Into the Deep End
Oh, the joy of becoming a Line Manager!
But what exactly does a Line Manager do?
At first, there’s the euphoria of being recognised for your skills and abilities.
And of course, the commensurate remuneration for your new position.
There’s often the determination that you won’t make the same mistakes your managers made with you.
Or (if you’ve been fortunate) the determination that you will be as good as the last fabulous manager you had.
Alongside that, there can be a feeling that you’ll really be able to show your talents off to their best and get more done now that you’re in a position of authority.
And for some people, they really are set free when they step up to becoming a Line Manager.
For many others, however, after the euphoria comes the terror.
OK, I’m, exaggerating maybe not exactly terror, maybe more of a dull fear that any minute you’re going to be found out – that they made a mistake – that you really can’t do the job after all.
The usual reason for this underlying disquiet is that people may have all the skills and abilities to be a Line Manager, but they don’t have any training to use those skills and abilities in a productive way.
This is why it can feel as though they’ve been thrown in the deep end with no life preserver or even a lifeguard on duty; they have to flail around and hope they reach ‘dry land’ in one piece.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could skip the flailing around a bit and go straight into the rewarding side of managing others?
First off, take off the metaphorical Superman cloak – you aren’t.
As a matter of fact, divest yourself of any thought of what a Line Manager is supposed to look like.
You are the same person but with more responsibilities.
You haven’t become a different person and yet we have seen people who believe they have to present a different persona to the world and that’s really one of the reasons why they think they are going to be found out – because they aren’t being true to themselves.
Having said all that, you do have to have a greater awareness of your behaviour and its impact on those you manage.
You do not have to know it all; you do not have to do it all.
You do need to be resourceful in finding a man or woman ‘who can’ and that man or woman could very well be part of your new team.
Therefore, you need to get to know your team really well so you understand their strengths and what they do well.
Everybody has quirks and idiosyncrasies and the quicker you learn about them the better you will be able to manage your people.
They will be your life-preservers.
You absolutely have to learn to delegate if you aren’t very good at it.
The downfall of many new managers is that they end up doing stuff their team could and should be doing because they, the managers, aren’t skilled at asking others to do what they used to do very well.
Which means that along with delegating you have to let people do things their way and not yours.
If you get those two right - delegating and letting people find their own way – you will be well on the way to being a great Line Manager.
Jo Ellen Grzyb
Director, Impact Factory
Impact Factory runs
Open Line Management Courses
Tailored Line Management Training
One-to-One Executive Coaching
for anyone interested in
Line Management Skills