You are standing on the pitcher’s mound playing baseball with some friends. You’ve got your game plan in place, and a member of the opposing team steps up to the plate. Suddenly some guy comes onto the field with a soccer ball and starts kicking it around the bases. How do you feel? Annoyed? Frustrated? Disrespected?
As a new manager you are walking into a game with rules, processes and established methods of communication. If you fail to take the time to get to know those rules in advance, you will have a long uphill battle to regain the trust and respect of your colleagues. New managers are already in a position of having to build up credibility with the rest of the organization – don’t make it harder for yourself by acting like a bull in a china shop.
During your first few weeks, make sure to take the time to meet with other managers, particularly those with whom you will be working closely. Ask them if they have documented procedures you can review, or if they can just give you a rundown of how they prefer to be contacted, what processes they have in place, and who to talk to if you have questions. If your organization has an operations manual, get a copy and read it. If one doesn’t exist, start one for your department.
Management relationships are based on mutual respect, and in your first few days and weeks you need to make sure you are respecting what others have built so that they will be willing and motivated to help you as you work to build up your own team. Make sure you know the rules of the game before you get out on the field.
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