I became a manager at 18. I was managing a team of 4 financial consultants with age ranges up to 40 years old…
…Why would they even consider listening to me?!
Well, yes. These were my thoughts at the time as I’m sure they are yours now. I learnt some valuable lessons in that year – one being that you have to earn and build trust with your team. Just because you have the title of a ‘Manager’, that doesn’t mean that you’re their ‘Leader’ yet.
There have been lessons after lessons in the 35 years since, and you never stop learning, so here are 3 key elements of management that gave me the confidence I needed:
- It’s not all about you! People will gladly follow you if they believe you have their best interests at heart. One of the key pieces of information that I made sure all my team members knew, was that I wanted them to be better Recruitment Consultants than I was. I wanted to share my knowledge and skills with them and then develop them further – it was critical they understood that.
We all achieve more as a team than as individuals, so cultivate an ‘Us’ culture, rather than a ‘Me’ culture.
- No one likes a ‘know-it-all’. Use this to your advantage.
Trying to present yourself as if you have all the answers will alienate your team members because it is simply not realistic. One of the most important things that give me confidence is that even now, I work with and/or coach very senior level Directors and Owners and it’s wonderful when they open up and share their lack of knowledge on a topic. It can surprise me with what they’ve managed to achieve without it, but it constantly reminds me that no one knows everything – if they claim they have all the answers, they’re lying!
- Listen to other people’s viewpoints. Whether it’s your team’s ideas/suggestions, when you want to make a change or move forward with a new project, or feedback from all of your customers, clients, candidates, and colleagues alike, consider their perspectives.
Life is easier when you don’t try to do it all by yourself and guess what? Your idea might not be the best anyway. Allowing your team to contribute to any changes that are happening, or even making them feel comfortable enough to suggest a change themselves means you value their opinion.
Coaching sessions with team members are always so rewarding. Letting them come up with solutions to their own issues is one of the most powerful things you can do to empower them.
Using the three points above made it so much easier to manage others while not putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect all of the time. After learning these three lessons, I felt more confident in my ability to take risks with my management skills while also adapting and developing over time.
I hope they will help you too.
Angela Cripps has written this guest blog. She is an Experienced Trainer and the Managing Director/Owner of Recruiting Gym – home of recruitment training, a global training and coaching provider for Recruiters and Recruitment Leaders. For more details about what their supportive team of coaches can help you with, visit their website or message Angela on her socials, LinkedIn and Instagram.
For more topics on confidence, check out our Mental Health Chats YouTube and Podcast this February for the Topic of the Month which is all about Confidence for Managers and Teams. Make sure to subscribe and follow to get updated.