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Being a First Time Manager (FTM) can be very exciting at first, overwhelming in the middle and enlightening in the latter part 🙂

Are you interested in learning about 7 mistakes FTM’s make? Then read on…

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  • Still thinking like an Individual contributor:

You are a star performer! Based on your performance and potential you have been promoted to the Manager level. Hearty congrats!

Now what? In my 20 years of experience as a corporate manager, I have seen many of the FTM’s still keep thinking like an individual contributor. But as a Manager you need to think for your team and team objectives first. Look at the Big Picture.

  • Not learning key skills and competencies for a Manager

As an individual contributor, you mainly focus on your technical skills, domain skills and skills required to accomplish your personal work goals. Now, as a Manager in addition to these skills you need to develop the following skills as well:

          1. Team communication

          2. People Management

          3. Developing people

          4. Getting the work done from the team

  • I am the expert, others are not

You are an expert in your area of work and that’s why you were elevated to the Manager’s role. Many FTM’s fear that delegating the work to others may impact the quality of work. This is a double whammy, on one side you as a Manager get overloaded and on the other side your Team is not getting opportunity to learn new things. So it’s a LOSE-LOSE proposition for all. To make it a WIN-WIN, learn to delegate effectively.

  • Not knowing the strengths of team members

I recommend you to spend a good amount of time with your teams to understand them better so that each team member’s strength can be identified and leveraged for achieving the results. Also this significantly improves team motivation and effectiveness.

  • Not managing stakeholder expectations

As a FTM you are now required to work with many stakeholders in addition to your Boss including your customers, team members, HR & other departments, vendors and many others. It is really important to manage their expectations and getting the work done from each one of them. It’s a skill to balance the Interest and Influence of different stakeholders.

  • Giving & receiving feedback

For some Managers giving feedback feels like an awkward and unpleasant task. It’s important to give constructive feedback based on the Situation, Behaviour and Impact it caused. Also, it is very useful for a Manager to receive feedback from all the stakeholders regularly. This creates an open environment and continuous improvement.

  • Not managing Conflicts

Conflicts are an integral part of working in teams. One of the mistakes many First Time Managers make is to not act on the conflict quick enough. They wait and hope for the conflicting parties to resolve the conflict by themselves. A proactive approach to conflict resolution is recommended. Collaboration is the name of the Game!

I will be happy to know your comments about this article and also your experiences as the First Time Managers.