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5 Crucial Leadership Skills for New Managers

Being responsible for the productivity and success of other individuals is daunting for anybody.

Not all managers are naturally good leaders, especially those new to the role. However, developing supervisory skills can make even the most inexperienced managers more confident and effective. 

Here's how to get started.

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Essential Leadership Skills for New Managers 

A manager leads by example. Here are the essential leadership skills for new managers looking to improve in their roles. 

  1. Make the Transition to Leader
  2. Demonstrate Self-Awareness
  3. Set SMART Goals
  4. Delegation Is Essential
  5. Adopt a Dynamic Communication Style

1. Make the Transition to Leader

One of the most difficult transitions for managers to make is the shift from doing to leading. Those who progress in their careers by focusing on personal achievements now must invest their time and energy into the people they supervise so they can reach their professional goals too.

Effective managers are innovative, and forward-thinking and can adapt to many different situations. Demonstrating that you’re prepared for the change in focus is a great way to make an immediate impact on the team.

Another showcase of newfound leadership is actively showing you believe in the organisation you work for. If you don’t support the decisions, why should your team? 

Managers need to champion the direction of the organisation. Getting everyone on board, reinforcing core values and ensuring the whole team works together towards a common goal is invaluable.

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2. Demonstrate-Self Awareness

Of all the competencies required to be a great manager, it’s essential for new managers to be aware of their own opinions and behaviours towards their employees. Being self-aware of how you appear to others in your team is vital in developing those management competencies. 

Understanding how others view you can help you adjust your actions in new situations and with people, helping you to create a bond with your team. Learning from your own experiences and drawing from other people helps you identify areas for self-improvement. 

Learn what skills you need for effective leadership in the public sector.

3. Set SMART Goals

Setting goals for yourself and your team members is crucial to success. SMART goals are especially great because of their ability to create a sense of direction.

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Attainable

R - Relevant

T - Timely

The first step in improving your leadership skills is to decide what areas to focus on and apply the concept of SMART to it. A good leader is highly skilled in the areas below, so they might be some good places to start:

Whether your goal is to inspire your team or improve overall communication, you can find some examples of SMART goals that leaders should implement here

4. Delegation is Essential

Learning to delegate tasks to the right employee is an important skill for managers to develop. To know if you’re guilty of holding on to too much, answer this question. If you had to take an unexpected week off work, do you think the work would be handled in your absence?

While it may seem easier and quicker to complete a task yourself, sometimes it’s more productive to take a step back, figure out who the best person is for the job and then trust them to get it done. Not only are you giving them responsibility and making them accountable but you’re also strengthening your relationship by showing you can trust them. 

You're also giving them the chance to learn and perfect a new skill. Although it might take a little longer to begin with, in the long run, you'll save time. Plus, the employee has learnt something different that can enhance their role. 

It’s still important to stay involved and avoid micromanaging. Instead, let your employees know that support is readily available but you won’t give it out unless they really need you to.

Delegation starts with assertiveness. Learn how to become effectively assertive in the workplace here.

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5. Adopt a Dynamic Communication Style

For managers to get the most out of their teams, it’s pivotal they can clearly communicate their goals and expectations. Miscommunication without a proactive, leader approach has the potential to create misalignment within the team.  

Honesty and openness are skills that build trust within teams. Respected leaders can provide honest and actionable feedback, even if it means accepting blame, and they’re not afraid of challenging conversations. 

No two people are the same - everyone has a different style of communication they’re reciprocal to. An essential skill for managers is the ability to adapt their approach to the diverse needs within their team. One member might appreciate direct communication whereas somebody else in your team might like visual and explanatory information. 

Listening is the other side of the coin of communication. There’s equal importance in being able to take note of what your team members are saying. Learn about active listening and how this can help you build trust among your employees.

Improve Your Leadership Skills With Our Handbook

In our guide, we’ve covered the essentials of communicating with your employees. From enhancing communication within your team to leading by example with excellent public speaking skills, you’ll find something in there for your newfound situation.

To get your free copy, click on the link below.

communication handbook for the public sector

Chloe Martin
Content Editor

2+ years in SEO and content marketing. Striving to help public sector professionals develop their skills and learn something new through high-quality content.