Learning & Organisational Development Expert & Gallup Certified Executive Coach, passionate, experienced, and skilled in creating a culture of learning and development by designing behavioral science, analytics, and technology-led people development practices , to enable an organization to achieve its business outcomes.
First time managers are a crucial part of any organization executing company strategies and navigating the team towards high performance. However, when promoted to this highly responsible post, new managers often wonder, “Why they have to learn Non-tech skills”.
Just because, you have been promoted due to your high performance in the tech field and you have to lead a team of tech pros, it does not mean that you do not require non-tech skills. In fact, it is the non-tech skills that are going to help you to execute the responsibilities of your new position effectively.
As a first time manager, it is your job to facilitate any changes in the organization and create an effective environment for smooth workflow. You have to inspire high performance while monitoring day-to-day operations. Not focusing on non-tech skills can be detrimental to your work, it will be more like you are ignoring the blind spots while driving!!
Non-tech skills on the other hand can prove really handy in helping you to lead change, manage any friction while keeping your team engaged and ensure deadlines are met and company goals are achieved.Here are the 5 most fundamental non-tech skills that a new or first time manager should learn –
- Expectations setting
- On the job coaching
- “Empower your team by setting expectations and give them a road map to succeed”
Transparency in setting expectations can help you to lead your team towards better results. It is important that you set these expectations at the earliest to ensure that your team is on the same page with you from day one. Clear objectives along with measurable results are the first step in defining expectations. With these in focus not only you will eliminate the need to micromanage your team but also give them autonomy to execute their responsibilities.
- “Trust your team and their abilities by delegating tasks with clear goals and deadlines”
Getting the job done in time and correctly will require you to delegate tasks to your team in sync with their individual abilities. However, fairness in delegation is important, the slower ones need to be roped in thoughtfully while the high performers need not be overburdened!! Besides, you have to ensure giving the right instructions while delegating as well as access to the right resources and give clarity about their optimum utilization. You have to mark the time frame while keeping open two-way communication so that you can be approached about any hindrances on the way.
- “Let review be a day-to-day activity instead of being a monthly event”
Reviewing every aspect of the ongoing project thoroughly is an important part of the Managers role. You need to not only review the task assigned to team members, but you may also review the assigned roles since you and the team share a common interest of completing the project effectively within the stipulated time while fulfilling the quality parameters. Proper reviewing will help you to improve productivity and monitor the project closely to navigate it towards success!!
- “Feedback is an open channel that lets everyone learn and improve workflow”
Communication between you and your team can go a long way to help you lead your team to success. When you give your team a safe platform to discuss tasks, challenges, workflow and solutions, the team feels connected and jointly responsible for the tasks at hand. Taking constructive feedback on your approach and methods will help you to have insights about your team and learn what works. It will enhance collaboration and garner support for you to implement company goals and policies. And of-course, giving feedback is a two-way street where you must also give constructive feedback to your team on their performance regularly and keep them motivated to improvise, innovate and achieve high levels of performance.
- “Mentor your team on the job to help them grow and achieve success”
Coaching your team on the job is like helping people evolve and become better at their task and better teammates. It helps you to solve problems, improve performance and ultimately achieve long term goals. Coaching on the job requires you to listen attentively, ask meaningful questions and help them to reach answers or solutions. Demonstrating with example is also an effective way to mentor and as a first time Manager you can do that too! You can also help your team to learn by letting them observe another teammate at the task.
Stepping into your role as a new or first time manager may look daunting in the beginning but with these non-tech skills, you can make it smooth sailing. Use them effectively to not only help your team reach full potential, but also to write your own success story!!