Here’s what I wrote back in this 2016 post:
As a new leader there are a number of assumptions you can make which can lead to a lot of problems and/or headaches for you and your team. Here they are in random order.
Assumption #1 - Everyone needs and wants the same type of support.
In fact, every team member will have their own strengths, styles and personalities. Take time at the start to learn who each person is and how they want to be supported. Areas such as how they want to be communicated with can vary tremendously from team member to team member.
If we don’t bust this assumption chances are many of your team members will not connect with you. Trying to support everyone in the same fashion can also lead to lower levels of engagement and trust.
Assumption #2 - I need to do everything myself.
As a leader delegation is key. It’s important that we empower the team to do their work. Micro-monitoring is more important than micro-managing. While delegation is often considered an art form, mastering this skill early on can mean the difference between flow and overwhelm. For more tips on delegation, view this recent Linked In Pulse post I shared a few weeks ago on Delegation.
Assumption #3 - I always need to say yes .
From boundaries with your time, to learning to say NO (diplomatically to your boss and team) creating boundaries is a key skill for team leaders. As someone who leads from the middle - supporting those above and below you - being able to say no tactfully is an important skill to master as are the skills of negotiation. If it's impossible to say NO you may need to say "I can do this, but it will mean I can't do that. What do recommend as the primary focus?".
Assumption #4 - This is going to be easy.
As a leader we need to often make the hard calls and difficult decisions. Some naively step into leadership thinking that it will be a bigger pay cheque and similar work. Not quite. While things won't always be easy, the learning curve does slow down. Your first leadership role may present you wit the steepest learning curve. For those that enjoy challenge, successive leadership roles will usually provide additional challenge in different ways.
Rather than feeling like leadership is going to be hard, what's another perspective you can step into around that?
Assumption #5 - You are going to be just like the other person who filled the role.
Leaders can benefit from busting this assumption early on. As a new leader you'll be bringing referent skills, experiences and a different personality to the table. Make your work life easier by not putting on additional pressure trying to be just like the "other leader". Reminding your team and your boss and stakeholders about your unique strengths can create a win-win for all involved.
What other assumptions do you notice you are holding around leadership? What needs to be reframed?
You can read the original post here.
Enjoy your weekend,
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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