3 Steps to Conquering Your Anxiety as a New Manager

As a new manager, you’ll come face to face with loads of new tests and trials. You’re suddenly responsible for other people. You have to make hiring decisions, partner with HR to resolve employee disputes and payroll issues. You’re now responsible for creating and maintain schedules, designing training plans and being the bad guy from time to time. You’re accountable to more people, for much more now. All eyes are on you and the pressure is on to rise to the occasion.

It’s likely you’ll feel overwhelmed. It’s possible to fall into apprehension. It’s probable you’ll have second thoughts. These feelings are perfectly normal, but just because they’re normal doesn’t mean they have to become your norm. You can pull yourself out of these feelings and with the right plan, avoid these counter-productive emotions altogether.

Below, I’ve put together a 3 step guide to help you conquer your anxiety as a new manager. Go through each step carefully ready to incorporate each into your new management strategy.


Step 1: Listen and learn

The worst move any manager can make right out the gate is to charge in guns blazing, thinking they know it all, and rushing to make a bunch of changes without considering the landscape. Get to know everyone you’ll be working with before you do anything major. Meet with your new team, colleagues, business partners, customers, etc. Get a clear understanding of what their needs are and how you can help. Maybe your new team was frustrated with their previous manager and they’re wondering how you’re going to turn things around. Perhaps, your customers have unique needs that weren’t being met before. Maybe they were all supremely happy with the previous manager and are simply hoping things will continue to go well. Having this information gives you direction. When you have direction, there’s little to no room for nerves. You know exactly what needs to be done and now you can pour your energies into that.

Step 2: Proceed with confidence and caution

Now that you have the direction you need, you can begin to brainstorm. Consider the conversations you had with your group. What’s working? What isn’t? Get creative. Consider your budget. Line up your organizational goals with team objectives and start developing ideas. Don’t get program happy and start creating a million unnecessary programs for everything. Focus more on your people. Sometimes something as simple as an open door policy or shorter, more effective meetings can make a world of difference. If a program or SOP is needed, create them one at a time. Don’t go crazy.

Consider your image. Develop your game face. You will have to appear composed and self-assured even if you’re not necessarily feeling that way. Your team, partners and customers need to know that you can be counted on when things get rough, and this helps them to let their guard down and put their faith in you. Moving forward this way helps you to position yourself as a strong, wise leader and a good decision maker the business can count on.

Step 3: Evaluate relentlessly

                Everything is subject to change and improvement. As a manager you need to be aware of this fact and act accordingly. If, as time passes, you notice that a program is no longer effective you have to be flexible enough to make the sage choice. Perhaps you need to change one or two things. Maybe it needs to be done away with and replaced with something better. Be open to honest criticism and encourage those around you to speak up. This will encourage engagement, help maintain a positive culture among your team and keep you on your toes making sure that you’re always doing your best.

As a leader, you need to show that you are able to evaluate your own work and spot any errors before anyone else does. Challenge the “this is the way it’s done,” mindset. Be persistent about reviewing and questioning old policies, procedures and traditions.

As a new manager, you’re either managing a team you were once apart of or an entirely new team full of strangers who are just as curious about you as you are about them. Either way, you have to approach this with a certain degree of wisdom. Make sure you know and understand what’s needed before rushing to make a move. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. Be aware of your image as a leader. Present yourself with poise and a level of professionalism that lets your team and new colleagues know they can trust you. Consistently evaluate your own work and remain flexible. Remind yourself that business is a living thing that’s always evolving. Your ability and willingness to evolve with it, will determine your longevity.

Finally, and this goes without saying, stay humble. Don’t let your new position go to your head. Remember that you still serve not only the organization but your team and business group as well.

Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!

Let me show you how.

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