Imagine you get your first job as a manager. You’re very excited for the opportunity to lead a team and learn important leadership skills. There’s only one problem, you don’t know anything about what your team works on. The subject matter is foreign to you and every person on your team is much more experienced than you are. How are you supposed to lead when you are the one asking all the questions? There are ways for you to be able to connect with your team and allow them to grow, even with little experience. Here are some:
Be Open to Learning
The easiest way to understand more about your team’s role is to learn about it. You don’t have to be an expert to be a good coach. Do you think Michael Phelp’s swimming coach has as amny gold medals as he does?Of course not, but he understands the basic mechanics of swimming and is great at coaching. Be upfront with your team members. Let them know that you’re new to most of what they do. Most likely, they will be sympathetic and may even offer you a few tips. Even if they are helpful, take initiative to learn more on your own. Find books, podcasts, or classes that have to do with what your team does so you can better understand.
Solve Problems Together
When a problem comes up in your team, as it inevitably will, you will probably have a lack of context to the problem. Do your research to better understand where the problem comes from. This will help you to create a solution that is applicable and well informed. Your team will trust you more if you put time and effort into understanding the problem and coming up with a solution.
Get Feedback from Team Members
The best way to know if you’re being a good manager, is to ask the people you’re managing. Have one-on-one meetings with each member of your team. In these meetings you’ll want to ask what is going well, what is going poorly, and ways to improve. Take feedback graciously and make a conscious effort to improve. This will build trust with your team and your skill as a manager.
Apply these tips to become a better manager, especially when you are inexperienced.