Moving from project manager to MANAGER is a challenge. It’s not just a title but a whole new way of working and perspective about your work that you can’t understand until you’ve been through the gauntlet. This article from the American Management Association has some great tips to help new managers get the most from their team (and themselves).
I’ve learned these lessons in spades over the last two years as Director of Working Examples. All of these tips ring true for me and (I’m sure) will continue to be struggles. No matter how thoughtful you are as a manager, you’re still going to have learning moments and times when you screw it up. But coming back to fundamentals like the role you play in the team, setting expectations or showing compassion in tough situations can help everyone get through them relatively unscathed. For example, when I find myself getting frustrated with someone I always ask myself, “is there an expectation that you have that you haven’t made clear?”. Sometimes I don’t recognize what my expectations are to begin with, much less having communicated it to someone else. If that’s the case, then I work on getting clear with myself and then communicating with the people involved to get us moving in the same direction.