Why it's important to set boundaries as a new manager
Being a first time leader presents many challenges. Although it’s often hard to say “no” to employee requests, my advice for new managers is to set boundaries so that you don’t end up promising more than you can deliver.
It’s far too common for leaders to overcommit. This will cause you issues and ultimately undermine your authority. If you say you’re going to do something it’s vitally important that you follow through.
If not, your employees are liable to lose trust in you. A manager should always be able to deliver on the promises they make. This is what builds dependability and trust.
And the principle of reliability is perhaps most important for a first time leader because your team will most likely not yet know you. The reason why my advice for new managers is to set limits on what you promise is because your actions should contribute to healthy relationships rather than present obstacles.
It can be hard to say “no,” but it’s important to remember that it’s okay to do so. Although you may feel that your employees are relying on you for certain answers, the truth is that you’ll help them the most by being clear about committing to the things that you know you can do.
Of course you want to please your employees and be successful in your role as a manager. However, know that less is more when it comes to promises.
My advice for new managers is to get to know your limits. If you’re a first time leader, stop and think about the requests that your employees are making. Evaluation will ultimately give you confidence because you’ll know exactly when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”
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