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Challenges New Managers Need To Overcome To Succeed

Stepping into a role as a new manager is exciting. But before you can get comfortable there are plenty of challenges staring you in the face right away. The good news is there are quite a few specific, practical skills you can utilize quickly with your team to give you a big advantage as you navigate your role as a new manager.

Here are some of the ones we’ve found to be the most valuable.


One of the most important skills for new managers is learning effective time management. As you’re getting up to speed with your new role, you’ll need to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities, which means staying organized and managing your time efficiently is key.

Start by mapping out a system that works best for you and stick to it. Communicate clearly with your team about this, and be transparent about how much time you have to commit to things.

For more, check out Dr. Scott Dust’s “Four Ways To Improve Your Time Management

Setting Clear Goals

As a new manager, you’ll need to set clear goals for your team. This means laying out what you expect from them and what you want to achieve together.

If your team doesn’t have a clear goal to work towards, they can quickly become frustrated and lose motivation. This means taking the time to develop specific, achievable goals with your team is vital.

Once you have a goal in mind, make sure you communicate it to your team. The more everyone is on the same page, the better your chances of achieving that goal.

Delivering Results Through Your Team

Delivering results through your team is another important skill for new managers. To achieve this, new managers will need to delegate effectively and keep their team motivated to do their best work.

One way to accomplish this is by including looking at someone’s personality and strengths to help them push outside of their comfort zone to achieve more. Collaboration and accountability are good options too, nudging people toward

You can also nudge people towards collaboration and accountability through powerful questions like “What can I do to help you accomplish your goals?” Learning these skills in partnership with Cloverleaf can help accelerate your growth as a leader.

Building Good Relationships

Another key skill for new managers is building good relationships. This happens when an open and supportive environment is fostered where everyone feels comfortable communicating honestly. And that helps build trust, which might be the most important element to ensure your team is comfortable enough to come to you with problems and concerns.

Being Too Tolerant Or Too Strict

One of the biggest challenges new managers face is finding the right balance between being too tolerant and too strict. If you’re too passive, your team could take advantage of you and you may lose their respect.

Of course, if you’re too strict, some team members might start to build resentment or lose motivation. So you must find a happy medium. One way to do this is to get to know your team better and find out what motivates them. Once you have a better idea of what makes them tick, you can find the perfect balance between being supportive and firm.

Managing Former Co-workers

New managers that have been promoted from within the company might suddenly be faced with managing co-workers that were previously their peers. Many can maintain those relationships but it’s important to establish yourself in your new role.

If this applies to you, remember to be upfront and honest with each person. Let them know things might change now that you are their manager, but hopefully, nothing changes when it comes to your friendship.

Having Difficult Conversations

As a new manager, you’ll need to be prepared to have difficult conversations with your team. It could be addressing a performance issue or providing constructive feedback. Either way, these conversations are often awkward and difficult.

To help you navigate these conversations, it’s helpful to view them as an opportunity to improve communication within the company and your team. This viewpoint along with some learned skills for conflict resolution will help you be prepared and confident when difficult conversations arise.

Providing Effective Feedback

Another important skill new managers need is learning how to provide effective feedback. By “effective” we mean feedback that is positive and constructive. Your team needs regular, consistent encouragement along with reminders on how they can continue to improve.

Be specific and consistently communicate clearly with your team in one on ones and when you’re all together. 

And don’t forget to provide opportunities for growth and development as a part of your communication.

Learning Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

The more that new managers learn about their team members strengths and weaknesses, the better they will be prepared to succeed together. New managers will be better equipped to delegate tasks and play to each individual’s strengths. And having an idea of a team member’s weaknesses offers you an opportunity to come alongside them and offer them ways to improve through consistent feedback.

Get to know your team members by listening and learning about what they are passionate about and what drains them during the workday. This exercise can be the key to unlocking the potential in each member of your team.

Building a Positive Team Culture

A positive team culture is another important part of a new manager’s job. This involves fostering an environment where each member of the team feels valued and respected. Team members want to feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves and when they do it often adds to motivation and increased effort. 

Focus on communication and collaboration while encouraging everyone to share ideas and give feedback. 

Goal-setting can help as well. Guide your team through a goal-setting process and give them the resources and needs to achieve their goals. And don’t forget to recognize and celebrate your team’s successes. This reminds everyone that hard work and dedication are valued.

Picture of The Cloverleaf Team

The Cloverleaf Team