In a previous article I introduced the 7 main difficulties young managers face as they take their first step on the management ladder. I feel that their situation deserves serious attention due to the potentially negative consequences it can have not only on the new young manager, but also on the business.
In this article, I discuss possible solutions.
I will look here at avenues for solutions on two different levels: the one of the young managers themselves and the one of the company. I am aware that solutions should also be looked for at societal level but this debate is at another level of reflection that I will not tackle in this article.
At the level of the young manager
Here are some suggestions to young managers confronted by the difficulties of their new post.
- Act, take things into your own hands. Of course, it would be normal for your company to do something for you, however do not lose sight of the fact that this is above all about your career, your development, your well-being, so act!
- Educate yourself by reading, attending courses and seminars… Learn the basics ‘techniques’ of the job but also sharpen your reflection about more ‘philosophical’ aspects: the meaning of the job, its practices, its values, your own positioning in relation to all this… And money is not an excuse, there’s something for every budget. The internet for example is crammed full of free resources.
- Get accompanied by a professional (coach, mentor, or even therapist) to help you overcome the beliefs, fears and doubts that are limiting you, to unleash your full potential and to build your identity as a manager.
- Meet other young managers to share your experiences. The difficulties are lighter and the learning more fun within a group. There are development groups led by professional coaches to discuss your specific ‘issues’ in an appropriate environment.
At the level of the company
There is a lot to do because many companies have strayed into an approach to management lacking in human values, inefficient, unhealthy or even toxic. And this, often in a sadly sincere belief that there is no other choice for dealing with the economical contingencies. What a delusion!
Here’s what I wish to say to business leaders who want to find solutions to the challenges faced by their young managers:
- Become aware of their situation and the harmful consequences for them but also for the company. Have the humility and courage to listen to your young managers in order to understand them better and to open up to other interpretations of the situation.
- Become aware of the fact that management is neither final wisdom (birth gift that some chosen ones receive from good fairies), neither a pure technical science (made of objectives, indicators and tables). It is above all a human science in which psychology has a rightful place. Become aware of what you know, but also of what you do not know about management, leadership and psychology as applied to the business! I am concerned by the lack of knowledge and skills shown by the majority of managers with regards to psychology, even at the most elementary level. After all, is not ‘human capital’ the main resource of any business?
- Invest in your young managers: train them, offer them professional support, give them time and attention. They are the lifeblood and the future of the company.
- You too, take time to reflect on your responsibilities, on the meaning of your function and on your own difficulties. You too, widen the field of possibilities by getting support from a coach and by meeting with your peers.
It’s time to ‘lay down my pen’ for today. I hope this article has inspired you with some interesting insights. I look forward to meeting with you later to share some more thought provoking ideas.
Feel free to share your comments and questions with me!Categories: Management @en