Stepping into a management role for the first time is always a challenge. And stepping into a management position with a new company can be especially difficult. Add in a few more complications and you’ll really be diving into the deep end, for example: your new direct reports are complete strangers, or some of them are more experienced then you are, or your teams are entrenched in a status quo that you’ll be required to change.
In all of these cases, first impressions will have a very high impact your long term success. And if you don’t earn respect right away, earning it later on may be an uphill climb. Here are a few tips that can help you launch your leadership role on the right foot.
Add ceremony to your introductions.
A little formality never hurts when forming relationships with a new team. Even if you’ll be officially introduced by your own manager or department head, make a point of reaching out to each team member individually within your first few days. Greet each new person with warmth and a handshake and schedule some one-on-one time to get to know them and to share your mutual plans and expectations.
Quickly master the ins and outs of ongoing client relationships.
Every relationship involves a backstory, and since you’re arriving in medias res, you’ll need to catch up fast. Enlist help from those who are well-apprised of each situation, take notes, and don’t ask the same questions twice.
Make your intentions known.
If you intend to change the culture, grow the department, build the client base, change a policy, solve a problem, or crack down on a practice that’s gotten out of control, don’t be sneaky. Make your intentions known and enlist help and support. This may require finesse and attention to politics, but these things are sometimes a manager’s responsibility. Start by identifying the leaders and influencers on your team.
Set an example.
According to HR research, three things have been cited as the most valuable tools used to gain influence and respect in the workplace: Expertise, likability, and effort. Attend to all three by focusing on your own competent account management, taking your relationships seriously, and working harder than your teams do. Come in earlier and leave later.
For more on how to establish a strong foothold as a new accounting manager, reach out to the staffing experts at Cordia.