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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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Line Managers – The Credibility Question

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Becoming a manager of people is probably, for most of us, the biggest single change that occurs in our working lives.

I can remember very clearly my first day as a line manager. To be honest, I felt a bit of a fraud as my team gathered around me for the first time. Many of them were older than me; most of them had more life experience than me and all of them had a far greater knowledge of what went on in our department than I did. How on Earth was I going to establish any credibility?

Credibility is a major challenge for any new manager, and in many ways it can even be harder to establish if you’ve’ been promoted from within a team; there will be those who are more experienced, or feel, for one reason or another, that they know more than you and are better at their jobs than you and could, therefore, lead the team better.

This discomfort over credibility can, I think, lead to some new managers adopting a slightly aggressive managerial style as they try to establish their authority. So, let’s be clear; authority is not the same as credibility.

You will only achieve credibility if you achieve great results through your team, not in spite of them. You cannot establish credibility by bullying, or taking a hard line but rather by coaching, guiding and listening to your team as you help them work towards a shared goal.

It doesn’t matter, actually, if other members of the team have greater technical knowledge than you either – that’s not why you were promoted. You were promoted for your leadership skills and your ability to encourage great performance from others.

So, if you’re a newly appointed manager, put aside your self-doubts and stop worrying that others in the team have more experience or skill in a particular aspect of a job than you; celebrate the fact and start thinking about how you can tap into those abilities for the benefit of the whole team.

Rod Webb
www.glasstap.com
www.managerslibrary.com

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb
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