Thoughts from a first-time people manager

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With little experience with someone under her direct care, the opportunity to care for a teammate has been both exciting and nerve-wracking for Priya Sunil, but one that is the most rewarding.

I have always had people caring for me and guiding me through life – whether at home as the youngest of three children, or as part of a team at work, where I was always the “youngest member of the team” until about a year ago. The only beings I have had under my direct care are my pets.

So when the opportunity to take care of our intern presented itself to me, I felt surprised, excited and nervous at the same time. Me, overseeing someone’s work, advising them and playing a big role in their growth? It was a whole new ballgame for me, but as someone who loves and grows helping others, I knew it would be the perfect avenue to go further – all while pushing myself out of my comfort zone. .

It’s been almost a year now and this intern is now a full member of our team, and the experience for me has been nothing short of rewarding. I’ve always heard my editor say that the feeling of watching someone under your care learn and grow is the most rewarding part of being a manager, and I have to say, I finally know the true meaning of that. And through it all, I grew in more ways than I could have imagined.

Here are a few things I learned:

The first is the importance of time management. If you want to do a good job of helping others grow, the key to that is being there for them when they need it – whether that’s for ongoing feedback, advice on different situations they meet, or more. In the process, you must ensure that you manage or reduce your own workload without letting it overflow or accumulate.

Since having this reality check, I’ve planned my to-do lists more strictly with realistic deadlines – instead of laying out a whole series of tasks to complete each day, I now focus on one to two. in dedicated time slots each day, with enough buffer time to answer any questions or guide my teammate in her own tasks.

Second, and this has been one of my favorite developments personally, is that I realized that managers don’t need to have all the answers all the time.

A more valuable conversation is one where solutions flow freely back and forth, and more so when your teammate nudges you to think in directions you didn’t have before.

It not only helped open my mind to new ways of doing the same old things, but also created new solutions that the whole team can leverage.

Third, and most importantly, enjoy the experience! Don’t stress, you’ll make mistakes. Apologize freely and acknowledge when this happens. Admit that you don’t know the answers, but promise to find them together.

And most importantly, remember that when you put effort into your role as a people manager, you play an important role in shaping someone’s career and, in many ways, their life. That, in itself, is the greatest reward you can get!

The journey has only just begun, but I’m excited for what lies ahead. Whatever part of your journey you find yourself in, I hope my humble learnings can add some food for thought as you reflect on your own journey. ?

Do not hesitate to write to me at This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any tips you would like to share!


Photo / 123RF

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