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Leadership & Communication

Fine-tuning management skills after landing a promotion

26 Jul 2013, by Informa Insights

From Technical Professional to Manager and LeaderCongratulations! You’ve worked hard, shown your determination and secured a much-earned promotion, meaning you’re ready to take on your new role with aplomb.

However, if you’re new to management there may be a few skills that you need to pick up quickly, or at least fine-tune the ones you already have (it’s unlikely you’ll have been promoted if you hadn’t shown an aptitude for it.)

Here is a list of areas that you may want to focus on to get the most out of your team or department.


While it may seem obvious that a good manager needs to be able to communicate clearly, many companies and leaders still fall down in this vital area.

Managers must communicate with a variety of people within the organisation, whether it’s members of their team, peers, the higher-ups, clients, suppliers or customers.

If you don’t know how to talk to the people around you, get your message across clearly or keep them engaged, you’re going to have difficulties in your new position.

You need to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and then present this effectively.

Communication is a two-way street though; you’ll need to make sure you are a good listener, taking into account the problems and ideas of your colleagues and then including them in your plans.

Delegate effectively

This is one of the most difficult skills for a new manager to pick up, but effective delegation not only saves time and resources, it helps you to get an idea of how well your team is performing.

It can be tempting to take on certain tasks yourself, particularly ones that you excelled at before you were a manager – but this can tangle you up in non-essential duties that could easily be handled elsewhere.

Delegation also enables people in your team or department to build on their own skills and develop within their role – helping them to evolve is a big part of being a good manager.

However, don’t delegate jobs just because you don’t want to do them yourself! If something needs your managerial expertise, you shouldn’t palm it off on one of your staff members.

Socialising with colleagues

Now that you’re the boss, this can create some awkwardness between you and your former peers – particularly if you used to socialise with them often outside of work.

Management can be an isolating job; remember that your relationships with colleagues may have to change once you’re responsible for their output and efficiency.

Workers may take advantage of you if they feel you’re a friend, so you’ll need to make it clear from the beginning that there is no special treatment.

However, this is a difficult balancing act – if you come across as too aloof now that you’ve clinched a promotion, this may cause resentment among your colleagues.

Improve your time management

Almost everyone can improve on their time management skills, but it’s especially important for new managers.

Not only will you be taking on a range of potentially unfamiliar tasks, you’ll want to spend time implementing new processes and making sure they run smoothly.

And while this may lead to a few late nights in the office at the beginning, you need to ensure this does not become a regular occurrence as you could quickly burn out.

This could lead to a lack of motivation, exhaustion and impact on your life outside of work – which will all negatively affect your performance as a manager.

Set calendar reminders and deadlines to ensure tasks are completed on time, and don’t procrastinate by putting off unsavoury or difficult jobs until later.

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