When you are first promoted to a manager, there is definitely excitement. You feel seen and validated for working hard and doing a good job.
There are also other emotions that come up that don’t get as much attention as the good ones that come with a promotion. They are totally normal and very common to feel.
Let’s be honest and work through the four most common new manager fears that may hinder your success in your new position.
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One of the first emotions I felt as a new manager was fear. I was afraid of what was coming next, how the people around me would perceive me, how upper management viewed me, and of course, how my team perceived me.
I remember after the feelings of excitement passed when I was promoted to a management position. They went along the lines, “am I actually good enough for this position?” “Am I going to be able to get the results that are expected?” “Will they see that I don’t actually know what I am doing?”
Having a reaction of fear is totally normal when you are entering into a new position. With that being said, you do need to be careful with how you respond to that fear. You don’t want it to become unhealthy.
For example, if you are afraid of how the people around you will perceive you, that may cause you to hold back from stepping into your full potential.
An excellent way to work through your fear is to surround yourself with people who will listen to you vent and can offer practical advice. You want to stay away from people who are always complaining. We all know that one person who complains all the time. You also want to stay away from those people who only talk about their highlight reel and how great everything is. You want to find people who are genuine and surround yourself with them.
People who are authentic will validate your feelings that being a manager is tough but also offer advice on how to work through a tough situation or hard emotions.
If you have been promoted to a management position, it is likely that you are coming from a position as an individual contributor who is at the top of their game. You are doing an exceptional job and going above and beyond.
Then you are promoted and feel as though you have no idea what you are doing.
It’s important to recognize that your ego might need a little reigning in if you think you can jump from one role to another and excel the same way you did in the old role. Recognize that your ego is speaking, and you must take your new role one step at a time.
Focus your energy on becoming 1% better than you were the day before. What small area can you improve on? Focus on that instead of everything all at once.
It’s totally ok to feel embarrassed in a new role, but you must learn how to work through that new manager’s emotions to thrive.
I was plagued with anxiety during the first six months of being in a new management position. I used to replay conversations from work while I was in the shower, yes, the shower, or I would wake up in the middle of the night riddled with anxiety about whether or not I sent an email.
Feeling anxious is completely normal; most people in management roles are high achievers, and you want to ensure that you are doing everything right and showing up as your best self.
With that said, being so anxious all the time is not healthy. I can’t tell you to stop being anxious. That’s not helpful at all. What I can say is to focus on becoming 1% better every day. Rather than focusing on perfection, focus on progress. I know that’s a cliché, “progress over perfection,” but it is tremendously helpful when it comes to easing anxiety.
Something else you can do to help tame the new manager’s anxiety is to be prepared. If you have a meeting coming up or need to have a conversation with someone and you are feeling really anxious about it. Jot down some notes and give yourself some time to prepare what you will say and the different ways you may respond to the person you’re talking to. This is a very effective tool for taming anxiety.
It is so common for new managers to feel guilty about no longer being in the “trenches” with their team.
Reframing your mindset is a great way to battle this new manager’s emotions. Think about how your new position may not have in the trenches with your team, but your job now is how you can support your team to maximize their output. Your job now is to find ways to get the job done in the most effective way possible.
Reframing where your value lies with your team now and realizing that by focusing on high-impact tasks, you are supporting your team more than if you were working in the trenches with them.
That’s it, those are the four most common new manager emotions that you may face.
If you are a new manager and want to join a community of new managers where we get together to support one another and learn how to thrive in your new position. Reach out to me today and see if you are a good fit for the New Manager Accelerator Program, where I teach new managers how to be effective, successful and confident in their leadership roles.
June 17, 2022