“I didn’t sign up for this, people are driving me crazy.”
Many line or middle managers I meet never intended to manage people – most admit they were very good technically and got promoted. Being responsible for other people’s performance can be terrifying and most new managers learn by trial and error.
So why as managers and business owners do we continue to throw our best performers to the lions? Managing people is a skill and not one to take lightly.
We feel comfortable promoting high performers because they will excel at anything, right?
Unfortunately, this is not the case as promotions usually lead to increased people management responsibilities. The skills required for managing people are learnt over time. In fact, you never stop learning because every person is different and motivated by different things, but there are some soft skill fundamentals that can assist.
If you have found yourself in the unenviable position of being promoted to a role that requires people management, you are not alone. Here are five tips to fast track your management journey:
Remember you are a human and you will make mistakes. This is a good thing and the fastest way to learn. Be fast to forgive yourself and search for the lesson gained from the experience.
You are now in a position of leadership and this is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. Not every promotion leads to people management and often there are alternative pathways, but if yours has, you will need to look at things differently.
Not all succession planning is linear and obvious; sometimes recruiting an experienced people manager is a better option than pushing your best performer into an unnatural role.
New managers need to learn new soft skills and it is likely they were not taught these during their studies.
This article first appeared in SmartCompany Monday 15 August 2016 Link