New Manager Skills to Conquer First – Self-Awareness

Gain self-awareness by looking in the mirror for new manager skills

There are many new manager skills a new leader must master – motivating others, solving problems, making decisions, taking initiative, championing change, managing performance, developing others and communicating expectations and priorities – just to name a few.

What Will Dilute Your New Manager Skills
But all the new managers skills are diluted if your new supervisors lack the self-awareness required to be  effective.

What Great New Managers Have
Good leaders are not just great at relating to the followers in their sphere of influence; they also have a thorough understanding of themselves…who they are, how they are perceived by others, and where they want to go. They have a clear perception of their own character, motives, emotions and desires.

In other words, they have high levels of self-awareness.

What is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is what helps you understand others and how they see you, your temperament and the way you respond to them real-time.

And recent studies show that self-awareness is “the strongest predictor of overall success.” For example, a team at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations studied 72 senior executives at companies with revenues between $50 million to $5 billion. They found that it’s not the “tough guys” who finish first. Instead, leaders with the high self-awareness that forms the basis for strong interpersonal skills actually deliver better financial results.

What Does this Mean for You as a New Manager?
It means that you need to develop your new manager soft skills as well as your so-called hard skills. It means that in addition to making sure you have the new manager skills training to succeed in a management role, you need to go through a process of self-examination.

And, if you are truly committed to being the best new supervisor you can be and getting better at it continuously, this process should be ongoing.

Six New Manager Self-Awareness Questions to Get Started
You can start by asking yourself questions like the following:

  1. What, specifically, are my goals in this new management role?
  2. How do I want to be perceived as a new manager?
  3. What is working for me in pursuit of those goals and what is not?
  4. What are the behaviors that increase or decrease my reputation as a new manager?
  5. What can I learn from my experiences?
  6. What should I change?

You may well discover that you need to change the way you interact with others.

What You Can Do to Improve your Self-Awareness as a New Manager
We know that effective new managers get things done through people. The more finely tuned your people skills, the better able you are to communicate effectively with your direct reports.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Learn your own preferred style of communication and be able to identify the communication styles of your workers
  • Study and practice how to give feedback in a non-threatening and supportive way
  • Role play how to handle difficult conversations
  • Get to know your team members personally as well as professionally…their interests, their special talents, their motivators, their challenges, and their career goals
  • Set the stage for clear, direct, open, honest communication with an environment where mutual trust and respect is paramount

Good new managers are good communicators. Good communicators have a high degree of self-knowledge. Ergo, you can’t be a good new leader without self-awareness.

To learn more about communication skills required to succeed as a new leader, download Effective Communication Skills – The Essential Ingredient in Any Interaction

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