About Us

Karen Martin and Beverley Ireland-Symonds promote the value of having effective communication skills for individuals, teams and organisations.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Being a first time manager should be fun..(or not!?)

Most people probably wouldn’t put having fun as a priority if they were asked to list what they wanted  from their first management job.  Of course it depends on what the word means  to us individually and as we know interpreting other peoples meanings  can be problematic and inaccurate. 
So what would you expect from your first management job?  Perhaps an increase in pay, the opportunity to influence change, endless meetings,  less holidays...  Some ideas will come from friends or colleagues in management, or from studying management theory  and inevitably some ideas  will  be drawn from the experience of being managed. Whatever prior knowledge someone has, they will  draw their own mental picture of what to expect.
Well whatever we imagine – there’s a chance that the reality will be very different - some things will be better, some different, some unexpected and some much worse.  We however believe, that there is one thing that is almost impossible to imagine even closely is just how much first time managers are expected to be experts in areas  (like finance, chairing meetings, dealing with bullying and harassment....) that they  have no experience of or training for.
Now we’re not suggesting that this will be a problem for everyone, but research has shown that many staff have little respect for their managers and we believe in part this stems from the insufficient support or effective training the managers receive in their first post. At best some new mangers are being put under  unnecessary stress and at worst are being set up to fail.
One of the reasons why the driving test has become more rigorous over the years is that it is recognised that once a driver picks up a bad habit then it is hard to lose it – especially after they have passed when there is no instructor beside them. Well the same applies to first time managers.  If they pick up bad habits in their first job in the way they manage themselves and their teams, they will often carry these on through their management career. And we are speaking here from experience. The fact is that managers are developed – no one is born one.
So starting today we are launching a series of blogs and downloadable tip sheets to assist first time managers with ideas, advice,  and tried and tested practical examples that could be used as suggested or adapted for your own context.
Click here for Ten Top Tips – Communicating effectively with your team
If you get it right – that first time management job should be fun ... or not!?