ The autocratic manager

Autocratic managers use a top-down approach to managing their employees. They ‎discourage upward communication and instead prefer to give employees directions. ‎They view communication as a one-way activity used to get results from the ‎individuals they manage.‎

The obvious weakness of this managing style is that it fails to benefit from the ‎knowledge of employees. An autocratic manager does not realize the wealth of ideas ‎his or her employees have to offer since their opinions are not regularly solicited. In ‎addition, autocratic managers expect their employees to understand clearly the ‎assignments he or she asks them to complete, without additional clarification.‎

However, there are strengths to the autocratic style. Since communication is one-‎way, autocratic managers are forced to think out exactly what they want to ‎communicate and articulate their message. Therefore, autocratic managers tend to ‎excel at one-way forms of communication, such as giving presentations and writing ‎meeting agendas. In addition, autocratic managers are concerned with action, so ‎they discourage time wasters, such as idle chatter. This attitude often helps maximize ‎productivity.‎

‎•‎ The democratic manager

Democratic managers take a team-based approach to communicating with their ‎employees. A democratic manager continually seeks input from his or her employees ‎by encouraging two-way communication. Employees are consulted when decisions ‎need to be made or when new ideas are required to solve a problem.‎

Most employees prefer to work for democratic managers since they feel that their ‎opinions and ideas are valued. Employees also feel more comfortable approaching ‎democratic managers with their thoughts and concerns than they would feel ‎approaching autocratic managers.‎

Since they consult their employees before making decisions or solving problems, ‎democratic managers tend to require more time for those activities than autocratic ‎managers need. It is more difficult for democratic managers to make immediate ‎decisions since they need time to discuss issues with their employees.‎

E.‎ What style of managing should I use?‎

It is important that you use a managing style that is appropriate to your personality ‎and the nature of your workplace. While the democratic style has obvious advantages ‎over the autocratic approach, you need to remember that both styles have strengths. ‎It is up to you to use the managing style that is most effective in a given situation.‎

Establishing two-way communication with your employees offers many advantages ‎and should always be encouraged. There may be times, however, when you will need ‎to take a more autocratic approach, such as when you need to direct employees ‎through a highly detailed, critical process for a project.‎

The most important thing to keep in mind when developing a style of management is ‎to keep the well-being of your employees in mind at all times. Remember that your ‎success as a manager is entirely dependent on how successful your employees are, so ‎you must use a style of management that serves their needs and helps them achieve ‎their full potential.‎

F.‎ What basic functions will I have to perform as a manager?‎

Being a manager means having many responsibilities. Before becoming a manger, ‎you were responsible only for completing your own task, but now you are in charge ‎of planning, coordinating, directing, and monitoring the efforts of your employees. ‎Your tasks range from helping employees manage their time effectively to ‎monitoring their individual task progress.‎

G.‎ How will people react to my new role as manager?‎

When the individuals in your office learn of your promotion, there are a variety of ‎responses you can expect. Some people may feel jealous that they were not chosen ‎for the position and respond coldly to you. In fact, these individuals may openly ‎question your ability to handle your new responsibility. Some people may go out of ‎their way to get on your ”good side” by playing up to you, while others will simply ‎take a ”wait-and-see” approach and withhold judgement until you have had time to ‎prove yourself.‎

Being aware of the different types of responses you may encounter helps you ‎prepare for handling them. The way in which you react to these responses influences ‎how your employees perceive you as their new leader. If you handle each response ‎appropriately and with confidence, you show your employees that you take your job ‎seriously and that you are determined to become an effective manager.