3 top tips for first time managers

Have you ever been overly micro-managed by your boss? Or had a hands-off boss that gave you so much freedom that you desperately craved structure and direction? Chances are if you have had a bad boss you have thought, “I will never do that when I am in their shoes.” You would never repeat their mistakes! But, now that it is your turn to manage, what type of boss will you be?


Being a first time manager is an exciting learning experience, but it can be overwhelming at first. Here are five tips for first time managers:

Set Expectations Upfront

Congratulations you have been promoted! Now what? It is time to meet with your boss to discuss performance expectations of you as a manager and your new role and responsibilities. Then, have the same conversation with your reports individually. Clearly communicate what success looks like for your team. Talk to your reports about their career aspirations and outline their goals to work towards throughout the year.

Seek Training and Mentorship

Being a manager means new challenges that you might not anticipate. What will you do if one of your team is consistently underperforming? Or if one of your team members says they are having difficulties with another employee? Human Resources can teach you how to navigate challenging situations like these, give effective feedback, monitor performance, and have difficult conversations. Reach out to your HR department to see if they offer training programs for new managers.

Mentors are another excellent resource to help guide you as new manager. Do you have a former boss that you admire? Invite him or her to coffee to talk about things they wish they would have known when they first started managing others.

Succeed as a Team

If your team does well, you do well.  Take the time to understand the challenges and needs of your team. As a manager you are only as strong as your weakest team member. What resources do they need to do their job better? How can you help them grow professionally? When your team succeeds, use words like “we, our, us, the team” to give credit to the entire team, rather than owning all the credit.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way of being the perfect manager!

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