Regardless of whether you have already gained experience in management functions or not, taking on management responsibility is about getting to know the work environment. Employees want to know who their new supervisor is, and it's also important for you as a leader to get to know your employees at this stage. Show interest in their work, approach them proactively and find out about their area of responsibility as well as their current activities and projects.
- It can be helpful if you create a written overview of your employees and their skills and experience at the beginning. This will make it easier for you to decide who you can assign to which tasks.
Principles of leadership
The task of leadership regularly presents challenges even for experienced managers. Based on our experience, however, most conflicts can be prevented by adhering to a few principles of leadership. These clear and simple guidelines define the common interaction and provide a basis that can be referenced by all participants. The following guidelines can, for example, be worked out together in the course of a short workshop:
- I address things that bother me directly
- I give feedback promptly (positive and negative)
- I criticize with the person concerned first and in private
- I accept feedback (do not defend)
- Successes are celebrated together
Keep in mind that as a leader, you act as a role model. Accordingly, the aforementioned principles of leadership should not only be expressed and demanded by the employees, but should also be exemplified by the leaders themselves.
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Influence of team dynamics
If you take over an existing team, a certain team dynamic has usually already been established. This can include and promote both constructive and destructive behaviors and manners. For you, it is important to identify the circumstances that spur the team on to their best performance or what leads to the team not realizing its full potential. The cause may lie in interpersonal processes or organizational circumstances, for example. The best thing to do is to ask your employees yourself - here we have put together a few key questions for such an interview:
- What did your previous supervisor do well? What did you miss?
- What do you need in order to (continue to) work productively and motivated?
- Are there things that prevent you from being productive in your daily work? What would improve your work?
Once you have collected the responses from your employees, you need to critically reflect on them. On the one hand, you should respond to the urgent needs of the employees, but at the same time avoid introducing too many changes at the same time. Consider carefully what you want to maintain and which changes you want to implement and when.
- Our team analysis team analysis offers a great way to get an overview of the different personalities in your team and the resulting team dynamics. You will find out which team roles you have in your team, who can work well with whom and where possible conflict potentials lie.
Challenge and support
Depending on the task, experience and motivation, your employees require different levels of support and control. Accordingly, it is important that you as a leader have a selection of leadership strategies and can flexibly adapt their use to the situation and the employee in order to develop the best possible leadership effect (cf. situational leadership according to Hersey & Blanchard, 2007). Our leadership effectiveness analysis will provide you with concrete feedback on your leadership flexibility and leadership effectiveness, as well as recommended actions.
- Particularly with regard to succession management, it can be valuable for a manager to gain an early picture of the leadership strengths of the talents in the team. In this way, weaknesses can be addressed at an early stage and talents can be developed for later leadership tasks.
We can all learn more! If you want to develop yourself as a leader, we recommend you take a look at our Premium package - we are convinced that you will find a lot of valuable information in it.
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