Monday, 8 july 2019 | Redacción CEU
Being the newcomer and fitting in is not always an easy task. As a general rule, human beings are reluctant to change. Especially when we talk about the areas of our life that we consider crucial for our survival. In this case, we refer to the ones on which our future salaries depend: work. It is an domain in people's lives which is characterized by being very structured and having a visible hierarchy as well as very set routines. In the work context, people do not choose who their workmates are, but they learn how to live with them. To a large extent, the success of the company will depend on whether its members are able to cooperate and work in harmony or not. Consequently, becoming the new employee can be a worrying experience at the very least; in particular, when, in addition to being the newcomer, you are the boss too. What guidelines can a boss follow to take on this mission successfully?
New managers usually arouse fear in staff. They are intruders who threaten to break with daily routine at work. They will be responsible for taking the decisions from then on and for deciding whether anything has to change or not. Soon, the rumors may spread: Who are they? Why did they become the boss? What is their hidden agenda? Are other changes coming after this one? Team members can react differently to their arrival. Some of them may give them a great welcome and try to earn their trust. Others may show themselves distant and distrustful. Some employees might even receive new bosses with indifference. In fact, their reactions can be as diverse as their personalities are.
New managers have to be prepared to face such a scenario successfully. Below, we offer a series of tips which newcomers can follow, not only for them to be in charge effectively, but for them to also become good leaders:
Building team trust
The arrival of a new boss usually generates confusion. Leaders should adapt to this situation and act accordingly. A common mistake, especially among inexperienced leaders, is to adopt a cold, authoritarian and distant attitude. That way, they consider that they will gain the respect of their subordinates. However, in a transitional period like this, soft skills may be more useful than the technical ones, since good leaders are also measured by the way they treat their teams. For example, being understanding and putting yourself in the shoes of another person, both from an emotional and rational perspective, is a virtue that is not only useful for getting to know the team better, but it also helps to develop great leadership skills, to advance in the achievement of the goals and to create a better work environment. On the other hand, transparency and authenticity are distinctive features which lead employees to recognizing a leader.
Being willing to listen and learn
One of the first missions on which new bosses should embark is field study. They ought to know how to identify the different roles which are played by employees, figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, discover their working methods, check if these methods are suitable, detect possible problems, etc. However, leaders also have to be willing to listen and learn, especially in the first months of their management. Maybe they have a long experience as bosses, but there are always aspects that can be improved. It is also important to keep in mind the fact that each organization is different, and that feedback may help them understand where they are and where they are going as well as enable them to get to know their team better. A good way to start is to organize a team meeting.