Being promoted to a management position is something that a lot of employees strive for. While it’s a welcome change, many might find this development overwhelming as well.
After all, holding a higher position also means that you’re going to be responsible for more important and high-stakes projects. There’s also the matter of earning your team’s trust and respect as their new leader.
To help you navigate this transition with confidence, here are some expert-backed strategies you can put into play.
Proving Yourself First
The first step to earning your employees’ respect is to show them that you can do the job well.
Psychology professor Art Markman observes that a new boss would encounter people who wanted the position to themselves or preferred another colleague to be promoted. Whichever one you meet on your first day, it’s important that you immediately demonstrate that you’re capable of doing your job.
This is especially necessary if you can’t rest on previous achievements or major accomplishments to back you up. One way you can prove your competence in the workplace is to under-promise but over-deliver.
A Warning on Perfection
While being admired is something you should definitely strive for, portraying yourself as a perfect figure won’t help you in the long run.
At the end of the day, being highly competent in a few select skills is fine as people tend to look over your deficiencies in favor of your better qualities, according to Joe Folkman, Zenger Folkman founder.
Create Personal Connections
Aside from being competent, another quality that makes a good leader is their ability to be warm and connect with their employees. This means having the ability to show your subordinates that you are still one of them.
To foster goodwill among your team, you can start by hosting brown-bag lunches. This is also a great way for you to get to know your members beyond the surface level and find out what ideas they may have.
Knowing Valued Traits
Part of getting to know your employees is finding out their strengths and the traits valued in the workplace.
For example, characteristics like extraversion and openness may be more desirable in consulting firms than in engineering firms. Once you’ve determined what traits your team values, you can start earning their respect by exhibiting them yourself.
In the end, though, it will take time for you to fully settle into your new position.