8 Things First-time Managers Need To Learn To Be A Great Boss

The transition of moving from an individual contributor to a people manager is a tricky one.

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Becoming a manager for the first time is a crucial turning point in an individual’s career.

Most organizations help employees transition from team members to team leaders with leadership development programs specifically designed for this.

It equips them to ease into taking on leadership roles and develop people management capabilities while enhancing communication and influencing skills.

Most importantly, preparing them empowers new managers to manage the change more efficiently.


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Here are 8 things first-time managers need to learn to be a great boss.

1. Deal with change.

Understanding the nature of change and its effect on teams helps managers develop resilience towards it.


You must develop personal strategies to inspire and navigate through change.

2. Develop your impactful communication skills.

This skill may not have been as necessary as an individual contributor as it is now. But you must learn how to communicate with impact by developing the ability to read non-verbal cues during a conversation.

You must get confident in effective one-many communications as well as get comfortable with learning to minimize the chances of conflict amongst your team members.

When it does happen, you can manage it effectively.

3. Develop your influencing skills.

Not only do the conversations have to be impactful, but your understanding of the dynamics of persuasive communication must also improve.


You must learn to leverage facts, figures, and information to influence effectively without authority.

4. Build trust with stakeholder management.

Depending on the type of business, building trusting relationships with internal and external stakeholders is a skill that can be learned.

Effective stakeholder management enables you to reduce and uncover risks and improve stakeholder perception of success for smooth project closure.

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5. Build a relationship with your employees.

Some people are naturally good with their people skills. What becomes crucial is to understand the importance of working well with people.


This means understanding your team members, building trust and healthy relationships with them, being vested in their career paths and preferences, and monitoring behavior that hinders the common purpose.

6. Identify your personal leadership style.

This is an excellent time to start thinking about identifying your own leadership style and learning to begin flexing it so you can meet the individual needs of your team members.

7. Improve your collaboration skills.

Managers must recognize the significance of seeking collaboration within and across teams.

Not only do you have to learn to identify the different ways of improving cooperation amongst team members, but you must also identify barriers to effective team collaboration.


Your mindset must shift towards exploring means to foster effective collaboration.

8. Manage your team's performance.

You have got to get good at identifying the highs and lows of team performance through developing useful key performance indicators (KPIs), uncover performance gaps, and plan interventions to bridge performance gaps.

This transition of moving from an individual contributor to a people manager is a tricky one.

While a lot is written and spoken about it, not all companies put in pre-emptive training programs to equip the new managers.


More power to those that do.

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Bhavna Dalal is a master certified executive coach MCC ICF, speaker, and author of "Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills, such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing, and networking. To learn more about her work, visit her website or follow her on LinkedIn.