The Best New Managers Build Trust Right Away


You may be nervous about meeting your team for the first time…but remember your team is also anxious about meeting their new boss.  No matter what the process was that now puts you in charge, there are bound to be some team members who have real doubts about how you will perform, what you expect of them, and what changes you will make. Almost any change can cause anxiety among those who have been comfortable with the status quo.

New manager training will help you get a grip on what knowledge, skills and tools you need to transition successfully from individual contributor to management. You will have to learn how to plan strategically, marshal your forces to execute against those plans, coordinate the efforts of your team and keep them performing at their peak. You will have to make decisions and carry them out; delegate tasks and hold your team accountable; and so it continues. Much to learn!

But here is the most important task of all…build relationships with your team members. You cannot begin to wield the kind of influence you want nor the leadership that will be effective until you earn the necessary trust and respect of your employees.

Here is a 3-step plan to start you off:

  1. Reach out beyond your team
    Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to coworkers who are unfamiliar. As a newcomer, this is your chance to make yourself known and to learn who you will be working for and alongside. The sooner you make the rounds and fit yourself into the big company picture, the sooner you will build a network that can support you and your team. You never know what resources you will want and what new allies you will need to rely upon to help you reach your goals.
  2. Make it a point to remember the names of those you meet
    While it sounds pretty basic, it does make a difference. You could be excused for forgetting a name at first when there are so many new people to meet. But they would be very flattered if you remember their name and role the very next time you see them. It will take some discipline to take notes about each new acquaintance, but it will pay off in accelerating collegial ties.
  3. Be curious
    Now is the time to ask questions…even basic ones. This is your honeymoon period when no one expects you to know everything. Show your sincere interest and willingness to learn. Everyone likes to feel as if they are an expert so ask about what they do and listen carefully. This is how you build a network and establish credibility.

These three steps may seem rather simplistic but good communication is at the heart of being a good manager. You need to be able to connect with your team, understand what motivates them and inspire them to ever higher performance.

Begin your tenure as someone who understands you will not succeed unless you can get team goals met through your people. Build the relationships that will provide the resources, counsel and help you need to reach your goals as a new manager.

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