Congratulations! You’ve put in all the hard work and now you have proven your worth. You’re now ready to make the leap from associate to manager. Take a deep breath, and get ready to face the storm. There are many mentors, books, and seminars that can help you on your journey. Mavenlink, a popular project management software provider, recently created a checklist of best practices. This is a great place to begin!
Hurricane You Say?
Management success is a habit. It will be chaotic your first few days at the helm. You’ll forget what to eat and where to sit. Mavenlink’s advice was spot-on. Make a list and keep it handy. It is important to follow it. Start your career right, and you will never look back. This is my experience with the checklist.
1. Every morning begins with a simple “Good Morning”
Mavenlink demonstrates the power of a simple start to every day. Your team is responsible for achieving the highest level of performance. Your email will be filled with metrics by senior management before the coffee is finished brewing. These demands should not be made too quickly. There will be plenty of time later. Enjoy your coffee and say hello to your team.
2. Listen
Mavenlink reminds us about the power of active listening. Buddhism is the practice of deep listening. Make eye contact with them and put down your phone. Listen to what they are saying and don’t think about your response.
3. Address the Missions, Goals and Processes of Your Department
Know the mission of your department. This will help you to create your team’s mission. Include both the mission and goals in your communications. Keep your team informed about the progress of the team daily, weekly, and monthly. Take inspiration from elementary school teachers to create a visual display of your goals as well as the team’s progress. Mavenlink suggests that measurable goals can support teamwork.
4. Facilitate team meetings so communication is free flowing
Each week, schedule time for the team to meet in the same place. Set up an agenda and let your team take responsibility for the projects. Ask questions and get answers from the team. Mavenlink reminds us here that these meetings should end with clear, concise action plans.
5. Establish Expectations, Roles and Responsibilities from the Beginning
Discuss the mission and goals with each member of your team. Assist them in taking ownership of their share of the pie. Mavenlink believes in the power of a sense purpose. This will inspire enthusiasm and build loyalty.
6. Give credit where credit is due
Celebrate your successes. Too often, corporate culture can be negative and people are too focused on their failures. Mavenlink’s suggestion of handwritten cards is one of my favorite ideas. I will never forget the look on an employee’s face after I wrote a thank you card. Don’t forget the little things.
7. Lead by example
The culture is yours. Mavenlink’s demands that we make confident decisions. These are the values that have earned you this position.
8. Smile
Poor morale is the biggest factor in team failure. Mavenlink points out that happiness and enthusiasm can be contagious. Negativity is a weed that grows in your vegetable garden, and a smile on your faces is a way to kill it.
9. Do not let fear or create an environment of anxiety.
Mavenlink’s warning against scare tactics is true. While you might see short-term gains, people don’t learn from punishment. Positive reinforcement is a way to correct people. Teach people skills, and be patient if they don’t grasp it immediately.
10. Don’t view people as a number.
Every aspect of a manager’s day is a number. The paradox is that you cannot manage to the number. Mavenlink encourages us to develop meaningful growth plans. If you have the right approach, you’ll see the results.
11. Be humble. Be humble.
Your title doesn’t make it perfect. Recognize your mistakes and appreciate the feedback of your team. There is tremendous power.