Business Coaching and Consulting


#1 Relationship First Time Managers Should be Focused on Building

Every manager will face being a first time manager (FTM) for the first time. In all fields from medicine, entertainment to retail; FTMs face obstacles for the first time that they did not or would have faced as a line employee. These challenges can either create great managers allowing them to embrace the challenges in a way that helps improve their teams, their businesses and themselves; or it can be disastrous by leaving a manager with doubt, worry and the feeling of inadequacy. This could lead to a decline in profits and low team morale. Understanding the role of manager has challenges, the gap in knowledge arises from unique challenges first time managers are likely to face. Research has shown that the challenges of becoming a first time manager include not building the right relationships, not managing the right areas and not honestly evaluating themselves. 

At any level, relationship building is key in any organization but for the first time manager it is essential. This can be devastating to a new manager’s career because it can cost them their job which in turn can inflict a negative perception of themselves and for the management role. "First time managers must devote time and energy to building a network of developmental relationships (superior and lateral, internal and external to the organization)" (Hill L.). This is essential for the success of the first time manager and for the organization.  

FTMs need to be sure they are developing the right relationships, more specifically when it comes to their direct reports. FTMs see the importance of developing the employees they manage. Based on my research of the FTMs I interviewed, employee development ranked high and accounted for more than 60% of the key events (events that motivated FTMs) reported by FTMs. This means that If FTMs do not maintain good relationships with their employees it may be difficult to provide professional development to those employees, something FTMs see as a reward in their job.



Linda Hill publications

Conaway, T. (2017, January 19). Challenges of First Time Managers. East Hartford, CT.