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Attention New Managers There are few things as exhilarating—or as terrifying—as the first day walking into the office as a new manager. In my current role, I spend a lot of time learning from first-level managers about the distinct challenges they face. I’ve also had the opportunity to get to know some incredibly talented and experienced managers, and am firmly convinced that great managers are rarely born great—they’re forged through years of small steps and daily practice. At Jhana, we’ve also identified that they tend to practice 10 specific habits that all new managers should master in order to be successful: 1. Hold regular 1-on-1s. No matter how busy you are (and as a new manager, you’ll inevitably feel overwhelmed), you should have at least 30 minutes of dialogue with each of your direct reports every week. Avoid status updates! Instead, focus on key issues and challenges— the stuff that really matters. Ask open-ended questions, and let your direct reports do the vast majority of the talking. 2. Proactively manage up. You’re probably already friendly with your manager, but regardless, it’s important to continuously nurture that relationship. Don’t assume it will happen naturally. Instead, make an effort to learn your manager’s goals, priorities, and communication style. It will pay off. 3. Give feedback. Most managers give some feedback, but most employees say they want more. The majority, but not all, of your feedback should be positive. Your direct reports need to know that they are appreciated, understood, and respected in order to remain engaged and satisfied. Give tough feedback as soon as possible, and avoid surrounding it with praise (aka the dreaded “feedback sandwich”). It makes a lot of direct reports confused, angry, or both. 4. Learn to delegate. This was a tough one for me to internalize, but it’s critically important to get right. Set clear, specific expectations for every task you delegate, then monitor progress. Resist the urge to micromanage: only step in if asked or if it’s obvious something is truly going sideways. 5. Talk about development. Developing your direct reports is one of the most important parts of a manager’s job. Have regular career conversations about their goals, growth, and motivations. Listen actively, and ask questions instead of giving advice. 6. Seek feedback. As a new manager, there’s no better way for you to grow and improve than to seek regular, honest feedback from peers, direct reports, and your manager, even when it’s uncomfortable. And just when you think you’ve had enough, ask for even more. 7. Embrace change. Change is never easy, but it’s inevitable. As a manager, whether it’s a company reorg or a new hire, it’s your job to get your head around the change ahead of time and to help guide your team through the mire. Communicate about the change clearly, directly, and often. Don’t point fingers, but don’t sugarcoat either. 8. Initiate tough conversations. Whether it’s two employees who are causing a rift on your team or an overly controlling senior manager, it’s in your best interest, and the interest of the organization, to have tough discussions as early as possible to clear the air and keep problems from festering down the line. 9. Cast a wide hiring net. Don’t rely on your network alone or you risk hiring a bunch of people who share all your blind spots. Source candidates from diverse channels, and remain open to people who aren’t just like you. At the end of the day, your team is only as good as the people and perspectives on it. 10. Say yes to peer networking. They’re not on your team, per se, but strong relationships with your peers are invaluable. They control resources that your team needs to do good work. More than that, they probably encounter many of the same challenges that you do. Learn from them. “ No matter how busy you are, you should have at least 30 minutes of dialogue with each of your direct reports every week.” Becoming a manager is one of the toughest—and most rewarding— career moves you can make. You will make mistakes (everyone does). And you won’t be great at it overnight, but these 10 habits are a place to start. LE 10 commandments to be successful By Rob Cahill Rob Cahill is the Co-Founder & CEO at Jhana. Rob founded Jhana in 2011 after personally experiencing how proper management can make or break retention and help reach company goals. Rob’s mission is to provide effective and relatable management training that is available around the clock. Today, Jhana’s clients have grown to many Fortune 1000’s including AOL, Orbitz, CARFAX, Career Builder, Groupon and more. Rob was previously at Sunrun as chief of staff to the founder, helping the company scale from 20 to more than 200 employees. Previously, he was a consultant at McKinsey and Company focused on operations and strategy, including working on education strategy with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rob was one of the founding team members and three-year captain of Revolver Ultimate, the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team that has won three World Championships and three National Championships. Connect Rob Cahill Follow @robcahill10 Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 09.2016 Submit your Articles 43


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