If you’re new to management, this article will help you understand what to do and what to avoid.
The first thing is, understand that you deserve to be a manager
A lot of people will get bumped up to manager level and start doubting their ability to lead. Don’t do this. If you were promoted or hired as a manager, your boss understands you have the experience to succeed. It’s OK to be nervous about new things, but trust you have the foundational skills to be a great manager. The skills and strengths from your previous position will apply to your new role. You just need to pad those skills with some new ones.
Get task oriented
You probably are a technical, task minded individual. But there’s more to project management than keeping a neat, current list of tasks. In fact, there are a lot of reasons information technology managers fail. From not keeping leadership informed to overly optimistic timelines – you’ve got to have a solid project management game. Consider picking up some books on project management to strengthen your skills in this area.
Be open and honest with your team
Don’t feel like you have to buffer information. Be clear about expectations, timelines, budgets and strategic plans for the future of the department. Make sure your team feels like they are included. There’s a difference between being a boss and a leader. Bosses dictate, leaders have conversations.
Understand how to talk to non-techy people
Human resources, accounting, sales and marketing personnel may not understand your tech speak. Make sure you keep in mind the technical expertise of the individuals you are collaborating with. If you have to take the Internet down for three hours to put in a faster system, don’t say “we’re upgrading the systems from 10 megabits to 50 megabits”, say “we’re upgrading the Internet so you can stream more music while you work.” You don’t have to write like a machine. Keep it personal and make sure others feel like they can talk to the IT team.
Be humble and accept criticism
If you’re new to this role, you’re going to make mistakes. Even the most seasoned managers screw up from time to time. The importance is getting up, dusting yourself off and moving forward. Learn from your mistakes and take constructive criticism from others. Ask for team feedback on how you’re doing. Talk to your boss and ask how you can communicate more clearly with him / her. Always seek to improve your performance. This is a true sign of a great manager.