Setting the Tone: Building Strong Relationships as a New Manager

Stepping into a new leadership or managerial role can be both exciting and challenging.    

As you navigate this transition, it is crucial to prioritise establishing meaningful connections with your team members. Putting people at the heart of your business requires setting the right tone and working relationship from the very beginning.    

One effective way to achieve this is through the power of one-on-one conversations. These conversations allow you to understand your team's needs, preferences, and aspirations.    

Stepping into a new leadership or managerial role can be both exciting and challenging.    

As you navigate this transition, it is crucial to prioritise establishing meaningful connections with your team members. Putting people at the heart of your business requires setting the right tone and working relationship from the very beginning.    

One effective way to achieve this is through the power of one-on-one conversations. These conversations allow you to understand your team's needs, preferences, and aspirations.    

Effective 'one to one' conversations are powerful builders of trust.

By asking five key questions, you can lay a solid foundation for a strong and collaborative working environment.    

There are many questions you can ask but making sure they have the right intent is paramount.    

An example of these 5 questions are below.    

Feel free to play with the wording, the most important is understanding the themes of each question - the "why"...    

  1. "Can you share with me the most valuable discussions you had with your previous manager that significantly contributed to your growth and development?"

Why?    

Uncovering Past Insights    

The first question—asking about the most helpful discussions with previous managers—opens the door for valuable insights. By understanding what has worked well in the past, you gain a deeper understanding of your team member's communication style, preferences, and the types of support they find beneficial. This knowledge helps you tailor your approach and build a trusting relationship based on their past positive experiences.    

2.  "In which areas of your current role would you appreciate additional support, and what specific forms of support have proven effective for you in the past?"    

Why?    

Providing Tailored Support    

Everyone has different areas in which they thrive and areas where they appreciate additional support. By asking team members about their desired areas of support and how they prefer to receive it, you demonstrate your commitment to understanding and addressing their needs. This empowers individuals to perform at their best and fosters a culture of support and growth.    

3. "When it comes to acknowledging and appreciating your work, what forms of recognition and validation resonate with you the most?"    

Why?    

Recognising and Valuing Contributions    

Acknowledging and appreciating the hard work and achievements of your team members is vital for their motivation and engagement. By inquiring about their preferred methods of recognition and appreciation, you show that you value their unique contributions. Whether it's public recognition, constructive feedback, or simple words of appreciation, tailoring your recognition efforts will create a positive and fulfilling work environment.    

4.  "What type of feedback has been the most beneficial for your personal and professional growth, and how do you prefer to receive feedback to ensure it is constructive?"    

Why?    

Feedback that Matters    

Effective feedback is a cornerstone of personal and professional development. By asking team members about the feedback that resonates most with them and their preferred feedback delivery method, you can provide guidance that is both constructive and well-received. This personalized approach to feedback ensures that it is actionable, specific, and encourages continuous improvement.    

5.  "If we were to establish an exceptional working relationship, how would you describe it, and what steps can we take together to foster that kind of relationship?"    

Why?    

Building an Amazing Relationship    

The last question focuses on building a remarkable relationship between you and your team member. By seeking their perspective on what an ideal working relationship looks like and the necessary steps to achieve it, you demonstrate your commitment to creating a collaborative and supportive environment. By working together to establish trust, open communication, and shared goals, you lay the groundwork for a successful and impactful working relationship.    

Navigating Conversations

Navigating the Conversations    

When engaging in these one-on-one conversations, remember to actively listen, show empathy, and validate the thoughts and opinions shared by your team members. Create a safe space where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves authentically. Take notes during the conversations to demonstrate your commitment to remembering and acting upon the information provided. Finally, follow up on any agreed-upon actions and their delivery dates to show that you value their input and are dedicated to their growth and success.    

As a new leader or manager, setting the tone and establishing strong working relationships is crucial for putting people at the heart of your business. By asking these five key questions and navigating the conversations with empathy and active listening, you can connect with your team on a deeper level. Remember, when you invest in understanding and supporting your team members' needs, preferences, and aspirations, you foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and growth. Ultimately, these relationships will be the driving force behind your team's success and the organisations overall achievement.