We were all created equal but let’s imagine that you have been selected to be a leader of others at work. How does that make you feel? It’s quite something.
Why do you think you got this (imagined) promotion? What personal attributes do you have which led to the decision to promote you?
It’s fairly safe to assume that one reason is your ability to deliver on your job description maybe using Soft Skills like…reliability, getting along with others, thoughtfulness, asking questions… am I describing your skill set? What is your skill set exactly?
The personal assets you bring to the management mix make up the ingredients of what will become your management style. It’s worth tracking how this happens as you deliver the skills and adapt them to fit your unique management style with time and experience.
But delivering is not the same as leading and getting on with your peers isn’t the same as managing them.
So, there’s an element of risk attached to this both for you and your employer. It’s your task to take what you’ve learnt up to the next level.
You may discover that what you’ve been doing so well until now is not necessarily how you will be expected to do things in your new role. It’s the biggest issue brought up in my coaching sessions… Change & New Expectations. For example, the interest in you may switch from what you do to what you think which can be tricky at first.
However, what will still remain constant are the core attributes which you bring with you: your attitude, your expertise, in short, you are seen to have the potential to develop the components of Leadership so you need to take time and pay attention and find out what they are. Replying situations in role play can be very useful. It can be in your head and played back with a Coach.
Let’s imagine that you’re going to take over the leadership of the department you’re already working in. How does that sound? You will be leading the people you’ve been working along-side. It could be the first test of your self-belief …applying those personal strengths which, remember, include your ability to get along with people. It’s an early step towards leadership so plan it.
As I said, your new role will require new competences. Situations which require an assertive response for example, may take time to finesse in a way which fits your personal style but you have to start somewhere and jumping in is the quickest way to swim (if you survive). So, get on with it watch yourself, listen to what happens and learn from it. Next time, do the same but better.
There will be a big overlap between your current skills and those you need to acquire. You will find that it’s often about reconfiguring your existing strengths to deal with new challenges… trust your abilities and adapt. Watch yourself and learn.
You will not always feel comfortable but that’s an unfortunate necessity. You are being watched but you’re also watching yourself.
You, the New Leader… learning new skills, adjusting old ones and being aware of your own, unique management style.