6 top qualities for a new manager
Behind every strong employee is an even stronger manager, but entering this revered role of responsibility for the first time can prove to be a baptism of fire for most new bosses. So if you're new to management or just need to brush up on your skills, read our tips on the top 6 qualities needed for a new manager.
'Organisation' may be a term that falls into the category of generic job posting buzzwords, but all new managers will quickly learn that they need to keep their finger on the pulse if they're going to lead a successful team. Time management, planning and coordination capabilities are high up in the repertoire of a top manager who will be expected to juggle multiple duties without the safety net that allows them to occasionally drop one. Failing to keep on top of things will only see chaos ensue, so be sure to sharpen up on your admin and scheduling skills.
The best leaders know how to get the most out of their workforce and whether it's tough love, an arm round the shoulder or the occasional pack of chocolate digestives, finding what motivates staff is as important as effective recruitment. The ability to motivate others is likely to be one of the reasons you were pushed towards a management role in the first place and being able to drive staff beyond the digits on their P60 is key to a productive office. The best employees work for managers, not a pay cheque!
The inherent leadership qualities that come with being a manager can also come with a reluctance to delegate work to those around you. You wouldn't be the first to think that a job done properly needs to be done yourself, but it's easy to take on so many duties that it starts to become counter productive. A new manager needs to trust in the recruitment methods of the company and have confidence that their team of trusty workers are capable of doing the jobs they were hired to do. As they say; there's no such thing as multitasking, just attention switching.
It's imperative that new managers have confidence in their abilities or they'll soon be overwhelmed like a substitute teacher who's been placed in front of an unruly classroom. While some may take advantage of a slight wavering in self-assurance, the majority of staff will agree that being managed with conviction (although not with an iron fist) is the most effective route to productivity. Having confidence in yourself means your employees will too and they'll be more likely to respond to those big risks or difficult decisions.
Although you might think you're going to take to your new role with typical Jordan Belfort finesse, all baby faced bosses are going to come up against challenges (probably on a daily basis) that requires them to be thick skinned and resilient. Being responsible for so many people and aspects of a business means that things will go wrong from time to time and ultimately the buck stops at the manager. A successful new manager needs to pick themselves up when things get tough and be able to accept that the odd failure is just part of the course.
You may have left your peers behind, however that's no justification for becoming a cold managerial robot that malfunctions at the sound of decreasing profit margins and late reports. Sometimes it can be misguided to jump the line between boss and buddy, but there's no doubt that staff respond to a manager who is empathetic, understanding and shows a little bit of give. This doesn't mean that you roll over at the whim of your employees, it just means that you keep your human side despite your new found status.
The makeup of a successful new manager combines a professional head with an empathetic human nature, although establishing a leadership style that suits you will bring the best rewards. Although there's no set criteria for what makes the perfect employer, our list of top qualities at least provides a portfolio of skills for new managers to develop and build on.
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