Posted 30 April 2009 by Chris Farmer
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How do I gain respect as a new manager?
On courses, I am constantly asked the very similar questions from various people, who work in very different types of business.
The product the business supplies have little to do with the daily troubles some people have managing others.
The problems/ challenges are similar because the common denominator is "human beings"
- Managers manage human beings
- Managers are (for the most part) human beings themselves.
Here is a question I am constantly asked, together with my answer.
" I have been promoted recently. I have some difficult people on my team who have known me as a colleague for years. How do I get them to accept me as "the team leader?"
The answer comes in two parts:
How you see yourself and how others see you.
You must accept yourself as the leader in your own mind first.
There will sometimes be a contradiction between being "one of the gang" and "the leader of the gang".
For example, one of the gang is continually late for work and you think you should say something but are afraid to try. When that contradiction occurs you must be sure to act as the leader, rather than as the buddy.
Failure to act would undercut your self confidence and reinforce the doubts of your colleagues.
You should make the distinction between "being loved" and "being respected".
If the choice ever comes up, always aim to be respected, even if not loved.
This is because managers, who try to "court popularity" as a means of managing others, always fail because:
- You cannot please everyone.
- Even if you did please the majority, their opinion is not necessarily the right business decision. ( i.e. The majority would vote for a 25% pay rise and shorter working hours)
So, in a nutshell:
- To gain respect, decide what is best for the long range success of the organisation, and make decisions accordingly: even if that might mean temporary un-popularity.
- In your own minds eye, see yourself as the leader. Tell yourself you deserve the title and live up to the role.
Visit the Corporate Coach Group website for more information about Front line management training.