Management Skills for New Managers
by Carol W. Ellis
AMACOM, 160 pages, $11.25
The first thing a new manager should remember is that they have been rewarded for doing a good job of managing themselves. The trick now is to learn the most effective methods for managing your team. Management Skills for New Managers begins by asking managers to define their new role to discover how to create an environment where people can get things done. New managers looking to effectively communicate, delegate, and motivate their teams will find this workbook informative and insightful. The action plans and examples frame challenges in a way that new supervisors at all levels can understand and put into practice.
Ellis begins the chapter on Communication by stressing the importance of downward communication. "Too many new managers spend most of their time planning upward communication," she writes. "As a new manager, one of the keys to your success lies in your ability to effectively communicate with your employees." The reason is obvious, but fails to be appreciated by even experienced managers. For you to be successful, it's essential for you to help your direct reports become successful.
The author cites the concept of co-opetition to support her beliefs about delegating. Co-opetition involves businesses building strategic alliances with related companies to work synergistically. For example, a manufacturing company forming an alliance and sharing information with a distribution one to strengthen each. According to Ellis, "Managers need to share more information and trust their employees more than in the past." She introduces her SMART system for establishing agreed upon written objectives when delegating tasks. Objectives should follow this format:
Specific — exactly what is expected?
Measurable — how will the individual know they have achieved the desired outcome?
Attainable — is the agreed upon objective realistic for the person it is assigned to?
Relevant — is the objective relevant to the individual's experience, skills, tools?
Trackable — how will progress be tracked?
Ellis delegates a big portion of the learning process for new managers to complete themselves. Action step exercises conclude each chapter and the author includes checklists and exercises. Any new manager looking for a self-learning tool to help them clearly identify and navigate the challenges of being a rookie will benefit from Management Skills for New Managers.