Insights That Can Help You As A First-Time Tech Manager – Part 1

17 July

Do you want to know which ideas help first-time tech managers? Bear with me.

The problems new managers and leaders have are not unique. The solutions to them are also not unique. But they should be personalized to really help.

That’s why advice is problematic. It doesn’t take into account all the specifics of your case.

So this is not an advice blog. This is a blog about ideas people going through the transition into management find by themselves.

What’s the difference? If insight is coming from within, it takes into account many details of your context and there is a greater level of ownership.

They can come across as glaringly obvious. And that’s precisely the point. Their value comes not from being arcane, but from being the missing piece of the puzzle.

Here are some of them:

1. We are not better than anyone else. Everyone is valuable. Serve them.

2. People won’t be candid with you if they don’t trust you. It’s not enough to ask them questions to get the information from them, they should be willing to share it.

3. People won’t trust you more than you trust them. They won’t open up more than you are opening up with them.

4. If somebody seems unreasonable, start by listening to what they have to say. They are not evil nor dumb. You just don’t know the part of their story which makes their behavior reasonable.

5. You cannot make people do something (for a long time), they need to want to do it.

6. Tell people what you want from them. Don’t tell them what they are doing wrong.

7. Everyone confuses their interpretations with facts. Be aware of that and take that into account when you communicate.

8. If the other person is emotional, address emotions first. People cannot reason while their emotions are flying high.

9. By default, one is rarely good enough with emotional intelligence. It requires focus and practice. And yes, it can be improved.

10. Your fears and hesitations are ok. Everybody has them.

11. One cannot ‘control’ emotions. They are signs that something needs to be done. Recognize them early and act on them constructively.

12. Manage up: know your manager’s values, true goals, and communicational preferences. Use that knowledge when you interact with them.

Does this advice resonate with you? What kind of issues do you experience as a first-time manager? Shoot me an email at to let me know what’s on your mind?


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