WOOSH5 | What First-time Managers Should Know About Leading People
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By Sandra Dillon

American business primarily rewards younger top individual performers by promoting them into supervisory positions, because it’s the only mechanism available for substantial pay increases. The transition from independent contributor to first-time supervisor requires a substantially different set of skills to flourish. Many managers, who don’t know differently, focus on directing their teams as opposed to coaching the best from them. The best managers are coaches, who demonstrate more of and more frequently the following actions:

  • Providing structure with appropriate boundaries
  • Drawing attention to individual strengths
  • Assisting with goal setting and holding the team accountable
  • Encouraging a solution-based work approach
  • Listening
  • Asking questions
  • Providing feedback
  • Letting the team arrive and own their own solution
  • Not avoiding difficult conversations

Although these behaviors seem simple enough, they can be difficult to put into practice on a consistent basis. I encourage companies to offer individual coaching for first time managers. It’s worth the investment to the bottom line in terms of increased productivity and reduce employee turnover.

[First published September 10, 2018 at www.shinecrossings.com]