Get ahead in your career with Watson Martin’s tips on how to be a great boss.
Congratulations, you have secured your first job as a manager. Being promoted is exciting but are you apprehensive about your lack of management experience? What new skills will you need to carry out the role? How will you juggle managing a team with your day job? Well don’t despair, you are not alone. Transitioning to a more senior role can be daunting as management requires mastering a new skill set but we are here to help…
Watson Martin offers a range of in-company courses and CMI accredited qualifications specifically designed to help you navigate new managerial waters. With this knowledge and experience, we have developed our top tips to help you become a great boss. Call us today on 020 7932 2760 for more information on any of the courses listed below.
Understand your role as a manager
It is important to understand your role as a manager and learn how to develop and apply your own skills and personality in line with best practice. Self-assessment such as personality questionnaires or 360 degree feedback will help identify your strengths and weaknesses along with any specific development needs. Understanding your team and how to positively develop, manage and motivate people is a major factor in becoming a good manager and an inspirational leader.
Enhance your communication skills
Communication is the art of being understood and of understanding others. Poor communication can have a detrimental impact on team and individual performance, motivation, engagement and productivity so ensuring you become an effective communicator is key to success. Develop your understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different communication methods. Know the barriers to effective communication and the critical role of body language and tone in building a good rapport. Remember, a manager who is a good communicator will get the best out of their teams.
Learn how to listen
Listening is an important part of communication and is one of the most important skills any manager can have. Make sure you listen with the intent of understanding the other person, set aside distractions and give them your undivided attention. Develop your active listening skills, maintain eye contact, nod your head, don’t interrupt and be attentive to non-verbal cues. Get to know your team and understand their different personality types as not everyone responds to the same style of management.
Do your eyes glaze over when the discussion turns to corporate finance? If so, think again. Becoming business savvy and developing commercial awareness are important for a new manager and central to both is understanding company finance. Start paying attention to annual reports and the basics of profit and loss. Understand where and how the funding comes into your organisation and, importantly, where and how it goes out. Identify the information required to support your business case, for example understanding the costs of resourcing and the benefits of low staff turnover or sickness absence. Good management improves business performance which, in turn, adds value to your company.
The art of effective delegation
Excellent managers have confidence in their teams and know how to delegate effectively. Ensuring you have the right people, doing the right tasks at the right time is essential in achieving organisational success. Clear and effective communication plays an important role in delegation. Confirming understanding is the most important determinant of success or failure. Make certain that team members understand all aspects of what is required by defining goals from the start and building in time for regular feedback sessions.
Think and act like a manager
Your new role may not only require you to enhance your people management skills but also your business skills. Stand out from the crowd by developing your persuasive writing, public speaking and presentation skills. This will not only increase your confidence but will also help you make a positive impact as a new manager. Understand the business you work for, its policies and processes along with its core values. Make yourself visible and know and understand the people who report to you.
Don’t shy away from difficult conversations
Whether you’re an experienced or new manager, having difficult conversations with members of your team isn’t easy. However, shying away from these conversations can have a detrimental impact on the whole team. Managing performance is one of the most important management tasks. Being honest, truthful and clear in your communication can help create clarity, empower others and build trust and mutual respect within your team.
Recognise and celebrate success
Express confidence in your team, feedback little and often and recognise and praise good work. Highlight relevant qualities or skills and offer support as needed. Create a sense of team spirit by laughing together and celebrating achievement. Rewarding both individual and team performance is essential as people need to know their work is valued.
New managers are by their definition inexperienced in management and need to learn new skills. Find a mentor, read up on the topic, learn from others or study for a management qualification. The faster you can become proficient in your new role, the less stress you will feel!
Our top tips feature courses from our portfolio of in-company management programmes. This is just a small selection from our range of over 100 programmes so please contact our advisers on 020 7932 2760 for further information.