One of the many paradoxes associated with being a manager is that you need to behave as consistently as possible, while needing to try out a variety of approaches to determine what will be most effective for you. To some extent, it's unavoidable that you will need to change how you interact with your employees and what you tell them (that's why it's important to proceed slowly in making significant pronouncements and changes), but there are a few things you can think through ahead of time to minimize the amount of backtracking you have to do.
The "Assess Your Management Style Tool for New Managers" provides several key areas for you to think through what your philosophy and preferred ways of operating are, to help you:
- Identify your expectations regarding work hours/schedule, including your own
- Determine whether you have any guidelines regarding dress code that you want to convey, before a problem comes up in a specific way-
- Think through how you want to handle meetings and make sure they're worth everyone's time
- Prioritize the key aspects of the team's work that matter most
- Lay out clear guidance for your team about how best to communicate with you (they will be very grateful to not have to guess)
- Decide up front how you want to be kept in the loop about what your employees are doing, so that you avoid coming across as a micromanager
In addition to being able to set expectations with your employees, working through the questions in this worksheet will help ensure you're treating your employees consistently. It will make you seem confident and strategic, even if you don't quite feel that way yet.
Assess Your Management Style worksheet (pdf download from Dropbox)