In any field, new leaders enter organizations with real pressure to succeed. They’re often expected to do more with less and make magic happen for their teams—all while getting up to speed in a new job. It can be difficult for them to know where to focus their energy. With what feels like little room for error or failure, these professionals can end up struggling under a mountain of stress and anxiety.
If you’re a new leader looking to make your mark, it’s important to hit the ground running with your teams. But before you can help anyone else, you need to help yourself. Here are some strategies to help you reach notable success in your first 100 days.
Practice Self-Awareness To Pinpoint Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Self-awareness is key because it impacts everyone around us, including the teams and organizations we serve. But Harvard Business Review found that while “95% of people think they’re self-aware, only 10% to 15% actually are.” It also found colleagues who aren’t self-aware can cut a team’s chances of success in half. When dealing with these peers regularly, team members are likely to feel stressed out and unmotivated. This issue compounds when people lacking self-awareness are in positions of power.
When you’re stepping into your first leadership role, take an honest look at yourself and how you interact with colleagues. Do you listen to and accept vital feedback? Do you take the time to “read the room” when communicating? Do you empathize with others, especially those who have different backgrounds and perspectives? Asking these questions can be uncomfortable, but it’s an important first step. After all, how can we solve problems for our teams if we can’t first hold ourselves accountable as leaders?
Even if you’re already confident in your self-awareness, you should continue your evaluations as often as you need to. Self-improvement is a journey that never ends. For as long as you keep improving, you’ll know how to best support your teams and your business.
Diagnose Your Team’s Performance with Real Data
After you’ve evaluated your strengths and weaknesses, do the same with your team. Find research-backed tools to gain an unbiased view of your team’s performance and dynamics with one another. This will allow you to pinpoint your team’s truest needs. When you first jump into a leadership role, you must know everything—the good, the bad and the ugly—so you can start taking action.
Gaining an unbiased, data-driven view lets you surface the real insights you need. Then you can improve the team’s trajectory. You’ll need to pick the right things to take action on and make smart goals, whether that’s increased sales, better customer interactions or more productive meetings. Get your team on board with these goals, and make sure they see the urgency. This can help build trust between you and your teams as well by demonstrating that you’re an effective leader who cares about their success.
Keep the Momentum and Celebrate Wins
After you’ve picked your goals and achieved them, take some time to celebrate. During team meetings, give recognition to members who helped a project succeed. For 1:1 calls with individuals, offer praise when you’ve noticed someone putting in the best effort for one or more of your goals. All in all, make sure your team members see that you recognize them and that you care about their achievements. Their success is your success. Your teams will appreciate you more as you continually show your appreciation for their hard work.
Being a new leader can be intimidating, but having these key strategies can help you find success faster. When you understand the bigger picture and the granular details of both your performance and your team’s, you can move forward with the best solutions. Uncovering actionable, data-backed insights will get your team where they need to go. Once you know what to do with that data, you’ll level up your team’s performance and dynamics, elevating them well above the competition.
Originally posted to the Forbes Human Resources Council blog here.