How New Managers Start Off on the Right Foot

How New Managers Start Off on the Right Foot
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First Impressions – New Managers Start
You make only one first impression as a new manager, and first impressions matter.  People tend to form split-second impressions related to seemingly big characteristics like trustworthiness and competence. Once formed, first impressions are hard to change as people tend to hold onto those speedy judgments stubbornly.

In fact, research from the Association of Psychological Science found it only takes a few seconds to size up another person’s attractiveness and trustworthiness.  And over the next few seconds, we use our cognitive biases to form a more “complete” conclusion about their presumed personality and competence.  Yikes.

If you are new to management and meeting your team for the first time, your challenge to manage well will be much easier if you start off with a strong, positive first impression.

Tips to Create Better Leadership Presence
New managers need to establish a leadership presence from the get-go – a presence that inspires in your followers a feeling of confidence in your competence and steadiness. Here’s how you can go about achieving a meaningful leadership presence.

  1. Set a Leadership Goal
    Consider what kind of leader you aspire to be. Now that you are accountable for the behavior and output of others, you need to transition from working on your own to working with and through your team. How will your behavior need to change? What will guide you in becoming the leader you can be proud to be?

    Define your new leadership role in terms of values. How will you inspire excellence in a way that fits your workplace culture and moves your strategic priorities forward?

  1. Be Self-Aware
    Recognize that your team will be made up of individuals who will not only be different from each other, but also different from you. They come from different backgrounds; their perspectives, experiences, motivations, talents, communication, and working styles will be varied.

    The challenge for you is to first understand what drives you and then to understand, accommodate and adjust to what drives each individual on your team.

  2. Communicate Clearly and Respectfully
    The best leaders are great communicators. They have mastered the art of communicating clearly and directly. And they are always respectful of others.

    Remember that communication goes two ways. Though it may be tempting to dictate how things should move forward, it’s critical that you gain the respect, understanding, and commitment of your team. Know what you hope to gain from each interaction, solicit the thoughts of your followers, then share what you are thinking and why.

    The more your team understands the context of your vision, priorities, and expectations, the more apt they will be to work with, not against, you.

  1. Convey Emotional Steadiness
    Leaders are often under immense pressure. They are faced with multiple decisions each day and often must convey difficult news. But the way you handle stress and bad news can strengthen your leadership presence.

    Maintain a steady, calm demeanor so the team feels confident in your ability to handle challenges.

The Bottom Line
New managers should prepare for their new role with some introspection. Please new managers start right. Consciously identify the kind of leader you admire, how you’ll work toward becoming that leader, and how you’ll present yourself to your team from the beginning. If you don’t start off on the right foot, it’s hard to backtrack.

To learn more about how new managers start off on the right foot, download 5 Management Misperceptions that Slip Up Too Many New Managers

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