Five Tips for Movin' on Up: Lessons in Middle Management
Moving through the ranks of any organization brings about both joy and challenges. On one hand, you did it! You got the promotion -- pop that bubbly! On the other, you’ll find that there is always more to learn. Suddenly, you're responsible for so much more. My advice is to embrace this time as a season of growth and view the lessons as pruning, allowing you to flourish even more. Here are a few lessons and tips from yours truly.
1. Humble Yourself: You should certainly feel pride in your accomplishments, but advancement is a delicate dance between confidence and humility. I suggest grabbing a notebook and going back to your entry-level mindset; you have lots to learn. Listen more than you speak. Make note of when to assert yourself and when to retreat. Let go of defensive mindsets and check your ego.
2. Still Ask Questions: Years of experience brought you to this point, but be wise enough to know what you don't know. Ask for feedback from your boss, team and even interns on how to improve. Keep a close watch on the pulse of workloads and morale.
3. Admit Mistakes: This is a big one. While you may feel pressured to appear as though you have it all together (who doesn't?), you'll not only relieve yourself of a lot of stress, but also those around you when you fess up. You'll likely earn more respect, too.
4. Trust Yourself: As much as it's important to be humble, inquisitive and genuine, give yourself credit where it is due. You got to where you are for a reason. If you feel strongly convicted about something, speak up. That's the gut they are paying you to trust.
5. Give Grace: This goes for your team, clients and don't forget -- yourself. As a close friend put it to me, "life is exhausting!" Give yourself, and others, a break. While some do work best under pressure, no one does their best work in a stressful environment. Recognize that your boss has a lot on his/her shoulders that you don't and your team is the reason you are there, so be kind to both. Likewise, keep in mind that riding solo in your position brings challenges others may not see, so work hard, but rest easy.