Even if you think you’re ready, a new leadership position can sometimes take you by surprise. Below, we take a look at some useful tips for smoothly transitioning into your new role.
Accept Your New Position
First action to take is to actually accept your new position. You’ve moved up in the structure of the company, and you need to be aware of the difference between management and an employee.
You’re no longer a peer of the other workers — you’re in a position of authority. Resolve in your mind the fact that you can’t be friends with those below you anymore, or at least not in the same way. If you’ve been in love with closing down bars on Friday evenings with the gang, then you’ll need to accept that it’ll sadly no longer be the case.
Talk To People Individually
Whether you knew the people you’re now leading before you got your promotion or not, make sure you’re taking the time to talk to each employee early on. A group introduction in the beginning is a good start, but one to one sessions will build better rapport with your team.
Invite people for a coffee, and ask them about how they’re finding the job, changes they’d like to see made, their hopes for the future, and so on. It’ll show that you’re not just going to turn up and bulldoze your ideas across the department. You’re listening!
Understand It Won’t Always Be Easy
However, while you’ll want to listen and take on board all those good ideas, you’ll need to remember that you have been employed in your new position for a reason. A leader listens to their employees, but they don’t just do what they say.
There are going to be times when you need to disagree with an employee, or, at times, the whole team. You’ll need to come to terms with this aspect of the job. If you have faith that what you’re doing is the right thing to do, then it’ll be easier.
Handle the Stress
When you were an employee, you’d do your work, and go home. If there was a problem above you, then you could feel sympathy, but it wasn’t your problem. If something was being mismanaged, you could just complain, and get on with your day. Now, however, those options are closed off to you. Those problems are your problems, and that can justifiably, bring added stress.
As such, it’s worthwhile learning how to handle stress. If it’s your first time in a leadership role, then look at receiving emotional intelligence coaching. It’ll give you the tools you need to keep calm, even when you’re under intense pressure.
Everyone wants to do well in their job, and even more so when they’re new. They’re eager to show that they’re capable and while it’s admirable to desire making a good impression, wanting it doesn’t make a difference to whether you actually do.
In any case, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s out of your control, because everyone makes mistakes. The thing that’s under your control is how you respond to those mistakes. Basically, don’t read too much into them. Learn and move on!
Carry on Learning
Talking of learning, make sure you’re continually developing in all spheres of your life, both professionally and personally. It’s easy to sit back and bask in the glory of your promotion and new position, but that attitude isn’t going to take you very far.
You’ve reached where you are because of your willingness to work hard and learn, so why would you do anything different?
Head of a Team
There’s a problem that people who receive a promotion can find themselves in — it goes to their head. Now that you’re in a more senior position, you’re going to have more privileges, and more power. If you work in an office environment long enough, you’ll eventually be able to point to an example of someone who let their promotion go to their head. Don’t let it happen to you!
Always remember that you’re just the head of a team, no more, no less. If you ever find yourself doing or saying something that makes it seem that you believe yourself to be superior, take any measures necessary to come back down to earth.
Set the Example
Respect plays a big role in a corporate environment. You might be in a leadership position, but without respect, you’re not a leader. One way to solicit respect from the workers underneath you is to make sure that you’re working just as hard as anyone else in the organisation.
You can’t expect people to work as hard as possible if you’re not willing to do the same.
Finally, remember to have confidence in yourself. Many people can put themselves down or have a crisis of confidence once they get their promotion. They suddenly think that they’ve risen too far, and are about to get found out as a fraudster.
But fear not, because everyone feels this way. You would not have been given the job if they didn’t think you could do it. Stay calm, work hard, and don’t worry too much about success or failure — it’ll come if you do all the right things.