8 Tips for Any First-Time Manager to Exceed Expectations

Congratulations on becoming a manager! You’re now responsible for leading a team and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal. It can feel overwhelming and exciting to be handed this new responsibility. So, to help you exceed expectations here are some tips to help you be a successful first-time manager.

Establish clear expectations

Clear expectations establish a consistent level of success. It includes setting goals, deadlines, and communication boundaries. When everyone is on the same page, holding people accountable and becoming proactive is easier. 

Communicate consistently

Communication is the key to success. Schedule regular meetings with your team members to provide feedback and listen to their concerns. Especially encourage open communication that creates a safe space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. 

A tip from one of IAW’s members is that she, “started scheduling meetings on two days of the week, Tuesdays and Thursdays so that I can have chats on those days and do project work uninterrupted on the other days of the week,” said Ashley Hart co-founder of She Plays. “It’s a lot of talking those two days but has really helped me to keep focused on the others. My phone gets put down and my inbox gets left untouched for chunks of time to buckle down.”

Lead by example

As a manager, you’re setting an example for your team. Model behaviors that you would want them to have such as being punctual, professional, and committed. However, leading by example does not always mean your way will work for everyone. Consider how you can support individuals who have different values, experiences, and backgrounds. Here are 16 ways managers and executives can provide equity in the workplace. 

Embrace Mistakes

No one is a perfect manager at first. It takes time to develop leadership skills, and that means you will likely make mistakes along the way. Instead of being hyper-avoidant, embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. It not only proves you can take accountability and improve your weak points, but it also encourages your team to do the same. The less blame is put on others, the more collaboration and progress can take place. 

Invest in your team

Part of your role as a manager is to help your team members develop their skills and grow professionally. People want to work for others who believe in them. So, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to provide support and opportunities to benefit them. For more ideas on how to invest in your team, check out this article here


Delegation is one of the most important skills of a manager. Your team members have the skills and experience to handle tasks for you. It doesn’t make sense to spend hours on graphics or emails when there are experts on your team. Be sure to provide clear instructions and expectations to build trust and confidence within your team.

Manage conflict

Conflict is inevitable when working with a group of people. As a manager, it’s your role to diffuse conflict and find a solution. Take the time to understand both sides of the issue, be empathetic and objective, and work towards a resolution that’s fair and equitable. To find more tips on conflict resolution, read this article here!

Celebrate success

Often, with all the goal setting and feedback your team receives, their past success can easily be forgotten. Whether meeting a deadline, achieving a quarter goal, or pleasing a client, each win is something to celebrate. It helps to build morale and show your team how proud they should be of all their work.

Interested in learning from experienced managers? At the International Association of Women, our global community includes professional women from thousands of industries. Join now to find a mentor, gain educational resources, attend weekly webinars, and have endless networking opportunities at the click of a button. Find out more about IAW’s membership benefits here.

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