The Importance of New Manager Self-Awareness

The Importance of New Manager Self-Awareness
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New Manager Self-Awareness, The New Manager Skill to Conquer First
We know from our people manager assessment center that there are many new manager skills a new leader must master to perform at their peak:

Just to name a few.

What Will Dilute Your New Manager Skills
But all the new managers skills can easily become diluted if your new supervisors lack the new manager 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
  • Where they want to go and why

Good leaders have a clear perception of their own character, motives, emotions and desires.  In other words, they have high levels of new manager self-awareness.

What is New Manager 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.  When new managers see themselves clearly, they make better decisions, build more meaningful relationships, and lead others more effectively.

Even though most new people managers believe that they are self-aware, most are surprised by 360 degree feedback their first year on the job.

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:

  • Goals & Intentions
    What, specifically, are my goals and accountabilities in this new management role?
  • Perception
    How do I want to be perceived as a new manager?
  • Working and Not Working
    What is working for me in pursuit of those goals and what is not?
  • Behaviors
    What are the behaviors that increase or decrease my reputation as a new manager?
  • Lessons Learned
    What can I learn from my experiences?
  • Desired Changes
    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:

  1. Communication Style
    Learn your own preferred style of communication and be able to identify the communication styles of your workers
  2. Constructive Feedback
    Study and practice how to give feedback in a non-threatening and supportive way
  3. Difficult Conversations
    Role play how to handle difficult conversations
  4. Team Strengths and Weaknesses
    Get to know your team members personally as well as professionally — their interests, their special talents, their motivators, their challenges, and their career goals
  5. Transparency and Trust
    Set the stage for clear, direct, open, honest communication with an environment where mutual trust and respect is paramount

The Bottom Line
Good new managers are good communicators. Good communicators have a high degree of self-knowledge. It is hard to be a good new leader without a healthy does of 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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