If you just got the job as a first time manager...

Beware. A feeling of scarcity often drives employees to resent the "new person" and especially if you are a first time manager or supervisor. This can be torturous, especially for those of us who are people-focused and fear being disliked. As a new, first time manager, I screwed this one up more than once. I'm sure I could be the poster-child for what not to do. I hope you work in an environment where cliques and tricks are not tolerated, so you won't have to endure jealousy and unhealthy competition, but just in case you are not so lucky, here a few tips:

  • Don't entrust yourself too quickly to others. Because first time managers are sometimes desperate for friends in their new role, they can be baited to bare our souls to one who will use whatever we say against us. Beware.
  • Don't ever talk about how you used to do things at your other job. No one cares. You may have a great idea, however no one is interested in your ideas until they get to know and trust you.
  • Don't start acting like one of the gang. Even though you are the boss, you are still an outsider and your efforts will not be rewarded until you have earned the trust that comes from your actions.
  • Look for opportunities to praise and notice the work of others. Sincerely. People can tell when you are not genuine, so don't fake it. Attempts to manipulate will have a worse effect than doing nothing. And don't be surprised if your sincere attempts are misjudged as calculating and manipulative. Hang in there and care.
  • Don't tattle-tale. This just makes the process longer. Being a first time manager is hard enough without getting the reputation for being immature.
  • Appoint your teachers. Let people know that you appreciate their experience and want to learn from them. Most first time mangers do not do this.
  • Go the extra mile to help others out, but don't expect the same in return at first. Many people want to see the first time manager fail because they feel threatened by you. In spite of this, do the right thing.