Jennifer Baker

Remember when you got your first management job - what do you wish someone had told you then? What would be the one tip you would give to a new manager? Here’s some for starters:

Set a clear direction for your team. Ensure everyone buys into the objectives and to the organisation’s core values.

Be consistent. A title doesn’t automatically bestow respect. Lead by example, walk your talk. If you don’t, you will lose respect and trust.

Manage by walkabout. Be accessible. Be approachable. Build trust and rapport, talk to people and show genuine interest.

Listen to the people around you. Don’t drown them with your thoughts and voice.

Delegate. Stepping into management can be a battlefield promotion. Delegation will allow you to concentrate on strategy and planning. If done properly, it will empower your team.

Be proactive and instrumental in creating change. If you think strategically you will create positive change. Embrace it and ensure you fully involve your staff in helping you move forward. If you’re not making changes, you’re not growing.

Develop a culture of effective communication. Maintain a dialogue and seek feedback on what’s important to your team.

Build bridges with other departments. If they’re not coming to you, go to them. Take an inventory of how your department is viewed.

Increase your team’s exposure: Turn your reports into your department’s ambassadors. Expand their world and look for opportunities to give them the spotlight and success stories.

Keep out emotion. You have to be the bigger person. And that means you cannot take things personally, publicise your views or get too cosy with your reports. Taking your insecurities out on your employees is the quickest path to mutiny.

Develop each person. Establish individual plans. Seek opportunities where they can learn, contribute and move out of their comfort zones.

Manage your own development. Ensure you get the development and support you need to be a great manager, leader and business person. Cultivate a mentor or coach. You’ve seen it before: one bad manager can stifle creativity, siphon energy, and poison relationships. Find a support who can pick you back up and put your challenges into perspective.