First time manager !

14 lessons I learned in my journey as a first-time middle manager.

1. The team’s energy changes (and is directly proportionate) to your energy. This means that you need to keep your energy levels high; which also means that you need to self-reflect every day and do the emotional work on yourself; so that the energy you give out is high and positive.

2.  Some members are task oriented and some are mission oriented; this information will help you in your management style with them on the long run. Moreover, it’s safe to say that only very few people work without monitoring!

3. You need to really care and they need to know that you do!

4. You need to understand that the salary you give them at the end of the month is not enough. The salary is a compensation for the service they offer you (the results they accomplish for the company). With that being said, incentive is not always the answer. Acknowledgment for each accomplishment is vital.

5.   Assessment for each team member is necessary. You need to understand each member’s background, where they’re coming from, what triggers them, and what they care about. Not only this will help you understand and empathize with them, it will also help you to motivate them in order to achieve your long and short-term goals!

6.   Personal goals and development. You need to know each member’s agenda and future goals and help them get there. Yes, I know, many managers are scared as hell of this part: investing in their employees and their constant fear that after they acquire all the knowledge they need, they will leave.

7.  Investing in your employees shouldn’t be that expensive. Udemy courses for example are 9.99 USD! If you don’t have a small budget set for that, please do! Everyone needs something, figure out what it is and give it to them!

8. Being secretive about the big picture (AKA your vision or objective). Getting the team involved in making some decisions is vital. They need to understand the big picture of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

9.  Reassurance is a pillar. Eliminating any fears that the team might have; for instance: some members on their position; AKA their place in the company and their importance…

10. Invest some time to learn about each person’s job (even the technical parts); this will make your demands to them more realistic, as well as giving you an approximate time frame for each task you give them. Which brings me to my next point actually…

11.  Always partner the tasks with a clear deadline and follow up on the deadline. If the deadline was not realistic, take it into consideration for future tasks. It’s ok and expected to give tasks with a purpose that you only know and pair them with strict deadlines, however, it’s necessary to give them a little space for their own ideas and creativity.

12.  Don’t do the “Lone wolf” thing. Get a mentor. Management is not easy and you don’t have to go through this alone; since plenty of successful managers exist out there; many of which are happy to share their experience with you.

13.   Open your heart to suggestions and ideas, however, filter them, analyze them, and if they are aligned with your vision and objectives, let them affect your decision-making process, if not, gently dismiss them.

14. Team meetings. Meetings should be short (and periodic) with a clear agenda (clear points that you go over that actually have a goal). They could be your company/quarter objectives or maybe a new policy or a new habit that you need to establish within your team. Whatever it is, you need to follow up on it after the meeting to make sure it’s accomplished.

about the Author Yasmeen Tarek