One of the first signs of spring, at least to me, is when I get that email declaring it’s annual review time again! Has it really been a year already?
This April marks my first full year in a management position, and here are four things I’ve learned:
- 1. Not everyone is going to like you
Being liked and being respected are two different things. Not everyone in your department or on your team is going to like you. If you’re honest, open, and clear in communicating your needs, they should respect you. Don’t try to convince them to like you; act and lead in a way that earns their respect.
- 2. Collaboration is great… to an extent
Asking for everyone’s opinion is a double-edged sword. When you open up the floor for discussion, chances are someone’s idea/suggestion is not going to be utilized. This can, and most likely will, cause tension unless addressed. Thank your team for their ideas; explain what you liked about the idea, but be clear it’s not being used, and when possible, why.It’s better to have an understanding of the outcome you desire before asking for opinions. You are still in charge and responsible for the outcome: if your team doesn’t like it, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to happen.Listen to discussion even complaining and arguing, but in the end, it’s your decision — so don’t be afraid to make a decision.
- 3. Choose your battles carefully
It might take a long time to realize what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth letting slide. If you argue every single thing every single time, your cries begin to develop a ‘boy who cried wolf’ ring to them. Know when to push forward and when to step back. There is nothing wrong or dishonorable about retreat if it’s the best thing for everyone.If it’s something you are truly adamant and passionate about, fight for it. If it’s something you don’t agree with, but aren’t losing sleep over, let it go.
- 4. Speak Up
It can be intimidating to sit in with people in the upper levels of management. They are smart, powerful, experienced people. The last thing I’d ever want to do is devalue my intelligence, power, or experience in front of them. I suggest getting over this ASAP.At the end of the day, people are just people. Good ideas come from anywhere, not just upper level management. Speak up. Share your ideas. Share your concerns. The worst that can happen is nothing at all … which is what will happen anyway if you don’t speak up.
I’m looking forward to my continued growth as a manager and am confident this year is going to be the best yet. Do you have any tips for a novice manager? Please share them in the comments! I love feedback, suggestions, and personal stories!