Back

Advice for first-time managers: navigating the transition from IC, choosing a management style, creating psychological safety... let us know your best practices!Featured

Hey everyone! 👋

It’s Josefina from Elpha’s content team. ✍️

For our next resource, we’re curious to hear the advice you have for first-time managers.

We want to know your best practices for:

✨ Navigating the transition from IC to manager

✨ Figuring out the management style that works for you

✨ Conducting performance reviews

✨ Creating psychologically safe spaces

✨ Advocating for your direct reports

✨ Avoiding common mistakes

…or anything else you think would be helpful for other Elphas who are managing others for the first time (or anyone in need of a refresher!).

Share your advice with us in the comments below by EOD April 19th, and don’t forget to emoji upvote your favorites 💜 We will let you know if we include your advice in the resource!

We really appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us ✨

Hi! Regarding psychological safety and how to create and promote it as a leader, I wrote two articles that might help:Introduction to psychological safety:https://thecaringtechie.substack.com/p/psychological-safety-what-is-it-andPractical tips on how to create psychological safety:https://thecaringtechie.substack.com/p/psychological-safety-part-2-how-toThe list of tips includes:1. Modeling the behavior you want to see2. Normalizing vulnerability 3. Legitimizing psychological safety as a value at the organizational level4. Offering different communication channels for people to speak up5. Reframing challenges as learning opportunities6. Celebrating diversity7. Embracing curiosity8. Canceling blame9. Rethinking how we disagree so people are less afraid to speak up10. Making people feel heard so they feel like speaking up is worthwhileHope this helps!
This is amazing! Thanks, @ironmissy!
Love that you're putting this resource together!This whole Laddrr video (made for the purpose of helping working women/moms) is only 4 minutes and talks a lot about advocating for your team, but the last 2 minutes are literally a 2-minute guide for new managers. (We thought her answer would be geared toward what new managers need to do to support women and families, but she went beyond that, and it's pretty awesome... :)https://laddrr.com/videos/lisa-joy-rosner/
Love love love this topic!One of the biggest priorities as a new manager is to establish a communication foundation and set expectations - this will be pivotal for creating psychological safety and laying the groundwork for team members to feel comfortable sharing new ideas and perspectives. To do this, first I recommend laying clear expectations surrounding communication guidelines (i.e. best channels for communicating, when/how often to communicate, amount of detail to be included in communications, etc). This component is sometimes lacking in workplaces yet is pivotal in preventing confusion, miscommunications, and over-and/or under-communication. Next, open the door for two-way feedback. As a manager, you want to normalize the concept of frequent constructive feedback that is solution-focused and growth-oriented. By scheduling checkins with your team and asking for ways to improve on your end, you set the standard that feedback is welcomed and valued.Lastly, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to remember the true meaning of communication - it's a sending AND a receiving! As a speech pathologist who worked in a speech science lab and is now training emerging leaders on how to most effectively interact with others, I place a specific emphasis on the receiving (i.e. listening) piece of communication. When we employ active listening that is not quick to judge or critique, we uphold the true essence of what it means to thoughtfully communicate. This will be an essential piece to the puzzle when it comes to creating a collaborative, safe environment for all.Happy to expand further if needed. If you couldn't tell, I geek out over all things communication related šŸ˜…
As a first-time manager working with junior colleagues, I had a strong desire to be a "good boss," - prioritizing good relationships, hyper-adjusting my management style to every team member, and investing time in long coaching sessions that realistically, the team members could have learned from independent study. While this approach worked with superstars, it led to burnout when team members did not share my level of investment in their growth or job function. If I was leading a team again, some lessons I learned that I would take with me are: 1. Hire people with drive and a learning mindset, and enforce a clear 60/90 day performance evaluation period against 1-2 critical initiatives. If you're inheriting a team, do the same thing. Hiring excellent people that want to teach themselves is the single most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success as a manager.2. Foster an environment of independent discovery. You are a resource to share frameworks and guide performance, but ultimately it's up to your direct report to do the work and own their growth.3. It's your direct reports' role to adapt to your working style and expectations (within reason!). Over-adjusting your management style to every person prevents you from learning repeatable management processes and creates challenges in enforcing expectations across a team. 4. Never give feedback when you are emotional about a situation, and feel empowered to write a script and read it verbatim if you are concerned about how you will deliver it. I managed teams for about three years, so I have a ton of learning left to do, and I'm curious to know if anyone has feedback on these lessons of mine!