Newly promoted managers quickly learn that leadership effectiveness doesn’t happen overnight. Many first-time managers make mistakes early into their management career, ranging from communication lapses to shouldering the workload themselves. I want to share with you five tips I believe will increase your leadership effectiveness and help transform your management style.
Adopt a people-centric perspective
From day one, you’ll want to put your people first. Mind you, this doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing company responsibilities. Rather, effective managers embrace the diversity within their team. They tailor assignments, as much as is possible, to each team member’s unique strengths. They get to know those who labor beside them, including their team’s hobbies, work styles, personalities, and what makes them tick.
In other words, management is a relational process. It’s not a Michael Scott misguided “friend first, boss second” mentality. Rather, it’s all about the bridges and connections the leader builds with their employees. Everyone you are responsible for was hired to perform a specific role within your group. Ultimately, everyone needs to do the jobs they are assigned. But, how you assign those tasks and how you lead the group is often purely through building relationships with your team.
Be confident without seeming arrogant
That relational approach extends to your behavior too. There is a fine line between appropriate confidence and arrogance.
You need the confidence to lead your team. Indecisiveness is a guaranteed way for your direct reports to lose faith in your abilities to manage them. You’ve earned your promotion, and you’ll need to step up to effectively lead your employees. Know who you are, what you’re good at, and make decisions that are bold and decisive.
However, your attitude must be balanced with humbleness. A leader who has had years of career success is especially susceptible to appearing arrogant. Their experience tells them they’re good at what they do, so their behavior reflects a “my way or the highway” attitude that will turn people off faster than anything else.
Delegate when appropriate
Delegation is a challenge even for the most seasoned managers. Your personal leadership effectiveness will likely mirror your understanding of when to delegate and when to perform the task yourself.
Delegation is an excellent way to grow your team’s skill set. For example, I know a manager who, shortly after their promotion, was assigned the task to recruit and build an internship program. This specific endeavor was something they probably could have handled themself. However, they also recognized that one of their direct reports had a natural ability to not only connect with others but was a born leader. Rather than add to their own already full plate, the manager assigned the entire internship program to their direct report. And guess what happened: the employee flourished in the role, later earning a promotion themselves indirectly as a result of their efforts with the internship program.
On the other hand, delegation requires trust. Type A personalities often have a hard time letting go as their perfectionist tendencies prevent them from letting others step up. This leads to exhaustion and is a guaranteed way to quickly turn a much-deserved promotion into a dreaded responsibility.
Lead by example
Truthfully, we’re all going to have bad days. Even the most effective delegator or productive manager will have an off day or even week. How we respond to those moments sets the tone for the rest of the office.
When stress piles up, do you let it show? When corporate is being unreasonable, do you join in on the bickering? Or, do you try to reframe the dilemma positively? It may feel contradictory to do so, especially as the relational approach we’ve talked about makes you want to empathize with their feelings.
Your team needs someone who can step up, motivate through encouragement, and be willing to get into the trenches with them. This tip for effective leadership helps to build morale through a mindset shift towards positivity and cooperation regardless of factors outside of our control.
Finally, communicate expectations
Have you ever worked for a boss who assumed you knew what to do or what they expected? How many times did you get it wrong?
Likewise, there are going to be days ahead when your team may not know what is expected unless you tell them. This can be in a performance improvement process or the general day-to-day operations of your group. Either way, clear and concise communication is absolutely vital to your team’s success and your leadership effectiveness.
Leadership effectiveness takes time
To grow as a manager in your newfound role, you need to build bridges with your team. Get to know them, help them grow through delegation, communicate clearly, and lead them through a confident example of positivity mixed with humbleness. It’s a lot to balance, and one that often is more effective with a coach on your side.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your leadership effectiveness, I’d love to have a call with you to see how I can help. CONTACT ME and let me know your availability. I’ll happily go over your new role and how you can become the best leader for your team!