Moving into a role as a manager can be exciting, but stressful as well. How can someone who is taking a new role as manager make sure he or she gets to know each member of the team and builds the most effective team possible?
Remember that getting up to speed in your new role is a marathon, not a sprint. That advice comes courtesy of Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation.com, who says learning what each member does is the place to start.
What are the best ways to do that? Here, Case and other industry pros offer their suggestions for new managers eager to build a successful, cohesive team.
1. Schedule one-on-one time with team members.“This will allow you to learn more about their daily duties and the individuals on the team that they work alongside,” Case says.
2. Be curious. “Often, new leaders believe that they need to look like they have everything already figured out and see questions as a sign of weakness,” says Phyllis Reagin, a leadership coach with At the Coach’s Table. “However, there is so much benefit to being curious, to begin thinking about their former peers through a different lens.”
Regain says asking questions like, “What motivates Mark?” or “What does success look like for Elena?” or “How does Kris like to be led?” will help a new manager better understand each employee and actively engage with them in new, more productive ways.
3. Create personal user manuals. Anthony Naglieri, senior director of external affairs at Cultural Vistas, says this is one of the most effective tools available for getting to know team members. Instead of spending weeks or months learning what it’s like to work with one another, “put it in writing and discuss what people should expect to encounter in terms of values, work habits, communication styles and preferences, idiosyncrasies and quirks,” Naglieri says.
There are many ways to put user manuals together. A manager’s manual, for example, might include details on what they value, what they don’t have patience for, how to best communicate with them (is it email, chat or phone?), and what others might misunderstand about them. Each employee can create their own manual too.
There are several places to find examples of these personal user manuals. One I found particularly helpful is at themuse.com/advice/how-to-be-a-better-leader-manager-user-manual.
4. Maintain an ‘open inbox’ policy. As Case points out, this simple step “ensures that everyone on the team knows they can contact you with any questions or feedback that they may have and know you will get back to them as soon as possible with answers.”
(Article written by Kathleen Furore)