4 Steps to Build Your Team as a New Manager

4 Steps to Build Your Team as a New Manager
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How to Build Your Team as a New Manager
If you are transitioning to management for the first time, you should ask yourself how you are going to build your team as a new manager.  Why?  Because your success is now dependent on the success of your team, NOT your individual accomplishments.

Some Time-Tested Advice for New Supervisors and Leaders
You are excited that you have been promoted to a leadership position, and you are about to meet your new team. What is the best advice from new manager training experts for pulling your team together and establishing yourself as an effective and trustworthy leader they want to follow?

Your First Four Steps to Building Your Team
Based upon data from 25+ years of management training programs and our people manager assessment center, to begin to build your team as a new manager or supervisor:

  1. Understand What Is Expected from You and Your Team
    Your first step is to meet with your boss to understand what is expected from you and your team in terms of behaviors, results, and how those expectations fit into the overall company plans for success.This clear line of sight for people to contribute context sets the stage for you and your team to succeed.  Get clear answers to team charter questions like:

    — What is the fundamental purpose of your team?
    — What are your boss’ top three strategic priorities?
    — How will the team’s success and failure be measured?

  2. Get to Know Your Team as Individuals
    Meet with each team member one-on-one to learn what they like to do personally and professionally and where they see the team and their career development going in the near future.Then seek out their previous supervisor and human resources contact to gain insights into their individual working styles, work ethic, and previous performance reviews.

    Lastly, take your team out to lunch and host a happy hour one evening.  Your goal is to begin to build both personal and professional relationships while gaining their trust and building trust between co-workers.

  3. Don’t Be in a Hurry to Set an Agenda
    Ask and listen first. Know that the team will be somewhat anxious about you — any change in leadership can be difficult to accept. Be open to their ideas and take the time required to get to know the lay of the land.The most important impression to leave is that you are approachable, you welcome their feedback, and you want the team to feel free to express themselves in an honest and straightforward way.

    Unless there is an urgent strategic matter that must be resolved sooner, focus on learning and building relationships before making any big decisions for at least the first 30 days.  Just do not take more than 90 days — you will be seen as an indecisive leader.

  4. Share What You Hope to Learn and Your Short-term Plan for Going Forward
    As you work with the live or virtual team, you will have a chance to observe their strengths and evaluate where the puzzle pieces will fit best. Then you can work together to establish clear goals and accountabilities, roles, responsibilities, and action steps.

The Bottom Line
Your success as a new manager is now dependent upon the success of your team, not your individual performance.  Understand expectations, get to know your team, go slow to go fast, and have a clear and collaborative plan for success.  That will allow teammates to become a person who managers want to manage and peers want to work alongside.

To learn more about how to build your team as a new manager or supervisor, download 7 Immediate Management Actions to Create Team Alignment with Your Goals

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