Promotion to manager: how to go from management to leadership in 7 steps
When a person begins to play this manager role, it does not necessarily mean that they are ready for it. In fact, this responsibility often brings with it a steep learning curve for any new manager.
How many professionals have been promoted to manager teams without really knowing how to inspire and lead them?
Although promotion to leadership is an innate quality in some people, for most it is something that must be learned and worked on daily.
Many managers spend their entire professional career managing people without ever being recognized as a leader, only knowing how to micromanage instead of developing motivated and autonomous teams.
1. Know when to step back
Delegation is not sharing a heavy workload. Leaders must be able to recognize when they need to step back to give their team members a chance to shine.
This means allowing employees to take their own approach and own up to their own mistakes. Obviously, if projects start to lose their way, as a leader you will have to intervene.
However, leaders must offer support without engaging in micromanagement behaviors, which negatively affect team trust.
2. Promotion of training
Leaders must be truly committed to fostering the development of their employees.
By promoting training programs and sessions to improve their skills and competencies, good leaders encourage their team to reach their full potential.
3. Coaching for success
An essential element in ensuring that employees excel is supporting and guiding them on the path to success. Promotion coaching goes hand in hand with leadership.
It is not just about giving advice, but about offering an open space for others to express their opinions, share their ideas and reach their own conclusions about the projects in progress.
4. Offer feedback with honesty and empathy
When it comes to developing a team, it is crucial to provide continuous feedback to each member. But it is not always easy, especially if you have to resolve a conflict.
Good leaders should try to keep their comments constructive and not critical:
Be specific and problem-focused: Don’t assume the employee has all the background information to understand why a certain item, factor, or approach would be a problem.
Always try to explain the reason for things, thus achieving clear and transparent communication.
Do not turn the problem into something personal: good leaders must focus on the situation and not on the individual, avoiding the employee feeling attacked and/or defensive.
Take care of the tone and language used: the ideal is that the conversation is carried out face to face, in a concise, clear and calm way.
If you can’t do it in person, it’s a good idea to use the phone instead of sending an email. It is essential to avoid the use of emotionally charged words, such as “disappointed” or “frustrated”.
Openness to feedback: whenever a leader gives feedback, he must offer his team members the opportunity to express their opinions, with the mission of establishing together the steps towards the best solution.
Not only does this show employees how important they are to the leader, it turns “the problem” into a positive plan of action.
Balance the positive and negative: Feedback should be continuous and should never focus entirely on the positive or negative. It may seem tempting to soften negative comments with praise.
For example, “I know you’ve worked hard on this project, but…” This approach makes the previous point seem disingenuous and sends an ambiguous message.
Praise should be given when it is deserved and it is better that it be accompanied by thanks.
For example, “The new process you have put in place has really improved our efficiency as a team. Thank you very much for your work. Your initiative has been a real added value.”
5. Encourage constructive self-criticism
Leaders must encourage their teams to speak up and value their performance. It can be difficult, but employee feedback is invaluable in developing a leadership style.
The best way to get constructive feedback is to ask them questions like:
- How could I have supported you better if we did this project again?
- What obstacles have you encountered during the development of the project?
- How do you think we could have prevented them?
- What do you think could go wrong if we try [X]?
- What do you think has made project [X] a success?
6. Take an agile approach
Leaders must adapt to changes quickly due to the world of work we live in today.
Adopting a flexible approach to leadership style and a commitment to continuous development will help leaders become more comfortable with future challenges and transform their methods and practices in order to realize their full potential of your team.
As a leader, you can often feel that it is your responsibility to have the solution to all questions and problems. The reality is that your role is not to offer all the answers, but to provide the means to find them.
If I could give a piece of advice to a new manager would be: Enjoy the journey.
There will always be delays and unforeseen events, but the privilege of your position is to have the ability to help others learn to face challenges, with the ultimate mission that they come out of these experiences better prepared to overcome what they face. the future holds.”
comments Marco Laveda, Regional Director at the Robert Walters Group.
Read also: How to decide between two job offers
7. Create your own culture and leadership style based on this combination of practices:
Lead with passion : If the leader believes in what he does, others will be more easily motivated.
Support from a distance – Step back to allow team members to shine.
- Be empathic : both to assign a task and to offer feedback, the good leader must focus on the needs of the team.
- Establish a Positive Culture – Foster the right environment for employees to develop and thrive.
- Continuous development – there are always new skills and competencies to learn.
- Enabling Others to Succeed – Consulting, advising, motivating, and encouraging.
- Do not expect to be “the expert” : no leader is capable of doing, creating and making every task and project shine; it is very important to involve and support the ideas of colleagues, friends and experts.