S**t! I’m a Manager!


A classic problem in business is when people with technical skills are promoted to managerial positions which they are not equipped for. A great engineer, chemist or lawyer may say to themselves, “S**t!” when promoted to a new manager and it becomes apparent that a very different skill-set is now needed. This article is for people in that position or HR personnel who wish to support new managers.

– Acknowledge the Need
In order to develop the necessary skills managers must first recognise the “skill gap” and acknowledge that something needs to be done about it. The mind-set that managers bring to this is crucial “S**t, I’m a manager!” is quite different from “I’ve learnt before, I’ll learn again” for example.

– Training
Once a skill-gap has been identified the relevant training should be provided (often soft skills). Ideally this will be provided before a move into a leadership position but realistically it may happen after. If a manager is aware of a need but not getting support they may need to insist (it is an obligation for employers to suitably train anyone for a role) or go outside and get the training themselves.

– Mentoring
Mentoring is a great way for new managers to learn “on the job”. Often people respect and relate to those who have made an equivalent journey themselves.

– Practice
New skills take time to acquire and improved people skills are no different. A new manager will need to be committed and practice whatever they learn (just reading a Daniel Goleman book won’t cut it).

– Evaluation
After a suitable period of training, mentoring and adaptation an evaluation needs to be made as to if the new manager is suited to a leadership role. Some may be happier in a technical role – having a company structure that allows financial progression without managerial responsibilities can be beneficial.

Further information on business leadership and management training (no obscenities)

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Managerial So What: If promoted from a technical to a managerial position new skills are needed and can be learnt.