Just landed yourself a management role? Congratulations, all your hard work has paid off.
But managing people can be tricky—on one hand, you have to ensure that your colleagues deliver quality work, and on the other, you want them to like you.
And since you’re new to this, you’re probably at a loss to knowing how to act. In fact, the imposter syndrome may be in overdrive. But self-doubt is perfectly normal.
“Apart from daily operational challenges, I also face self-doubt as I continue to build my capacity as a leader. While I have come a long way, the responsibility of running a company can sometimes bear heavily on my mind, particularly when I have to make strategic decisions,” says Emily Subrata, the 35-year-old Director of Sudamala Resorts.
The Bali-based hotel management company specialises in crafting art-inspired boutique properties.
This uncertainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though.
“I haven’t overcome this challenge entirely, and I’m not sure I wish to either, because allowing myself to occasionally be vulnerable is what keeps me on my toes. It helps me appreciate everything I get to do.”
To better ease into your transition, Emily recommends finding yourself a mentor you trust to accelerate your development as a business leader.
She also has five other tips on managing people at work—scroll through the gallery to check them out.
1. HAVE A HEART
“We are humans first and foremost and acknowledging this is beneficial. We all have feelings, concerns and reasons. We have families and priorities.
Understanding what’s behind your emplyees’ actions and motivations, and remembering that they’re not simply working machines, are the most efficient way to combining everyone’s energies to achieving both personal and company goals.”
2. CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENTS
“We all know how the hard slog can be, so I live by the philosophy of taking all the wins, no matter how small, and celebrating them, no matter how simple.
These acts could be what fuel the team to go that extra mile and stop the camel’s back from breaking. It’s so simple yet beneficial.”
3. MAKE YOUR ACTIONS COUNT
“This is particularly vital when working with, or managing, people who may be more senior than yourself in terms of age or experience.
For all that you say, nothing comes across louder than your own action.
I realised very quickly that every single thing I do is observed and interpreted by the entire team.
They could be incorrect in their interpretation, but to them, it is their truth. So as best as I can, I show my intentions through my own actions.”
4. RECOGNISE THAT ONE SIZE DOESN'T FIT ALL
“No two people are the same. Every individual has their own strengths, weaknesses and goals.
I believe a team member feels even more valued when they know we have worked hard to get to know them, which sometimes begins with calling them by their name and asking how they are, so that we can approach them in a way that suits them the best.”
5. KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN
“It’s critical to remain accessible. I strongly believe that we must always know our own team, their achievements, challenges ideas and concerns.
They need to feel that their leaders are not out of their reach.
I appreciate the structure of the organisation but that shouldn’t be a barrier for open discussions.”
This article was first published in CLEO Singapore.