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6 Basic Tips for New Managers

As we develop our skills and experiences in our professional trade, we are driven to move up the proverbial ladder in our careers. When we achieve our career goals, we are placed into management positions that come with new tasks, more responsibility, and more often than not, a new team to manage. When the exclusion of the promotion, increased pay, and sometimes a larger office wears off, we are faced with the fact that we now have a team to manage and no clue what to do. We may know from past experiences what kind of manager we do not want to become. However, in reality, our career training may include little to no management training other than what reports to submit and how often. So what do you do when you're faced with the challenge of managing a team with little to no experience in team management? Well, here are six simple tips that will help you build and maintain a healthy team with loyal, trusting members.

1. Set Boundaries

Two very common misconceptions among new managers are (1) if you are "friendly" with your team members, they will respect you more, and (2) if your team fears you, they will respect you. These are both myths that can be damaging to your career if you follow them.

In developing your relationships with your team, be very mindful keep it professional. Your aim is not to be their buddy, nor is it to be a dictator.

2. Set Expectations

Keep it simple by setting clear expectations. Let your team know what you need, when you need it, and what you want it look like. If you expect your team to strictly adhere to company policies and procedures, communicate that with them, and review the policies and procedures. Do this for everything that concerns you; From cancellation procedures to dress code. If you're not a stickler about the dress code, then do not press the issue. However, keep in mind that when your team is performing poorly or unethically, it is you that will be held responsible.

3. Weekly Meetings

Back when I simply had a job and not a career, I missed meetings. I thought they were a waste of everyone's time. However, after 14 years of career experience, I have come to appreciate the necessity of team meetings. This is primarily because I learned how to conduct and participate in short productive meetings. Weekly meetings keeps everyone on the same page. They reveal areas of concerns and allow you and your team to share experiences – both good and bad. Weekly meetings are also a great way to build relationships with your team members.

4. Goals and Incentives

Have you ever been working on a tedious task and felt like your hard work was done in vain and just wanted to know when was it going to end? Setting small achievable and measurable goals helps create a since of achievement. It also aids in creating ownership. Set goals for your teams and offer them an incentive for going beyond them.

5. Share the Wealth

If you gain knowledge of something that can or will will affect your team, share that knowledge with them. Of course, do not share information that jeopardized your management role or violates the code of management ethics that is established within your organization.

If you receive an award or recognition for your department's success, share that success with your team. After all, you could not have done it without them.

If you are reprimanded for your team's poor performance, share that, too! You do not have to go into gory details of how your supervisor let you have it, but it's important for your team to know what went wrong. Let them share with you their views and opinions on why the project or task was performed poorly as well as what measures should be taken to avoid future poor performances. You do not need to have to accept their opinions or advice, but listen to them. No one knows better where the glitch in the system lies better than the person that uses it daily for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week.

6. Thank Them

Thank your team and thank them often. I've found that "thank you" is the most powerful, action driving phrase you can utter in business. You may never know just how much a simple "thank you" means to some members on your team.

Of course these tips are not all inclusive, but they will definitely help you along the way towards management success.

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