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Common job issues and solutions in First Time Manager or Supervisor

How To Avoid Putting On A Costume At Work


{#/pub/images/Howtoavoidputtingonacustomeatwork.jpg}Does how you act at home or outside of work, match how you are at work? 


Are you nice, funny, and relaxed at home but mean, straight laced, and stiff at work? 


At home are you easy to approach, but at work people are afraid to ask you questions?


As I’ve been working with clients lately, I’ve noticed something interesting.  Somewhere along the line, people got the impression that when they moved into their new role as a manager or supervisor, they needed to change who they were.  It’s almost as if they now put on the manager costume and go to work.


Managers, especially new ones, are under a lot of pressure to do everything right.  Unfortunately, the right way is often unclear.  In a high performing organization, the right way to get something done is the best way YOU figure out to get things done.  However, if you are putting on a costume and not being yourself at work, it will be very hard for you to figure that out on your own.  When you can’t figure it out on your own, guess what?  You end up imitating your boss or peers and how they get it done, right or wrong.


One new supervisor I was working with had a very soft and gentle style.  She did not raise her voice at work.  She enjoyed gaining consensus before moving forward with an initiative.  She was great at getting to know her team.  When it came to leading her team, she thought the right way was her manager’s way.  Her manager, on the other hand, was very loud and direct.  He was very straight and to the point about everything and showed little emotion. 


Neither style is right or wrong. 

However, problems arose when the supervisor acted like the manager.  When a soft person tries to yell to make a point, it doesn’t make sense.  When a consensus building manager tries to dictate activities for the team, the team gets confused.  When someone who knows the team well acts is if they are strangers to get work done, the team gets upset.


3 simple steps to be true to who you are as you step in the door at work.

There are three simple steps to follow so that you are true to who you are, and you can avoid putting on that costume when you step in the doors at work.


Who am I?

First, start by knowing who you are.  Do some self-reflection.  What is your style?  How do you approach a project, assignment or initiative?  What happens when you are stressed or under pressure?  When push came to shove before you became a manager, how did you get the job done? 


If you get stuck, look at activities outside of work such as your kid’s activities or school, local organizations, charities, churches, and so on.  What’s your style then? 


Where can I grow?

Second, learn the areas you need to grow in now that you are in a leadership role.  It takes some effort and awareness to apply how you got the job done before to how you are going to lead others to get the job done.  Being a manager is different than being the employee doing the job. 


Are you a doer, so when push comes to shove, you roll up your sleeves and do the work?  How are you going to translate that into leading your team?  Who can help you fine tune that skill? 


How about your communication skills?  Are you really good at relaying information to someone you are working with?  Now is the time to learn how to ensure you are communicating effectively to a whole team.


What leadership skills are you missing to pull it all together?


Own it.

Third, find the style of leadership that works for you without changing who you are.  Ultimately, your job is to lead your team to get the work done.  Not do it for them.  Not do it your boss’s way.  Not do it your team’s way.  As you grow into your role, paying attention to what feels right for you and how that translates into leading will develop a leadership style that works perfectly for you.



The supervisor I was working with had to learn to be herself so we went through this process step by step.  She struggled with just wanting to do a good job and realizing that in order to do that she had to find her own way.  Once she was able to put the pieces in place and own it, she was much happier in her role as leader.  As was her manager, even though she didn’t do everything his way.  Despite the fact she didn’t do everything exactly their way, her team was much more productive and in harmony.




{#/pub/images/20120913174147_DSC_14831small.jpg}Written by Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting A sought after Coach, Mompreneur, Strategist, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Trainer & Business Consultant, Emilie works with people who are ready for that next level of success, and realize how they work with people is KEY.  Her coaching will help you lead, delegate, sell, collaborate, perform, influence, and relate with people to launch your success to the next level. She provides clients, teams and organizations the skills and tools for leadership and professional excellence.



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