First time being a manager? Avoid these mistakes

The excitement of getting promoted and the determination to prove yourself worthy of the position could easily distract you from doing the actual managerial job. Go out with some friends and celebrate; you deserve it for snagging that position. Now that you have the job, let’s focus of doing a great job.

First think about all the things your predecessor didn’t get right. All the things you thought you would do if you got the position. Don’t lose sight of those goals. Write them down if you must. The plan isn’t to just fill an office but to make your time worthwhile. First you need to avoid some common mistakes first time managers make.

  • Don’t let the new position feed your ego

A lot of people once they get promoted lose sight of their goals because they are busy feeding their egos. Keep yourself grounded by viewing your promotion as a rare privilege. See it as an act of faith on the part of your employers and do your best not to fail them. Don’t suddenly start feeling better than everyone else or looking down your nose at people who until recently were your peers.

  • Get into character

When shooting a movie, directors tell the actor or actress to get into character. It means playing the role earnestly. Most people though they’ve been promoted, find it awkward playing the role of ‘boss’. This is understandable. You may find it difficult becoming ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ to people who you used to share lunch with, people who were considered friends at one point. Newsflash; you are the boss! The sooner you start playing that role, sentiments aside, the better. Don’t spend time trying to be everyone’s friend. That’s not what you’re being paid to do. You’re paid to be a manager.

  • Don’t hoard responsibilities

Most first time managers are guilty of this. Some out of fear (they simply don’t want anyone to be offended when they give them work), and others out of distrust (they don’t want to hand a big assignment to someone who would possible ruin things). This is quite the dilemma. As a manager you have to trust your subordinates enough to delegate assignments or projects to them. It’s your job to assign them to areas where they’ll produce the best result. Don’t try to do everything by yourself; you could be headed for burnout or breakdown.

  • Don’t play favorites

This is a rather tempting situation. Now that you’re one of the higher-ups, you probably want to favor your friends from before regardless of whether they are qualified or not. Being manager does not automatically give you the right or justification to do that. Base your decisions on people’s abilities rather than their closeness or relationship to you.

  • Acknowledge effort

No matter how busy you are, don’t make the mistake of ignoring the efforts of your team members on projects or work in general. Learn to give people a tap in the back for a job well done. It encourages and motivates people to know that their efforts are not only noticed but appreciated as well.

Avoid these mistakes, keep your focus on your goals and you just might find this new position an exciting experience.


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