Harsh Truths About Being A Manager
Stepping into a management role for the first time is not all glitz and glam. Becoming a successful manager and leader is a challenge of its own. You will need to continuously build on and strengthen your skills in order to best serve your staff. Give yourself weekly goals aimed at building up your leadership abilities to successfully manage your individual employees and shape them into a cohesive team.
Be aware that being a manager is more than simply delegating tasks, you will need to put in a lot of hard work. Before you dive into being the all-star leader of your organization’s needs, there are a few harsh truths you’ll need to open your eyes to. Not everyone is cut out for management, so read this to avoid setting yourself up for shocking disappointment and frustration.
Read below for harsh truths about being a manager:
1: There’s no “I” in team.
As soon as you enter a leadership role, your successes are no longer only about you. They are now about how well the team you now lead is doing. Part of being a great leader is understanding the nuances of your team and how you can guide them to be the best they can be. You should learn as much as you can about your staff so you can support them appropriately. You will need to understand their learning and communications styles in order to guide them to perform productively as individuals and together as a team.
2: You will resolve A LOT of problems.
Before you were manager, the only problems you were expected to solve were your own. Now that you are responsible for other people, you are in charge of putting out fires and resolving issues within your team. Recognize that problem solving is a vital part of your role and the more you do it the better you will be at it. Your team will reflect your mood and your reactions so keep your cool and don’t let frustrations get the best of you when addressing mistakes and resolving issues or conflict within your team.
3: Your employees have lives outside of work.
When you step into a management role, you agree to take on more responsibilities; overseeing your team, meetings, projects, deadlines, and more pressure. It might be hard to admit, but some of your employees just can’t handle more responsibility like you can. Some of them might not even be as invested in your company as you are. You need to be aware that your employee’s commitments outside of work are integral to who they are. Be conscious of the fact that that they too have full, busy lives to lead in conjunction with their jobs. Your employees will need some flexibility and they will need to take time off every now and then for appointments, family, and vacations.
4: You’re not listening as well as you think.
You may think you’re a great listener, but truthfully, most people are bad listeners. We’re all guilty of scanning a conversation or email to find the key points and what we either agree or disagree with. If you aren’t truly listening to your employees they will not be able to communicate with you effectively. When employees feel you don’t hear them, they will most likely stop communicating with you altogether. This pushes them to forego asking you for direction or coming to you for help. You need to create a private, safe, and non-judgmental space where your employees feel comfortable communicating with you. Check in with your team, ask questions, and truly listen to their answers. Your staff needs to be able to look to you for leadership whether it’s in regards to direction on a project, a mistake that needs correcting, or scheduling time off.
5: You could lose your top performers, at any given time.
Your top performers do a splendid job and they deliver every single time. Naturally you will begin to rely on them more and more, sometimes without realizing it. You may even start taking advantage of them, thinking they can do it all with no problem. It’s a convenient but dangerous path because when people feel burnt out and under appreciated at work they will eventually leave. Be sure you consistently recognize and praise your employees for hard work and achievements. You should personally and openly thank all of your staff, especially your top performers.
These are a few harsh reminders that you need to understand and accept when aiming to become an outstanding manager. Realistically, not everyone is cut out for a management role. Your day to day responsibilities increase not only in your own work load, but also with the added duties that come along with overseeing your staff. Be patient with yourself and your staff as you learn to navigate the challenges of a management role. Take the time to listen to and understand the members of your team. Strong interactive listening skills are a key part of communication and as a manager this will be one of your biggest assets.