For first time managers the office, comprising people of different ages, races and backgrounds, can be a place of many hidden conflicts and challenges.

Here are a few tips on overcoming these challenges….

Learn to manage your time better

Any manager will tell you there are 101 “other” things that come up during the day – all needing to be dealt with immediately. If you aren’t careful these unexpected tasks can end up zapping away all your time and lead to drastically lowered productivity levels.

The ability to prioritise and delegate tasks is of vital importance when managing your time.

Communicate clearly

Be very specific with staff regarding deadlines, the scope of projects and tasks, what is expected of them, and what can be expected from you. Also ensure that you ask for and give regular feedback.

Respect older and longstanding employees

There are various conflicts that can arise between existing employees and a new manager, especially if the new manager isn’t as old as some of his new underlings. Tensions can come from workers feeling that they may have been overlooked for a promotion, or from older workers who have maybe been in the company for longer, or who simply don’t take too kindly to youngsters taking over the show.

First time managers should understand the importance of emotional intelligence in their new roles and become able to empathise with, listen to and read employees.

Be consistent

Any manager needs to be consistent, but for new managers this is important right from the get go.

This means consistency in all areas of the job, from discipline to incentives, as well as with your structures and procedures for how you operate. Instead of trying to be the most innovative manager ever, and in the process delivering inconsistencies, rather stick with what really works when you know that it does. No good comes from constantly reinventing the wheel.

Show your credibility

Like with consistency, all managers need to be credible. Unfortunately credible is not something you can just be, it takes a lot of walking the talk before your staff will believe it. What this means is that you’ve got to always follow through with what you say, be reliable and as objective as possible.

View Staff Training’s Developing Your Management Potential workshop here.