Are you an Accidental Manager?

“I’m a Designer. I love product design but now I have been promoted to Design Manager. What do I know about managing people? I have been set new objectives and they are more strategic. I’m now responsible for my team’s development and well-being. What do I do?  

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, there are many people having these thoughts. They are what’s known as ‘Accidental Managers’ 

Are you an Accidental Manager? If your answer is yes don’t worry, there is help and support out there. 

You may be tempted to reflect on how you were managed and manage the same way. If you had great role models then great, if not you are entering an increasing cycle of poor management. 

Poor management can lead to increasing staff turnover, poor morale, stress, increased inefficiencies, increasing costs and non-achievement of objectives, 

How can you break the cycle? Management development. Ask yourself the following questions 

  • Gather feedback from colleagues on your management style and the impact it has on those around you. What works and what doesn’t in different situations? 
  • Consider the culture of your organisation and the people. Is your behaviour appropriate.? 
  • Are you a micro manager? 
  • Are you too authoritarian?  
  • What qualities do you admire in other managers? 
  • What skills do you believe are required to be an effective manager? 
  • How do you best learn? Is it through formal training, on the job, observation, reading, being coached or mentored? 

Consider your strengths and weaknesses and start to prepare a development plan for yourself. Management isn’t just about developing your team; you also need to develop yourself. Self-awareness is an important part of being an effective manager and a key step on your journey to being an effective manager. 

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