Practice Development Counsel

Phyllis weiss haserot
Phyllis weiss haserot

President & Founder

212 593-1549

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7 Tips For New Managers

October 2005

From what we hear, new managers don't get a lot of help in assuming their new roles. Sometimes they are sent to a seminar, but that rarely accomplishes what's necessary to form new attitudes and habits – to work through the transitions and new perceptions they have to deal with. Whether as a practice group or business unit head, a director of a particular function, or a first time officer or partner, here are some tips to help ease into the new role.

  1. Going from individual contributor to supervising, managing or leading others can be very stressful for the individual who prefers the autonomous, independent style of working. It requires a flexing of personal style, a stretch beyond the comfort zone. A manager needs to widen his or her horizons and think more broadly about the job, colleagues and the firm.
  2. Manage perceptions up and down. Identify the expectations of both direct reports and bosses. Focus more on duties and responsibilities than status and privileges. In addition to managing subordinates, it is essential to manage the perceptions of immediate bosses and people in other departments or business units whose support is necessary in order to get the job done. If you are not scanning the horizon and being realistic about perceptions and expectations, you may be stymied in many directions. Remember, most people think first “what's in it for me?” before extending a hand.
  3. Remember you and your group are not the center of the universe. Get to know the needs and priorities of other departments and business units and how your projects and needs relate to them and vice versa. A broader understanding will help you gain allies and make a good business case for your group's goals and projects. Look for and convey “what's in it for them” if at all possible.
  4. Prepare to deal with altered relations with former peers who may feel awkward about a friendship with a manager. Humor helps to resume interpersonal relationships while you observe appropriate boundaries.
  5. Learn from the mistakes of your former bosses and don't make them. Reflect and make a list of the assets and shortcomings of managers you have observed and create your own list of do's and don't's.
  6. Don't micro-manage. Be open to alternative ways of doing things and monitor progress rather than interfere, unless it is really necessary for you to jump in.
  7. Find someone to whom you can ask the questions you have, inside or outside the organization – find mentors and coaches. Accept that you will have to seek out others for advice. In most organizations, people are too busy to volunteer the guidance you need, and many new managers think they will be considered less than competent if they ask for it. You need to get over this and ask early on. Then reach out and help other managers, who will be grateful for your support and help you when you need support.

Studies show that coaching increases skill development by 88%! Explore your, or your colleagues', needs for bringing in more business, internal and external client relations, navigating firm culture, retention, inter-generational relations or other workplace issues in a confidential, complimentary interview with Phyllis by calling 212-593-1549 or e-mail to


Ask about our programs, *Capitalizing on Your Personal Style* and * Get a Seat at the Table* and new coaching groups on “Building Your Influence.” Call Phyllis at 212-593-1549 and see

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© Phyllis Weiss Haserot, 2005. All rights reserved.