Posted 19 March 2012 by Chris Farmer
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The first time manager has a difficult role to fill
The first time managers are often promoted from within the organisation so they must suddenly assume a position of some authority.
The others in the team may not take this new situation seriously, so the first time managers may initially struggle to gain the respect they deserve.
Additionally, the first time manager will be expected to continue to do his normal production tasks, in addition to managing the team.
The role of manager is NOT his sole task: it is in addition to turning out the product.
So the first time manager must simultaneously:
- Lead the team
- Manage the process and
- Build the product too!
This is not an easy situation.
Often, to make things still more difficult, the managers have not had any specific management or leadership training to help them make the transition.
The organisations self- interest lies in helping the manager to succeed.
This is why targeted training for first time managers is so important.
First time managers need specialised training!
They need training to give them confidence to act correctly in their new role.
What form should this specialised training take?
The training should cover the six essential leadership and management skills that will combine to make the first time manager an "effective leader manager".
What are the six essential skills of the effective leader manager?
All effective managers share the same six qualities.
It is the possession of all six qualities that causes them to become effective.
Here are the six qualities:
- The ability to set goals and achieve them within the given deadline.
- The ability to communicate with accuracy and clarity.
- The ability to plan, prioritise, organise and delegate (time management skills).
- The ability to handle difficult personalities and performance issues.
- The ability to create and sustain his own sense of motivation, strength and personal initiative.
- The ability to inspire positive emotions in others and thus create and sustain a productive team atmosphere.
Here are a few notes on each of the above six skills
1. The ability to set goals and achieve them within the deadline
The team must succeed.
If "success" is defined as "the timely achievement of a worthwhile goal" then goals and time deadlines are integral to the concept of success.
Goal focus is the primary leadership quality.
Lack of goal focus is the primary cause of leadership failure.
We need a team to be goal focused.
Goal focus is the first time manager's first lesson.
2. The ability to communicate with accuracy and clarity
Generalised, vague, and ambiguous statements cause misunderstandings, confusion and errors.
Specific, defined and precise statements cause greater levels of comprehension, understanding and accurate implementation of instructions.
Therefore the first time manager needs to be trained in the proper use of language.
He needs to be able to think, speak and write using accurate language.
- Clarity is a virtue
- Vagueness is a vice
Accurate language is the first-time manager's second lesson.
3. The ability to plan, prioritise, organise and delegate (time management skills)
- Co-ordinated, ordered and structured action is the method of success.
- Uncoordinated, disordered and unstructured action is the method of failure.
Therefore the manager must learn the disciplines of prioritisation, organisation, planning, preparation, prevention and delegation: i.e. time management.
Time management is the first- time manager's third lesson.
4 The ability to handle difficult personalities and performance issues
The definition of a team is "a group of two or more individuals acting harmoniously together to achieve a shared purpose".
In all organisations there can be difficult personalities.
These difficult personalities can ruin the harmonious atmosphere in the team and thus create disunity, upset, internal squabbles, arguments and distraction from the true task of service provision and productive effort.
These personalities must be managed by the first time manager.
This is tricky.
The first time manager will need training to perform well in this arena.
The first time manager needs to know about the following:
- The difference between assertive, aggressive and passive communication
- How to speak in logical objective language , not in emotional subjective language
- How to distinguish reasons from excuses and have a different policy for each
- When to negotiate and when not to
The ability to handle difficult personalities i.e. "conflict management" is the first time manager's fourth lesson
5. The ability to create and sustain his own sense of motivation, strength and personal initiative
The first time manager must motivate the team especially during tough times.
So the question arises who motivates the motivator?
All team leader managers must motivate themselves (especially during tough times).
How can a person motivate themselves?
By learning the mental and emotional disciplines of leadership such as:
- Controlling the content of your own mind
- Controlling what you say to others
- Looking after your energy
- Reduce the problem down to its proper dimensions
- Maximise your own perception of your own power
- Make yourself the agent of change
- Have clarity of purpose
- Beware of unfounded pessimism
Emotional management is the first time manager's fifth lesson
6. The ability to inspire positive emotions in others and thus create and sustain a productive team atmosphere
The same principles that the managers use to inspire themselves can later be applied to others in order to improve the atmosphere in the team.
At difficult economic times the team's confidence and enthusiasm can suffer.
But now is not the time to panic.
The first time manager must be the standard bearer for the team's confidence.
They need to know:
- Four steps to an emotion
- Positive mental attitude and how it affects tangible results
- Positive mental attitude techniques
- Turning negative people into positive
- Do not allow their thoughts or language to be become destructive
- The language of a leader
Inspiring the positive emotions in others is the first time manager's sixth and final lesson
If you want any help with any of these issues please do come on the course............
For more information about Corporate Coach Group First line manager training course