Learn to like being a manager

After years of blood, sweat, tears, and too much caffeine, you have finally earned yourself a management role.

So why aren’t you happier about this?

Well, turns out not all managers are living the high life in their personal offices with their own door. According to business publishers Berrett-Koehler, about 43% of managers are comfortable in their jobs and only a third (about 32%) claim they like managing.

A common issue in the workplace is when an employee is promoted to a management role, not because they have shown leadership qualities, but because they need to be rewarded and retained as high performers. These kind of new managers are so used to working with their own specialized talent that they don’t have the skill set to automatically become a strong manager in their workplace.

There are many reasons why one doesn’t like the idea of being a manager. They could be extremely introverted, shy, and quiet and now they feel they must be aggressive, pushy, and loud.


Now it seems some companies aren’t blind to this issue and try to solve this challenge by putting two people together to balance each other’s skills, such as a strategist and a leader of people. However, this approach oftentimes does not have the desired outcome, and can be costly for the organization.

As an alternative, training and development can help new managers figure out just the type of leader they would like to be. They need to find what personally works for them and become comfortable and confident in supervising direct reports who were formerly peers.

Leaders acquire the ability to influence through a variety of methods. Just because you have an introverted personality does not mean you can’t successfully lead a group of diverse people. In fact, the sooner you feel comfortable as a manager, the quicker you and your team will start producing better results.

For new managers, self-awareness can help you to understand when to go with your “gut” reaction rather than relying completely on analytical techniques. Humans can’t  be unemotional; emotions are a part of our everyday experience.

Here are some tips to get you on the right track:

  • Determine what type of leader you are. Traditional leaders exercise hierarchical, bureaucratic power and authority. Transactional leaders appeal to the self-interest of others. Transformational leaders involve others as agents of change. If you rely primarily on your position and authority, you are a traditional leader. Consider learning other leadership styles so you can expand your ability to influence others.

 

  • Be known as a leader who is not above doing any type of work that needs to be done. When the pressure is on, work side by side with your people until the crisis is over.
  • Identify, build, or create areas of common ground with others. This will reduce your need to fall back on position power in order to accomplish your goals.

 

 

  • Stay up-to-date on “best in class” practices. Benchmark against companies that are leaders in your industry. Look at firms that are leading in areas in which your company is trying to improve.
  • Develop your sense of humor. Learn not to take yourself too seriously.

 

 

  • Make sure you get enough rest and exercise. Develop other aspects of your life. This will help you maintain perspective.
  • Gain familiarity with the core functions, systems, and processes of your organization. Determine how each function and core process adds value to the organization. Know who to call in each function when you need information.

 

When you start to build some sort of rapport with your team, you might surprise yourself and actually enjoy being a manager.

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