First-Time Manager challenges and how to overcome them

The moment you have been working so hard for has finally arrived! You have been promoted to a Manager!

This is an exciting new chapter and your opportunity to grow your skills and assist those around you. However, you know its not going to be easy all the time and there will be many challenges to face. Work as a manager is completely different and you may need to learn and grasp a whole new side of things.

In my experience the best thing you can do in every situation is to take a step a back and see whats happening through a different lens. I always find that I need to put myself in the other persons shoes before I can know how to respond or take it further. This was one of the best things I ever did and I highly recommend taking an approach like this.

But, even if you do that there are some situations that are inevitable, as you try to find your feet and style of management. Just remember you will make mistakes, I did, and that’s OK. They are the best way to learn and become a better leader for your team.

Here are some of the most common aspects of the new job you may struggle with and how you can deal with them.


1 – Setting clear goals and what is expected of your team.

Motivating employees and keeping everybody aligned to the same vision is difficult. Its becomes even harder when members of your team don’t have clear directions and guidelines for what they are responsible for. This lack of clarity can create a negative atmosphere in the office and disappointment for everyone.

The best thing you can do to avoid this is to ensure everyone has clear, measurable objectives that align with the ultimate goal the team is working towards. So how do you set these clear goals? Use SMART goals!

Make sure you use this method when setting objectives for your employees:

S – Specific: The goal must be specific and clear to what you want to achieve

M – Measurable: You must be able to measure aspects of the goal to determine success

A – Attainable: The person must have the know how and tools to carry out the task

R – Realistic: The goal must be realisitic according to timelines, budget, capacity, etc.

T – Time based: You must set a specific time in which the goal must be accomplished


2 – Time Management:

This one took me a while to learn!

Now that you have become a manager you will find your workload has increased exponentially. Not only are you responsible for your own work but now you have to assist your team with queries, putting out fires, provide training, set goals and much more. How do you get through everything for your team and do your own work?

Well, you can block off and section your time to tackle different tasks and make sure your team is aware of these times. Set specific times when you will deal with team queries and problems and set times where you ask your team to refrain from disturbing  you (unless absolutely urgent), so that you can get through your work.

Trust me, it works!


3 – Keeping communication clear and consistent

When managing a team you need to establish trust but, if you cant communicate clearly or consistently you will struggle to get your team on board. You need to make sure that whenever you communicate to the team that what you say is clear, concise, professional and respectful. If you have to deliver bad news try put yourself in that persons shoes and imagine you are on the receiving end. This will help you phrase your sentences in way that does not get your people offended and frustrated.

For consistent communication you need to ensure that the message you convey when you talk to your team is the always the same. If you are aiming to foster an environment of trust, learning, openness and honesty then shouting at your team when things go wrong, is not going to help that message.

For another 7 obstacles you may face, keep reading here – See more at

Photo Credit – Symbid


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