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Management Skills for New Managers

Management Skills for New Managers

Management Skills for New Managers

Training for the new manager is important because they are often facing a unique set of problems;

  1. The new managers are often trying to manage people who have always known them as a NON manager, so the new manager needs to earn the respect of team as their leader; which may NOT be easy.
  2. New managers have often never had any specific management training before they took up their post.
  3. New managers have to manage people who are also their friends, and that often puts them in a situation where they feel torn between being "a good friend", and being "a good manager". The new manager often needs to make the mental-emotional leap from being "one of the gang", to being the "team leader". Again, that may NOT be easy.

Therefore, a new manager may need some specific training.

What kind of manager training does the new manager need?

New managers need training that will give them a set of mental tools, and specific communication skills, that will allow them to do and say the right things, and simultaneously, will prevent them from doing and saying the WRONG things. The wrong things are those actions that may be labelled, "rookie mistakes", which the new mangers needs to avoid.

The new manager needs to have the full, detailed answer to a single question:

"How can I get the members of my team to willingly give me their best performance?".

The answer to that question should represent the content of the training.

The manager's training consists of equipping the manager with the personal skills that will allow them to gain the willing cooperation of all the members of the team, so that the team is working in the most productive manner possible.

What are the personal skills necessary?

Here is a list of the skills that the training needs to cover:

1. The ability to set the right goals

The ability to not only set, but to communicate those goals to the team, in such a manner that the team fully understand their exact meaning and are fully motivated to achieve them.

The corresponding rookie mistake would be; to fail to properly communicate the goal to the team, or the reasons for the goal.

Failure to communicate the goal or the reasons for the goal, would result in confused planning and- or a lack of motivation to achieve the goal.

2. Proper delegation.

The new manager needs to get into the habit of not trying to demonstrate to the team that he she is the most proficient worker in the team, and instead, should try to demonstrate that he-she is the best organiser, in the team. Therefore the manager needs to be an excellent delegator.

Many managers have trouble with proper delegation. They don't delegate enough; they mistakenly think they have to carry the rest of the team.

The rookie mistake; is failing to delegate. Many managers fail to delegate out of a fear that the others won't do it properly. Or a fear that the others will resent the manager delegating. Or a fear that "the others will not like me anymore".

The role of the manager is NOT to do the work; but is rather, to facilitate the work.

3. The skill of time management.

Specifically, prioritisation. The manager needs to be a great time manager, meaning that he-she needs to know how to properly prioritise tasks into their correct sequence, so that the work is done on time, or before the deadline.

The corresponding rookie mistake is to do things in the order that the environment presents the task. There are many people who don't prioritise, these are the people who answer emails as they "ping" into their inbox.

They are trying to do job-A, but they receive an email and that diverts them onto job B. Job B requires they go to see the secretary, who reminds them about job C. So they drop job B, to do job C..... They spend their time, chasing their tails, and getting nowhere, fast.

It is the particular skill of good managers to organise tasks into proper, logical priorities. Then the team operates according to the plan, and NOT according to the next random event that happens to happen.

4. The ability to manage poor performance.

The ability to manage poor performance or poor behaviour within the team. If there is a breach of standards, then the manager needs to act to give the "corrective feedback" to the person who is breaching the standards.

The corresponding rookie mistake is to "let it pass". Or the corresponding rookie mistake is to go in "with all guns blazing", and come on too strong, against the offender. As a result, the bad situation becomes grounds for a major battle, and the cooperative spirit in the team is lost forever.

The manager needs to learn "the art of giving corrective feedback" in an objective, professional, polite but assertive manner.

5. The managers ability to manage his-her own self.

This means developing their own sense of self-motivation, self-confidence, self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline. Without these personality profiles, the manager won't last long.

The rookie mistake is to have a lack of motivation, a lack of confidence, a lack of self-awareness, a lack of self-discipline and control. If the team members recognise that the manager can't even manage his own self, then they won't respect him, nor accept him as having any moral licence to lead them.

6. The skill of leadership.

Leadership is the ability to engender, in the minds of others, the same qualities listed above. Leadership may be defined as the ability to engender, in the minds of others, the emotions of motivation, confidence, control, optimism, enthusiasm, willing cooperation and a positive mental attitude. If the manager can do that, then they have leadership skills.

Or to put it the other way, if we train the managers on leadership skills, then that will make them better managers.

In summary

Here is the list of skills that should be part of your new manager training.

  1. Goal setting and the proper communication of the goal.
  2. Delegation skills.
  3. Time management skills with an emphasis on prioritisation.
  4. Handling difficult people skills; with an emphasis on performance management skills.
  5. Self-management; with an emphasis on self-confidence.
  6. Leadership; with an emphasis on creating a positive mental attitude in the team.

If you want to send your new managers on such a two day course that covers all these things, then please follow this link.

Further reading:

How to be a better manager

What new Team Leaders should do first

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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