Taking over a management position can be challenging yet there are a few principles you can apply to ensure a smooth transition when settling into your new role.
First, understand yourself. Understanding your personality, the way in which you work, what you enjoy and don’t enjoy and what you do best is key to successful management. Knowing yourself enables you to be clear about your management style to staff. It also assists you in determining what you could assign to others and what not to delegate.
Second, clarify expectations. An open discussion with your team, department or organisation on the expectations they have of your management has the potential to diminish potential misunderstandings. Clearly outlining what staff expects from you and you expect from them can be eye opening, contributing to open communication.
Third, be open minded. Learn from the previous manager. If there was a manager prior to you, enquire about their management style. For example, in one of my management positions, the previous manager was very good at administration, therefore that was his focus and his management style centered around his strengths. On the other hand, I was more focused on people and their development. My style differed significantly from his. Once staff was made aware of the differences between us, unnecessary issues were avoided.
Fourth, implement changes with knowledge. It is natural to want to implement changes to suit your management style. Before changing anything reflect on what your predecessors have done and do a little research into why they did things the way they did. Even if you disagree with the way in which things were or are done, you can always learn something to help you in your management role. Acknowledge successes achieved by previous managers and contribute in any way possible to what they have already built. Avoid throwing the baby away with the bathwater.
Finally, get to know the people in your team, their strengths, limitations, interests and their previous experience. A good manager will ensure team members are positioned with the organisation to optimise their strengths and build on these, consequently adding to their wellbeing and success as well as to your realisation as a manager.