6 First Time Manager Tips: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your New Role

Taking on the role of a new manager can be both exciting and daunting. You now need to apply an entirely different level of managerial skills, and your success is less dependent on your work and more dependent on what others achieve.

However, new duties allow you to influence an organization and tactically build your team significantly.

Statistics are frequently stacked against new managers. According to a recent survey, only 39% of first time managers received training.

Because of the lack of coaching, you will inevitably make a mistake (or several) as you transition into the new position. Nevertheless, some common errors can be prevented if you are adequately equipped.

First Time Manager Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

1. Failure to Delegate Tasks

Once you reach a managerial position, your job duties shift from being an individual contributor to being an accountable team leader. To do that, you must be ready to delegate tasks and responsibilities.

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Often we’re told that there’s only one path to success. When you’re challenged with a choice between doing something “now” versus doing something “later,” a lot of us default to the latter.

If you’re not in the habit of making sure you know what needs to happen to achieve your goals, it’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day pressures of getting things done.

2. Plunging Too Deep into the Details

When you delegate tasks, you need to pull back from them. Studies show that employees are more joyful when they have self-sufficiency over their work.

It’s conceivable you’ll be more pleased, as well. As a manager, it’s close to difficult to stay aware of the points of interest of every venture.

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While it’s critical to keep tabs on employee development and ensure projects are on target, the deeper you jump into the details, the more probable you begin micromanaging.

Instead, it would help if you zeroed in because your group is chipping away at significant tasks that align with organizational goals.

How does every individual task add to the team’s objectives? That is the master plan you ought to be worried about, not the tiny details.

5. Avoiding Tough Decisions or Conversations

In the United States, employees spend almost three hours a week resolving workplace disputes. It’s unlikely that you’ll be an exception as a manager.

Difficult discussions will inevitably occur, and you must learn how to handle them rather than stop them. The longer you wait to solve an issue, the worse it gets, which can negatively affect your team’s morale.

For example, if someone is underperforming, it can have a negative impact on those who would take up the slack. It would be best if you did not allow issues to aggravate.

You can’t back down from difficult decisions or say “yes” to prevent conflict.

6. Ignoring the Importance of Trust

According to research, employees who feel trusted by their boss are happier and put in more effort at work. That is why it is critical to place a high value on confidence.

Make time to meet with each of your direct reports one-on-one. Inquire about their professional aspirations during those check-ins.

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Are there any specific skills they’d like to develop and is there a project you could delegate or a workshop they could attend to help them do so?

These check-ins can also be used to exercise accountability.

The more transparent you are with your staff about the organization’s priorities and challenges, the faster you will create confidence and help your workers understand their roles and responsibilities.

7. Failure to Seek Out Mentors

The problems you’ll face aren’t likely to be novel. Hundreds of other administrators have had to inform an employee that he or she is underperforming or that a raise or promotion cannot be guaranteed.

What matters is that you have someone to turn to for advice when those tough discussions occur. You will potentially stop making any of your own mistakes by learning from your mentor’s mistakes.

The most important thing to consider is that you can make mistakes. And don’t get frustrated if you fail. This is a process of discovery.

When you need assistance, ask for it, and if you make a mistake, own up to it and move on. You now have another choice.

8. Using the Word “I” Instead of “We”

Another common blunder made by new managers is failing to consider the whole team. Instead of using the word “we,” new managers can fall into the habit of just using “I,” “me,” and “my.”

Although your newfound power will serve as a sign of personal accomplishment, you can never forget the people who helped you get there.

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It may seem trivial, but a simple change in language can go a long way toward fostering a collaborative atmosphere.

A successful manager understands that individual success is meaningless without the team’s success as a whole and will go to great lengths to guarantee that every team member understands their importance.

9. Spending More Time Talking and Less Time Listening

You should be aware of your communication as a whole, just as you should be aware of the words you use. When a first time manager gets caught up in trying to be the best leader they can be, it can backfire if they end up talking rather than listening.

To prevent this, new leaders should pay close attention to their team members’ and stakeholders’ needs and concerns at all times.

This will help you communicate more with your team and move into your new position more smoothly.


When you progress into your new manager role, it’s almost unavoidable that you’ll make mistakes. The trick is to see these setbacks as opportunities for development.

Being a successful new manager does not imply that you are an expert in your field. It’s all about staying on top and adjusting to your surroundings so you can lead your team to success.

Consider seeking guidance from those in similar positions as you plan to step into a management role for the first time. What did they do to get ready for the job? What blunders did they make that could have been avoided with hindsight? What advice will they offer to a younger version of themselves?

Additionally, look for ways to develop your management abilities. Signing up for mentorship opportunities through your workplace, online community, or local networking group, as well as taking an online course specifically designed to teach you the fundamentals of management, can be highly beneficial.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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