The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management


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Lead Your People 33 Chapter 5. Build Your Team 47 Chapter 6. Make Effective Decisions 61 Chapter 7. Delegate Authority 75 Chapter 8. Hiring and Orienting New People 85 Chapter 9. Motivate Your People 99 Chapter Appraising Performance Chapter Discipline, Grievances, and Terminations Chapter It's exciting, challenging, and perhaps a bit unsettling.

Even though you've dreamed about and worked toward it for a long time, knowing that you've reached a higher rung on your personal success ladder naturally brings a touch of anxiety. A New Point of View It's a big step up to the management level, and you may feel a little uncomfortable at first. Keep in mind, though, that culture shock hits everybody the first time he or she is promoted into supervision, so you're not the Lone Ranger.

People grow only by being challenged, and every manager who ever lived has felt like you do now, thought many of the same thoughts and shared many of the same concerns.

First Time Manager: Performance Management Essentials

There's more good news, too. Someone believed you were qualified to handle this promotion. Someone had enough confidence in your judgment to grant you this opportunity to stretch your wings and reach beyond your former rank-and-file job. Somebody believed in you at least as much as you believe in yourself. So rest assured that you didn't get where you are today by accident. You were most likely rewarded for the self-motivation, performance, and determination you displayed as a major contributor to the success of your organization.

If that weren't true, you wouldn't have it. The Roles of a Manager Management authority Henry Mintzberg has identified ten potential roles that you'll be called on to play and placed them into three general categories. See Figure Figure The roles of a manager. Interpersonal Roles Roles that relate to your relationships with others are considered interpersonal roles. They arise directly from your formal position and authority. Managers are the heads of their own divisions, departments, or sections, and this means they must routinely perform certain ceremonial duties.

For example, they may be required to conduct tours of their facilities, speak to service clubs and civic organizations, and attend employees' retirement dinners. Managers are expected to create and maintain a positive and productive work environment for themselves and their employees.

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This leadership role will be explored further in Chapter 4. Managers interact with many other people besides their superiors and team members. These people include peer-level managers and employees in other departments, staff specialists, and external parties such as customers, suppliers, and representatives of government agencies. Informational Roles Managers often have more information than their employees, which is partly because of their network of contacts inside and outside the organization.

Informational roles relate to using and disseminating information. Managers must constantly monitor the work environment to know what's going on. They collect information both by asking questions and by taking note of unsolicited information that comes to them through formal means such as meetings, memos, and reports and informal means the grapevine, rumor, and other unofficial sources.

Managers act as disseminators when they relay information to their employees that the employees may not receive by other means. Managers are expected to speak for their work unit to people outside the work group. These people may include higher managers, peers in other departments, and various parties outside the organization. Decisional Roles Part of a manager's job is making choices.

Managers may make decisions themselves sometimes with input from others or influence the decisions of others in the following roles. Managers play an entrepreneur's role when they are exposed to new ideas and techniques that could improve their work group's productivity or efficiency. When equipment breakdowns, strikes, scheduling problems, and other unpleasant surprises occur, managers are expected to develop effective solutions and keep their work groups moving forward. Managers typically are responsible for deciding how scarce resources such as money, materials, time, and equipment will be distributed among the members of their work group.

Managers often spend a good part of their time negotiating contracts with suppliers and bargaining with their peers in Godfather fashion for limited resources. This negotiator role demands that they have both the information and the authority to play it successfully. Management Skills Managers who hope to play the above roles effectively must also develop three types of skills: technical, human relations, and conceptual. Technical Skills Skills that are considered technical enable managers to use the processes, practices, techniques, and tools of the specific area that they supervise.

For example, a manager who supervises accountants must know accounting. Although managers don't have to be hands-on technical experts some fields, especially in high technology, change so fast that this becomes impossible , they must have enough technical savvy to direct employees, organize the work, communicate their work group's needs to others, and solve problems. Human Relations Skills Managers with sound human relations skills are able to interact and communicate with other people successfully.

They understand, work compatibly with, and relate to both individuals and groups. Such conceptual skills deal with ideas, abstract relationships, and the ability to visualize how all parts of an organization might be reorganized to function more productively or at a lower cost.

These skills enable a manager to see both the forest and the trees and to grasp the impact that his or her actions will have on other parts of the organization. Figure Relative amounts of skill used at each level of the management hierarchy.


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The importance of each of these skills varies according to management level. For example, technical skills are critical for first-line managers, but they become less important as a manager is promoted up the ladder. Human relations skills are important at every level, but especially so for first-line managers because of the many different people they must deal with both above and below them.

Although conceptual skills are least important for first-line managers, they become extremely important for those who advance to higher levels. Top managers are deeply involved with broadbased, long-range decisions that affect the entire organization.


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Indeed, managers who don't develop these conceptual skills will probably not advance very high. Their limited perspective will retard their success. Changing Your Viewpoint You'll be challenged not only to feel comfortable in your new role but also to alter your view toward your work and your organization.

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Communicating Up the Ladder Before you entered management, you may have worried mostly about understanding your boss's directives and carrying them out to the best of your ability. Now you must become a pipeline for communication that flows both up and down. Your employees will expect you to relay their ideas, concerns, and problems to managers above you; represent them clearly and fairly; and generally "be a good boss" which each of your employees may define differently, but more on that later.

You must also communicate information from your level that helps managers above you plan, organize, direct, and control the activities of all the departments within the organization. But as a supervisor, you must also acknowledge, relay, and implement the goals and plans of managers above you through the people who work for you. This means you must reconcile demands and expectations that may conflict or operate at cross-purposes. This, too, is part and parcel of every manager's job. Coping with Managing Former Peers The odds are that several coworkers were also considered for your promotion, but you walked away with the prize.

Don't be surprised if they express jealousy or resentment. The same qualities that earned you your job should serve you well here, however. Insulate yourself against petty complaints, backbiting, or gripes from coleagues who were passed over. Be objective, be fair, and be focused on making the most of your new career opportunity and confirming higher management's opinion that you were indeed the best candidate for the job.

This doesn't mean you should become aloof or withdrawn or appear to let your promotion go to your head. It does mean, however, that you're no longer "one of the guys. If you're supervising employees whom you haven't worked with before, go out and talk to them— more important, listen to them— about the nature of their jobs, the overall state of your department, and any special concerns they may have. Listening doesn't cost; it pays. Managers who ask for advice or opinions demonstrate wisdom by admitting that they don't have all the answers.

Moreover, your team members will be more willing to overlook your mistakes if you give them a fair audience and respect their opinions from the first day. Consider meeting members of a new group on their own turf. They'll speak more candidly and comfortably than if they are "summoned" to your desk or cubicle.

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Sound out their feelings about work problems, their suggestions for improvements, and their opinions about such matters as work layout, equipment, training, and other issues that you may need to deal with once you've settled into your job. You may want to review your employees' personnel files before you meet them to get a sense of their background, experience, previous assignments, and special skills.

You'll also learn personal data that may help you establish rapport with them more easily.

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The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management
The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management The rookie manager : a guide to surviving your first year in management

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