Who Is Ready to Jump to be a New Manager?

gold fish are shown jumping from one fish bowl to another

If you need to hire a new manager, how can you determine if they are ready to take the leap from working as an individual contributor to the challenging role of managing others? Selecting an able manager before they have had new manager training can be risky. 

But here are some tips on what you can look for in candidates that will give you strong clues as to how they will handle the new supervisor role.

  1. Ask what they think is involved in managing well.Many individual contributors have no idea of what it takes to lead and manage others. You want someone who has given a great deal of thought to how one succeeds as a manager. You want someone who understands how to lead people, who can balance a budget, who can relate well with people at all levels.

  2. Ask how they would manage this particular team.
    You want new managers who understand the challenges of taking on an intact team. Do they plan on making changes? Will they be sensitive to the difficulties of leadership change for the team? How will they address current problems? How do they plan on building relationships with individual team members? How will they measure performance?

  3. Ask for examples of when they have been in a leadership position.
    If they are new to management, they may not have had experience in a corporate setting. But maybe they have led a volunteer group, captained an athletic team, supervised a scout project or been a counselor at camp. They may have gained useful experience that they can transfer to the company floor.

  4. Look for high emotional intelligence.
    People skills should rate higher than technical skills in selecting effective new managers. Above all, a new supervisor needs to be able to build strong relationships with team members. Only then can a manager inspire their trust, earn their respect and inspire their commitment to the team goals. Great managers are great communicators…they set clear expectations, are expert at giving and receiving feedback, establish a system of accountability and cheer the team on toward the common goal.

When all is said and done, you may just have to take a leap of faith. But stand by to support, train and coach as needed to keep your new manager on the path to success.

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