The First Six Months – 3 Things to Consider in Your New Management Job

So you’ve secured a new management or team leader role in a new company? Now what? Before you get too comfortable, you should know that your biggest challenge still lies ahead; making the role a success.

The first six months of a new management role are critical. This is when you set the expectations for the rest of your tenure and when people will be keen to know what you have to offer.

Here are the three important things to do when starting a new management job:

1. Asking questions and making change  

At the start of any new role it is essential to get the balance right between questions and action. This isn’t easy: too many questions can lead to accusations of lack of initiative and not getting anything done and too much action can be seen as diving in not giving people a chance to show you the way they do things.

Any new role will involve a lot of learning about the company, the people and the working practices, so asking the right questions is the key. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help!

Focus on giving your direct reports the opportunity to demonstrate their credibility and ability in their roles. Then, you should focus on demonstrating that you have listened and linked any action you take to the evidence gathered—this should help to demonstrate that you have struck the right balance between questioning and being decisive.

A new manager should not be afraid to make changes early in a role. However, these changes should be based on objective evidence that you’ve gathered, not just to stamp your authority. This allows you to justify the need for change and gives you a better chance of gaining the team buy-in.

2. Building relationships  

Relationships are a key ingredient to getting results from your people, so it is essential that you understand the individual personalities that work with you. This might mean exchanging a little more (or less) personal information depending on the natural style of the individual.

Some people want to talk about their personal life, some want to keep things purely about business and getting the job done. Neither is right or wrong but an important skill of any manager is to be able to deal with both situations naturally and in a way that all parties get what they need from the relationship.

It is essential that you build solid working relationships across the entire team but most importantly with the person who exercises the greatest influence. It isn’t always easy to determine who this is at first glance—it takes time and plenty of observation of the dynamics of  your team to figure out where your energy and influence is best applied.

Make sure you know how you will be measured by your boss and what success in the role looks like to them. Delivering to those measures and demonstrating your progress are key ingredients in developing a successful relationship on a professional level with your manager.

3. Be focused  

Success does come with hard work- but hard work that is focused. As a manager you must have a vision of where you want to take your team and then have a plan to deliver what it takes to realise that vision. This means ensuring that everyone understands what their role is and what is expected of them. Then, the hard work (and fun) can begin.

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