In the dynamic world of business, new managers find themselves on a path filled with exciting opportunities and unique challenges. Yet many of them enter the role with little to no guidance on what it takes to become an exceptional leader, nor the ‘soft’ skills they need to be successful in the role.
Embracing a managerial role is no easy feat, as it demands navigating uncharted territories, choppy waters, and juggling diverse responsibilities. From cultivating effective leadership skills and fostering team collaboration, to handling conflicts without breaking a sweat, the role of the new manager is pivotal to ensuring the success of the business.
That’s a lot of pressure for one person to handle. Especially if their experience leading a team to success is limited, or worse, non-existent.
Fear not, for with the right support, coaching tools and inspiration, new managers can flourish. By looking to the leaders in the professional coaching, business and personal development space, managers can not only empower themselves, but also foster a thriving, happy, and motivated team.
1. Active listening – Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey, renowned for his principles of effectiveness, emphasised the importance of active listening. Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Shut your laptop and focus on the human in front of you. By truly listening, you’ll understand your team’s needs and build strong relationships.
2. The power of feedback – Kim Scott
Author Kim Scott introduced the concept of Radical Candor, where honest and caring feedback leads to stronger teams. Offer constructive, timely feedback to your team members, helping them grow professionally while fostering a culture of trust and improvement. Remember, feedback is a two-way street, so leave room to ask for feedback during 1:1’s too.
3. The art of delegation – Kenneth Blanchard
Kenneth Blanchard, the leadership expert, believes that “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” Learn to delegate effectively, empowering your team members and allowing them to showcase their skills and talents.
4. Growth mindset – Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck, a renowned psychologist, introduced the concept of the growth mindset. Embrace a growth mindset as a new manager, seeing challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. Dweck said, “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
5. Conflict resolution – Marshall Rosenberg
Marshall Rosenberg, the creator of Nonviolent Communication, emphasised empathetic conflict resolution. Nip any drama in the bud by learning to address conflicts with compassion, curiosity and understanding, creating a harmonious and supportive work environment.
6. Goal setting – Zig Ziglar
Zig Ziglar, the motivational speaker, advocated setting clear and inspiring goals. As a new manager, learning the SMART technique (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) to set goals will allow your team to track – and reach – the success they desire. Align your team’s efforts with a compelling vision to ensure that you’re creating a motivating environment for them to achieve greatness.
7. Strengths-based leadership – Marcus Buckingham
Marcus Buckingham, the expert on strengths, highlights the significance of focusing, developing and utilising individual strengths to achieve collective team happiness and a sense of purpose. Identify and leverage your team members’ strengths to boost productivity and engagement.
8. Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman, the pioneer of emotional intelligence, underscored its critical role in effective leadership. Cultivate emotional intelligence to understand and manage your emotions and those of your team members, fostering a culture of psychological safety.
9. Time management – Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy, a time management guru, believes that “Your ability to manage time is the single most important skill for success in the new economy.” Master time management techniques to balance your managerial responsibilities efficiently and inspire your team, such as the Pomodoro technique or the Eisenhower matrix.
10. Visionary leadership – Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek, a leadership expert, encourages visionary leadership that inspires others. As a new manager, lead with purpose and communicate a compelling shared vision that ignites passion and commitment.
It’s important to acknowledge that the greatest leaders are continuously learning and growing. By incorporating these ten tools and exercises, new managers can inspire their teams, and create a workplace that thrives under their exceptional leadership.
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