How HR can Help Turn Managers into Strategic Leaders (Part 2: Challenges of a First Time Manager)

Challenges of a First Time Manager

In our last post, we covered some of the various suggestions that Christine, Shane, and Bart shared to help identify when someone is ready to be a manager. Once you identify who is ready to be a manager, how can you prepare your employee for that transition, especially if they’ll be a first time manager?

The transition into a managerial role for the first time is a tough one. Often times, first time managers experience many of the same challenges. During the fireside chat Christine, Bart, and Shane shared some common challenges they’ve seen first hand. We’ve highlighted some of those below along with tips on how you can help your employee overcome these challenges.

Not being true to themselves.

A common challenge that many first time managers face is not being true to themselves and copying the leadership style of others, but this doesn’t always work. Just because an approach worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Encourage your employees not to worry too much about sounding “right” and instead work on feeling and sounding more authentic.

Keeping the mindset of an individual contributor

Another common challenge that new managers face is keeping the mindset of an individual contributor. This often happens because people are uncomfortable and scared to change, so they stick with what they know. When you promote a new manager, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them to let your employee know it’s okay not to know everything. This will gradually help them become comfortable with change.

Operating in silos

First time managers often focus solely on their team and operate in a silo, but a manager’s role is elevating team members and managing across. Being strategic is key as a manager. People, especially new managers, often think strategy means having a plan drawn out, but it’s really about expanding their perspective. The higher up someone is in the organization, the broader their view should be.

Although becoming a new manager for the first time might be tough, it’s something that can easily be overcome. If you know someone who is making the transition, be sure to offer support and resources to help them thrive!

Want to learn how Sounding Board can help new managers overcome some of these common challenges? Ask us a question or set up a call to chat with a coaching professional to learn more. 

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