A promotion creates a great feeling of accomplishment. Now you know the boss recognizes your efforts and achievements. But when your subordinates are jealous or too familiar, some extra transition work might be needed. How do you manage the leadership transition?
In the beginning, any change in leadership will create some disruption in productivity. Leadership styles vary and the team will need to adjust to their new leader. When their new leader used to be a member of the team, it will take more adjustments to create a cohesive, cooperative team. Transition takes effort and insights on the part of the leader. With all the undercurrents, it shouldn’t be surprising that three quarters of new leaders feel unprepared for their new role.
Find the Right Training for Your Transition
Your new role isn’t just a new experience for you. Your former team members are restructuring how they relate to you as well. CommandReady can help with your transition. CommandReady programs are available on your schedule to help employees and leaders grow. No matter where you get the training, while you learn, here are some immediate hints for approaching your new role. It could help you avoid common traps new leaders fall into.
Time Plus Analysis Before Change
Take Time to Analyze and consider the collateral effects before you implement new changes. Even when new leaders are promoted to make changes, it is critical to first consider with a wider perspective. People are on edge when there are unknown changes about to happen. So step back and analyze the process before deciding what, if any, changes should be made. Then keep your team in the loop when you make your decisions.
Give Them Assurance
Your subordinates’ fears are based on the unknown. So help them know what’s going on with assurances. If you call a meeting, make sure you make it clear who should attend. If you have one on one meetings, be consistent with the whole team. When you have performance expectations, make sure to communicate them in a quantitative way. How much should be completed by when, using what measurements of achievement. i.e. in one hour bring the end of month reports on team productivity including member contributions to my office.
Recognize and Use Your Style
Each leader may be nothing like the last leader. Instead of trying to emulate the last one, look at yourself honestly. Recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. Once you understand your own leadership style or hybrid of styles, develop the strengths of that style.
Are you an affiliate leader who gets to know their team members? Or maybe you are a democratic leader, who involves the whole team in every decision. Then there is the transformational leader who wants to develop an effective team down the road based on potential seen today. And lastly there is the autocratic leader, who gives commands or directives and doesn’t want any feedback, just wants the job done. Each has a place and time when it is the right approach. Skilled leaders often use a mix of styles because each has its own situational effectiveness and downfalls.
Developing Performance Skills
Performance soon follows clear communication on expectations and goals. Teambuilding, conflict resolution and morale improvement are critical to smooth productivity. But none will happen unless you clearly communicate expectations and aims with your team.
Building Your Team
You were one of them, but leading them requires a whole new relationship development. Now it is your responsibility to gain their respect and build their trust as their leader. There are steps that help this transition.
Set aside time for one on one conversations. Ask your team member open ended questions. Then LISTEN to their response. Hear their challenges, favorite projects and what produces job satisfaction. Without defensiveness, hear what they expect from you as a leader.
Analyze the input and follow up at least weekly. Be honest and work to trust your team and give them reasons to trust you.
Focus on the Big Picture
Even while managing minor tasks, one way to unite a team is to keep the focus on the joint goals. By pitching in and helping, but only when necessary, the team grows to understand while you are the boss now, you are with the team.
Focus on the Priorities
The big picture usually is the priority but sometimes an urgent project or deadline requires shifting gears to manage it. By streamlining your day through time management, a skilled leader can help the whole team learn to focus on the priorities. A great way to start is by separating the “have to do”, from the “need to do” and the “want to do” actions.
Appreciate Your Team
Your team can make or break you. Appreciation of their efforts can go a long way toward building your relationship with them. Team members need time, effort, patients and sincere care. But the effort you spend on taking care of your people will be returned to you in productivity and success.
CommandReady Was built to Make Leadership Transition Smoother
CommandReady has programs, modules and subscription services available. Each one is designed to smooth the path when transitioning from team member to leader. Contact us here or call (818) – 403 – LEAD (5323) for information.