You Have Become a Manager….Now What?

Congratulations!  What an exciting promotion. Webster defines a manager as a person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization.  Good Luck!
Let’s take a look at your new role.  What are some things that you manage daily?  Schedules, HR policies, Inventory and maybe you are even the Buyer.  That is a lot of additional responsibility.  Where does leading fall into all of this?  A leader is someone who motivates, inspires, is a role model, set standards and gets results.  Easy right?
If only the world was just like you it would be perfect.  The reality of being a manager is that not only are you responsible for yourself, you are responsible for everyone on your team who by the way, give and receives information differently.  In order to be truly effective you must learn how to communicate with your staff to get your end results and hit your company’s goals.
This reality hit me hard last year as I was reviewed in my position and was told things that I did not want to hear.  I am a very direct, passionate and fast communicator.  I go in with a mission and I expect things to get done.  I know that sometimes I can come across as arrogant or stand offish because of my face.  When I am in the focused mode I tend to look very grumpy or agitated.   I have to be aware at all times how I look in order to help my co-workers, family members and friends relax. 
I recently earned my “Professional Behavior” (DISC) and “Motivator Analyst” certification from TTI Success, and took away some valuable insights. In particular, continuous learning is a key element to any successful business. Identifying and understanding your own behavior and motivation plus your teams is a huge advantage in leadership development, communication techniques and productivity.
It is SO important as a new manager to understand who you are and the way that you communicate to your employees because you might not be as effective with them as you could be.   I have been lucky to have had great managers and directors coach me along my career so that I can be more evolved as a professional.
Are you ambitious, forceful, decisive, strong-willed, independent and goal-oriented when you are talking?  Or are you more magnetic, enthusiastic, friendly, demonstrative, even dramatic?  Maybe you are patient, predictable, reliable, steady, relaxed and modest?  Or you might fall under dependability, neat, conservative, perfectionist, careful and compliant.  Figuring out who you are allows you then to begin to step back and observe where your category your employees might fall into.
If you have an employee who is dependable and careful, they will have a hard time receiving information if they feel pressured to answer questions quickly.  This employee needs time to look at all angles to make sure that the answer is calculated.  Now if you are like me, that is not going to be fast enough.  This employee might come across as unengaged when the opposite is true. I value different people in my life because of what they bring to the table that I don’t.
I am grateful the world is not just like me.  I am even more grateful that I have the awareness to know that everyone who is on my team is a piece of a bigger picture in our organization and I know how I come across to people and can make the necessary adjustments so that I can maximize my ability to communicate effectively.
For more information about DISC and how to use this tool as a manager please contact Leslie Cunningham at

About the author – Leslie Cunningham is a mom, active cyclist, runner and the Chief Connection Officer at The Mann Group. Leslie is a master of maintaining relationships. From her photography work with celebrities including John Mellencamp, Mikhail Gorbachev and Michael Andretti, to publishing a book that is empowering new mothers everywhere. Leslie knows people. 
For the past 20+ years she has perfected the art of connecting with people. Leslie has been a Human Resources Director for over 150 small business owners developing training, workers compensation and employee benefit programs. Leslie worked as a HR Executive during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2001. She also managed fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House raising over a quarter of a million dollars in one evening.  Leslie connects with people and walks along side of the them until they are living their life with ease and passion. “I sense where people are unhappy and connect them to solutions.”

If you’d like to learn how The Mann Group can improve the customer experience and top line sales in your store, please give us a call at 1-800-936-3049 or drop Leslie an email at .

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