We’ve gathered a list of the best management articles for new managers, as recommended by managers with years of experience supporting a variety of teams. The articles we’ve included provide key takeaways and action items so new managers can feel confident in their roles and quickly build rapport with their teams. Consider this list your working guide toward finding and defining your managerial mindset.
Improve Your Conflict-Management Skills
Conflict? Nobody likes it, but when it happens, it has the potential for building mindfulness and mutual respect. Whether you need help on how to manage people who don’t like you or who don’t like each other, we got you covered.
6 Counterintuitive Rules for Being a Better Manager – Advice from Lambda School, Quip & Facebook
This is one article not to be missed by any new manager. “There are countless pearls of wisdom in this interview with Molly Graham who has lead successful teams at Google, Facebook, Quip, and others,” says Ember Hansen, the Head of Marketing & Strategy at commercial real estate platform biproxi. Graham takes a deep look at how to develop supportive relationships that prosper with motivation and clarity.
Hansen notes that, “Rule #6 speaks directly to the core of effective conflict management. Her advice: direct is kind. Have the hard conversation earlier than you need to. The how-to centers more around creating a culture where hard, direct conversations are expected rather than managing a situation when it’s already in crisis mode. Start early with your team. Establish check-ins and benchmarks and speak up early when something isn’t working.”
Introspection with the Ladder of Inference
Just like audiobooks serve literary lovers on the go, why not think about a podcast episode as an “audio article”? Tom Randle, VP of Operations & Head of Marketing at TV dashboard software company Geckoboard, strongly recommends this particular episode from the Troubleshooting Agile podcast hosted by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick. Randle says, “They talk about ‘the ladder of inference.’ The basic premise is that when you disagree with someone, rather than assuming they just aren’t getting it, ‘walk up the ladder’ and understand their position. Perhaps they have different information or have interpreted something different. It’s not a technique I’ve heard anyone other than them talk about, but I think it’s as important as non-violent communication.”
14 Conflict Resolution Skills to Use with Your Team and Your Customers
“This article by Swetha Amaresan is inclusive and covers tactics and essential skills to sharpen as a new manager,” notes May Lauren Arad, Product Marketing Manager at CoScreen, a remote collaboration solution company. “Transitioning to a manager role requires you to shift your way of thinking. It’s important to have your team members’ best interest, and doing so requires practice and learning new skills. It means always having your emotional intelligence active. Most times, it’s about catching the conflict before it rises and blows. You need to actively listen and communicate (with both verbal and nonverbal cues), observe your team’s dynamics, and try to be as impartial as possible.”
Managing a Team in a New-to-You Industry
Entering into a managerial role and learning the industry is a one-two punch! While you may not speak the lingo (yet!), you can still connect with your team to bring out their best work.
How to Manage People Who Know More Than You
Katie Douthwaite Wolf, Content Writer and Editor for The Muse, reflects on her time managing a software company. The curveball? She previously managed a cupcake shop. Instead of wallowing in fear of failing her team, she reminded herself of her enthusiasm for technology — and her desire to learn.
Douthwaite’s article carries an “honesty is the best policy” message. Don’t know something? Be honest about your industry knowledge and learn from your team — they’re the specialists! When you ask them questions and value their contributions, you show your team that you respect their insights. Together, you and your team move the company forward in its success.
How to Lead a Team More Skilled Than You
This article from Experteer Magazine provides an apt comparison when it comes to thinking about management. The article compares managers to the Secretary of State: While the Secretary of State doesn’t know everything about every world conflict, they do have leadership skills that guide them. Guide your team toward their goals. Whether it’s helping with time management or making space to complete a task, you know how to direct your team toward achieving success with their day-to-day tasks and furthering their career growth.
Three Powerful Conversations Managers Must Have to Develop Their People
When it’s time to discuss career opportunities with your team, this is the article to reference. First Round Review gathered notes from its CEO Summit and other conversations with Candor Inc. COO and co-founder Russ Laraway to discuss the long game of developing team members beyond their day-to-day tasks.
Laraway points out that, “Your people will grow with or without you. The question is who will they grow into?” Regardless of your industry experience, conversations are investments in your team members. Put on your best Barbara Walters persona, sit down with each team member, and come up with an action plan that distinctly says “who will do what by when.” When your team has clear goals and objectives, they’re excited to see that their company keeps their short- and long-term visions of development in mind.
Level Up Your Interview Skills with New Team Members
The hiring process allows you to gain insight into potential team members and how they may fit in with your team. And don’t worry — if you inherited a team, we have the article. Here are the management articles you need to read to level up your interviews.
The Key to Better Hiring Is Better Listening: 4 Ways to Get the Most From an Interview
Hansen provides another fantastic article recommendation. This article by Stephen Kohler, Founder & CEO of leadership firm Audira Labs, recognizes that many companies are ready to rebuild after the events of 2020. With so many high-quality candidates on the market, managers may lose sight of finding the candidate who serves as the best fit for their company’s culture.
“This article is short and sweet, but I love its focus on being present and better listening,” Hansen says. “It’s easy to get caught up in the list of questions you need to get through and not actually listen to what the candidate is saying. Try to listen between the lines, ask thoughtful follow-up questions and remain curious.”
10 Questions for Getting to Know Your New Direct Reports Faster
Whether you inherit a new team member or an entire team, you need to get to know them. Listen Like You Mean It: Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection authorXimena Vengoechea offers 10 questions that go far beyond the surface level of “getting to know you.” Questions like “How do you like to receive praise?” and “Anything I should know about your working style?” help you quickly figure out what managerial style works for each person on your team.
Strengthen Your Remote Team Management Skills
A majority of people worked from home over the past year—and there are many management articles around the topic of remote teamwork and processes. As a new manager, you get to bring a fresh set of eyes to how you build connections with your team and manage them through the powers of the Internet.
Managers: Here’s a 7-Step Practical Guide to Leading a Remote Team
We love a great article with clear, practical steps. What makes this article one of the best management articles regarding remote work, however, is that it points to what we miss from the office: interpersonal connections. Leah Ryder, Brand & Enterprise Marketing Senior Team Lead at Trello, assures us that it’s okay to have personal conversations throughout the workday. Of course, it is! Among many of Ryder’s great suggestions are using platforms like Slack to share memes or establishing virtual game hours to build camaraderie.
Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce Beyond Crisis
LinkedIn’s growth as a networking platform is astounding. Employees and company CEOs alike share their thoughts in hopes of having transparent conversations about various career paths and industries. Arad took notice of this particular article from GitLab Inc’s CEO, Sid Sijbrandij. “Sijbrandij is THE person to learn from when it comes to leading a remote team. How to establish transparency and communications when working remotely (before and after the pandemic) are the key takeaways.”
Arad’s observation that Sijbrandij’s advice can be applied before and after the pandemic makes it clear that this article has evergreen staying power. One suggestion that combines transparency and communication is to designate a “directly responsible individual” who takes everyone’s feedback but makes any final decisions. Gathering feedback is important, but making quick decisions is great for business—especially in an asynchronous work environment.
General Management Articles
While these management articles didn’t fit into the above categories, they serve as great recommendations as you build your managerial mindset.
Following “Radical Candor,” Kim Scott is Back with Another Incredible Framework for “Just Work”
“I don’t use the word guru, but Kim Scott is a bonafide communication and management guru. If you haven’t read her first book, Radical Candor, I highly suggest adding this to your reading list),” says Hansen. We’ve discussed radical candor in regards to candid feedback—and it looks like Scott is back with her follow-up book, Just Work.
Hansen raves about this article from First Round Review, whose team sat with Scott to discuss Just Work. Hansen notes that “Through talking with hundreds of professionals who have put radical candor into practice, Scott realized that there was an underlying force at work that can affect how feedback is perceived and how work is able to be done efficiently: bias. This article is a great overview of the framework you and everyone in your organization can use to recognize and overcome bias in the workplace to clear the path for everyone to ‘just work.’”
Don’t Let Your North Star Metric Deceive You
Managers can get caught in the metric system — as in, the daily tasks and quarterly goals teams need to accomplish.
Randle points out this article by Brian Balfour, Shaun Clowes, and Casey Winters as “a great article on the potential pitfalls of setting your business goals and strategy around a single North Star metric.”
The article notes that managers can “zoom in as you experiment, and zoom out as you take a step back to look at your whole ecosystem of metrics.” When you think about your team’s input as “actions” and their output as “results,” you can set team members up to own their actions and recognize how they impact results. Allow for experimentation: What works for your team? What doesn’t? And how does it impact individual and company-wide short- and long-term goals?
Want More Management Articles?
At Uptick, we love discussing management as a “people first” initiative. We want new managers to feel empowered. Our blog looks at all types of management topics, from approaching tough performance reviews to getting the most out of your one-on-one meetings.
We’re happy to help you build a great career — and assist your team members with their career goals, too. Our Next Level One-on-Ones Course offers an opportunity to level up your manager skillset. Enroll today!