There are moments, in the professional life of each person, that are a real challenge and undoubtedly the most important is when you become a leader for the first time. This involves managing large-scale projects, monitoring direct reports, or engaging in strategic planning, for which it is very important to develop new interpersonal skills such as dexterity, emotional agility and mastering communication.
“This transition can be stressful, but a structured and evidence-based process can help new managers acquire and master these new skills, leaving old habits aside. This is the process I use in my practice of executive coaching, “says David Brendel, a leadership development specialist, and author of Harvard Business Review’s “To Succeed as a First Time Time Leader. “
A successful leadership transition depends on cognitive restructuring. Many newly appointed managers, assuming unfamiliar roles, cling to a belief system that emphasizes “hard skills.” But this way of thinking may constitute a set of beliefs that are limiting for an administrator whose “soft skills” can determine their development. Some managers have difficulty adapting their formats because they fear they will lose their advantage in the area of technical expertise. Effective managers cultivate positive thoughts about leadership, and ultimately relax their functions. This positive attitude is an essential starting point.
A strong mind and good care go hand in hand. When managers choose to develop leadership skills and avoid overuse of their technical skills, they can embark on the hard work to keep calm in unfamiliar situations. Based on evidence of mindfulness strategies, such as meditation and controlled breathing, they can empower new managers to meet the challenges of delivering a critical presentation, conducting a controversial encounter, or making a strategic decision. high risk.
Managers can create a leadership mentality and mindfulness skills only if their brains are working well. Good sleep, regular exercise, good nutrition, and other healthy behaviors are essential. Faced with high stress in a new management function, “self-care” is essential. So if you have in mind a check-up, do not postpone that important appointment. Physical and mental health care can provide a foundation for optimal performance in management functions.
An administrator needs to understand the meaning and purpose of his work. Those who choose to make the transition should have a clear vision in their new way of thinking and reinforcing skills, leaving behind an already established and successful career. Research has revealed that successful leaders are experts in “maintaining the vision” of their companies, highlighting their optimism about the goals and flexibility to reach them.
Brendel recalls that one of his executive coaching clients, a well-established physician-scientist who was promoted to a senior management position in his company, had to overcome his scientific mindset to achieve his new goals. The road was rocky, because while he was struggling to change his way of thinking, there were times where he was focused only on science, neglecting the valuation of relationships with co-workers, salesmen, investors and other stakeholders. As he gradually adopted a leadership mentality, the doctor overcame his skepticism about the effectiveness of meditation. Their change was a great help to the company as well as to their own quality of life and sense of purpose.
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A first leadership position can be one of the most stressful times in someone’s career. It is often the time when many fail for the first time. By taking the time to reflect on the four areas in mindset change, the executive will be better equipped to make a successful transition.