Continuing in our ongoing series what a new manager should expect to do differently in the new role, tip #6 is to recognize and understand that you will need to act as a “buffer”.
You will need to be a “buffer”
Accept that, in your role as a supervisor, you will need to be a “buffer”. You will need to be a buffer – between your staff and your manager. Chances are, that even with your promotion into the job of new manager, you will still be reporting to somebody else in the organization. That is, unless of course you have been promoted to the President or CEO role in your organization, in which case this point does not apply. But in most cases, you will have someone above you who will have expectations of you. And you will have staff who will have expectations of you. As a result, it is quite common to feel like you are “caught in the middle”.
This feeling of being caught in the middle is a reality of the world that you now operate in. So you must acknowledge it and work with it. Don’t fight it, because it will only frustrate you. Instead, be a buffer. Actively work on developing your listening and communication skills. See yourself as a conduit or a pipeline: someone who facilitates the movement of information in both directions. Don’t see yourself as getting squeezed, view yourself as someone who simplifies and expedites information and action in both direction. This change in viewpoint will not only ease your stress level, but will also serve you well in becoming an even stronger leader than you already are.
I will have one final (at least for now) tip to add in this series next week, but for now, I’d like to know what you think of today’s post. Have you found yourself “caught in the middle”? How did you get past it, and more importantly, what did you do to work with this new reality? Please share by commenting below.