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blueroses
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01 Nov 2015, 8:46 pm

I got a promotion recently and found out that after we expand over the next few months, I will be managing two or more direct reports, who will be new hires. I've overseen people on particular projects and that sort of thing, but have never actually been someone's supervisor before and am concerned about how well I'll handle some of the social aspects of it. I'm curious if anyone has any tips or useful experience they can share. Thanks!



GodzillaWoman
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01 Nov 2015, 10:02 pm

blueroses wrote:
I got a promotion recently and found out that after we expand over the next few months, I will be managing two or more direct reports, who will be new hires. I've overseen people on particular projects and that sort of thing, but have never actually been someone's supervisor before and am concerned about how well I'll handle some of the social aspects of it. I'm curious if anyone has any tips or useful experience they can share. Thanks!


Is your company big enough to have multiple departments? If so, I'd reach out to someone you trust pretty well in another department who is at your level or higher, someone who's been around a while. That person could act as a mentor, someone you can ask for advice or get a different perspective. I wouldn't use that person to complain too much about your boss or direct reports unless your company has a policy of strict confidentiality. It might get back to the people you are complaining about. A mentor is more for asking, how would you handle this situation? What are good ways to network or break the ice? What are the best training courses to help me with management and people skills? You can still ask your supervisor things like these, but a mentor can be a more impartial person, especially regarding questions about handling your supervisor.


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cathylynn
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01 Nov 2015, 10:06 pm

the ratio of praise to criticism that a person can handle well is 4 to 1. more criticism than that makes the supervisor seem negative and the employee feels they are not an asset.



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02 Nov 2015, 8:03 am

cathylynn wrote:
the ratio of praise to criticism that a person can handle well is 4 to 1. more criticism than that makes the supervisor seem negative and the employee feels they are not an asset.


I like that. Another adage I've heard is, "praise in public, criticize in private." Never deliver criticism, even constructive criticism, in front of the team. If someone's done well, everyone should hear it.


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glebel
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02 Nov 2015, 10:56 am

GodzillaWoman wrote:
cathylynn wrote:
the ratio of praise to criticism that a person can handle well is 4 to 1. more criticism than that makes the supervisor seem negative and the employee feels they are not an asset.


I like that. Another adage I've heard is, "praise in public, criticize in private." Never deliver criticism, even constructive criticism, in front of the team. If someone's done well, everyone should hear it.

Good advice.
I have found that leading by example is pretty effective also. Basically don't ask anyone to do something you are not willing to do yourself, even if it comes down to a case of showing somebody how to do something. You have proven that you are more than capable of performing the task at hand, but it is no longer your job, as you are now a supervisor and have other duties. This doesn't work with everyone, but most people are amenable.
And always bear in mind, although you don't want a hostile workplace, as a supervisor, you can't have any friends on the job. Some people may try to manipulate you.


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02 Nov 2015, 1:54 pm

Be friendly, but not a friend; because one day you may have to fire someone.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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02 Nov 2015, 9:49 pm

I also got a fair amount out of the book The One Minute Manager. Of keeping it simply and brief and generally positive.

And please don't talk down to people. Like a good writer, assume your reader is actually slightly smarter than you are, just that he or she simply doesn't know a couple of things which you can explain in straightforward fashion.

Don't try and be a 'great' manager. That's probably a trap. Just more of a steady eddie pretty good manager.

And for a little bit of zen; Let a medium mistake just be a medium mistake.

And just keep going. Do the next project in positive fashion. I actually found I was a pretty good boss.



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02 Nov 2015, 11:58 pm

Don't let the title go to your head. I have had coworkers turn into total d!ckheads once they became a supervisor. For that matter, I was a total d!ckhead when I became a supervisor (which didn't last long. The people on mahogany row found out real fast that I was not cut out to be management material. Besides, I saw what becoming a manager did to my dad: it pit him in his grave 30 years too early.)



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03 Nov 2015, 1:09 pm

Agree with what's already been posted.

Specifically:

-Give much more praise than criticism
-Only criticize in private (and then say it as kindly as possible)
-Don't be too casual or their friend (they won't respect you)
-Lead by example

Also:
-Try to divide the work in a way so that each person gets as much as they can of what they like
-You personally help them with the stuff they don't like
-Don't criticize other bosses in front of your subordinates

And congratulations!



blueroses
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08 Nov 2015, 8:02 pm

cathylynn wrote:
the ratio of praise to criticism that a person can handle well is 4 to 1. more criticism than that makes the supervisor seem negative and the employee feels they are not an asset.


That is good; I'll try to remember that.

SocOfAutism wrote:
And congratulations!


Thanks!



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19 Nov 2015, 2:33 pm

I realize it's been almost 3 weeks since the OP, and that I'm late to the party, but since the OP posted, like, 11 days ago, hopefully she will see this, cuz I feel strongly about adding my 2 cents.....

My best advice is to remember what it was like when you were in THEIR shoes----when YOU were a subordinate. I have had pretty-good experiences when dealing with kids / teenagers (even older - 20s), for instance, because I try to think about what it was like when I was their age. Another example, is that I've been told that I'm a good teacher----I feel one of the reasons for this is because I think so differently, and I consider that OTHERS think differently, so I "allow-for" different ways of thinking.

Also, one of the things that I have learned while being a supervisor / manager, is that managers are usually a "people person" (as in, they manage "the troops", well); OR, they are a "business person" (they know how to get the work done, quickly / efficiently, and can save the company money, or whatever); BUT, managers are RARELY, it seems, BOTH. Because I was aware of this "fault", I worked to be a balance of BOTH "a people person", and "a business person".





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19 Nov 2015, 3:09 pm

Don't be like my supervisor: claims to have an open door yet I have been trying for WEEKS to have a 15 minute meeting with him. Some issues have been going on over a year without any resolution. I would rather work for another psychopath than continue to deal with a guy who probably has no idea what I do and won't listen to me.



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19 Nov 2015, 3:20 pm

On the issue of trying to be both a person manager and a business manager, and succeeding at both. Be present, be attuned to the obvious situation, but don't feel you need to heroically overdo anything.

It's like being a seasoned poker pro at a casino. It's not so much that you're trying to pick up on these great subtleties. It's rather that you want to avoid burying your head so deeply in your own cards that you miss what is glaringly obvious right in front of you.



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24 Nov 2015, 11:22 am

I second that you get "The One Minute Manager" book. I had a good boss give me that book when I became a manager years ago.

I also like the Steady Eddy comment. You will need to resist the temptation of "Going Off" on things which is a tendency of many on the Spectrum (myself included).

I agree with GoodSwimmer that most of my reports found me to be a good boss. However, not all of my bosses have seen me as a good boss. I have not had a problem with that in the long run since I have always fallen upward :lol:

Do not be afraid of failing, there is always the next opportunity to grab and there is a shortage of true talent out there.

Again, it is important to treat people well and with respect since I found that I have kept crossing paths with the same people over the years.

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I also got a fair amount out of the book The One Minute Manager. Of keeping it simply and brief and generally positive.

And please don't talk down to people. Like a good writer, assume your reader is actually slightly smarter than you are, just that he or she simply doesn't know a couple of things which you can explain in straightforward fashion.

Don't try and be a 'great' manager. That's probably a trap. Just more of a steady eddie pretty good manager.

And for a little bit of zen; Let a medium mistake just be a medium mistake.

And just keep going. Do the next project in positive fashion. I actually found I was a pretty good boss.



EggStirMeanAte
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24 Nov 2015, 4:01 pm

As a supervisor, I have to remind myself that even though in my head there is only one right way to do anything, other people approach things in different ways. In other words, I have to work hard not to micro-manage people. I work in food service, and if someone rearranges the station I'm at I get angry. But I've learned that everyone has their own correct way to set up their environment and approach the job, so I try remember that sometimes things aren't "wrong" just because they bother me.

All the other advice that was posted is exactly right. I wish I'd asked for advice years ago, because all that knowledge was hard-earned.



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28 Nov 2015, 6:17 am

Trust people to be able to do their jobs, if they feel like they cannot, make them do it anyway and help them. I sent a guy to install a router even if he had never done it, but i knew he could (isn't that hard really).

Also, do not micromanage. It can bee seen as not showing confidence in your team. Micromanagement is for computergames only.

Get a mentor. Ask the people around you who is the best manager around, ask the person the most people like to become your mentor.

If someone has a complaint, take it seriously and investigate it neutrally. If you worry too much about your own career and push someone down who has a legit complaint, you may get run over by someone else higher up in the management chain.

Someone told me that "The job of management is to remove itself". Do not be afraid to delegate and give people responsibilities. If they do good, continue, if not, give the job to someone else.


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