What Is Confidence?
Confidence is not a management personality trait.  Rather, management confidence is the prevailing expectation of a positive result.  You will want to avoid the confidence traps for new managers. With confidence, managers approach goals with the belief that their team can attain them.  Confidence gives managers the motivation to invest the time and effort in an endeavor because they anticipate success.

Confidence at Work
Just imagine how much more productive a work team could be if the team members were confident about the outcomes of their efforts.  The good news is that managers can have a huge impact on their team’s confidence.  In fact, inspiring realistic confidence in the team’s success can be a major factor in high performance.

Top Confidence Traps for New Managers to Avoid
The best new managers do all they can to set their teams up for success. Keep an eye out for the following confidence traps for new managers if you want to create a high performing team and start out on the right foot.

  • Trying to Achieve Unrealistic Goals
    Help your team members set effective goals that make sense for your specific situation and organizational culture. Otherwise they will be discouraged before they start.  Stretch goals can motivate higher performance, but they must be within the realm of possibility.To avoid this confidence trap for new managers, set team goals that are clear, meaningful, relevant, just possible, measurable, specific, timely, and aligned with overall company priorities.  If the goals seem too unwieldly, set smaller and more reasonable targets along the way.
  • Assuming Things Will Go According to Plan
    Plans rarely go smoothly. Work with your team to think through potential scenarios, identify likely barriers to success, and plan ahead for how to handle setbacks.  When hiccups occur – as they inevitably will – help your direct reports to keep their eye on the prize, make the necessary adjustments, and provide the support they need to keep going.  Bumps along the way are to be expected along any road worth travelling.
  • Assuming Low Performance or Failure
    This confidence trap for new managers is directly related to the first two confidence traps. If you think that you or your team are set up for failure from the start in terms of goal setting or planning, you and your team won’t even begin to make the effort required to truly succeed.  Assuming low performance or failure becomes a self-fulling prophecy.As a new manager, make sure that you provide the resources equal to the challenge of your objectives.  That includes any necessary coaching and skill development to give your employees reason to envision success.
  • Trying to Do It All on Your Own
    Transitioning from an individual contributor responsible for your own work to a new manager responsible for the success of a team is a big change.  Once your success is measured by the success of your team, you can no longer do it all on your own.  The scope is just too broad.The new manager who is ready, willing and able to encourage their team members to work together toward a common goal is the manager who will reap the benefits of a confident team.  In your desire to delegate, don’t expect employees to do it all on their own either.  To succeed, they need the support of their manager and their team.
  • Avoiding Responsibility
    High performers accept ownership of their goals. When you have clearly discussed and agreed upon a goal, the entire team should feel accountable for achieving it.  Do not point fingers.  Clearly define success and failure along with the corresponding rewards and consequences in a way that makes sense for your organizational culture.

The Bottom Line
Managers can do a great deal to inspire confidence in their team.  When they do, both performance and engagement increase.  Unfortunately, those without the right new manager training can also decrease the confidence of their teams.  Are your managers falling into any of these confidence traps?

To learn more about lifting the performance of your new managers, download 6 Management Best Practices that Make the Difference Between Effective and Extraordinary

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