Self-Care for the New Manager

November 2022
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As we head into 2023, many of us will be promoted and taking on new responsibilities. Some of you will become people managers for the first time. Congrats in advance! 

Becoming a new people manager is a seminal moment for a PR professional. I remember when I learned I’d be managing someone. It was one part exhilarating and one part scary.

A transition from tactician to one responsible for another person’s professional development is an important responsibility. 

The key to a successful manager/employee relationship is taking care of your well-being so you have the energy to ensure that your direct reports feel supported and confident to do their job. 

Helping to prevent or minimize work-related stressors by proactively discussing workplace well-being will positively impact your managerial role. 

Here are three well-being tips for new people managers.

1. Act like you now have a new job — because you do.

Having a sense of your new role and responsibilities will go a long way to ensuring that your path is successful. Before you start managing people, speak with your direct manager, secure agreement on your priorities going forward and know what should be delegated. 

A great manager will guide you on how to make this evolution, which includes feeling comfortable with letting some tasks go to someone else.

Letting go is one of the most challenging parts of being a manager. You can now help someone else learn how to write a media pitch, develop a press list, write the first draft of social media posts and perform other tactics you’ve already mastered. 

2. Understand that people will be following your lead.

We often look to our direct managers as a model for how we should function professionally. Your new directs will look at every move you make, including:

  • Are you sending emails late at night and over weekends?
  • Are you joining conference calls while on vacation?
  • Are you even taking a vacation?
  • Are you scheduling meetings just to schedule meetings?

Modeling the behavior as one who prioritizes their well-being will show your team the right path forward and ultimately help retain your team members who otherwise might burn out and want to leave the company. See this new role as an opportunity to establish a best practice to protect your and your team’s well-being. 

3. Ask questions and listen.

Now that you’ve established your role and the boundaries you’ll set, now is the time to have discussions with your new directs. As you’re building relationships, consider asking the following questions:

  • What would help you maintain your well-being while working?
  • What work scenarios have been challenging and have impacted your well-being?
  • How would you like to be supported if you are feeling stress and anxiety?
  • How have workplace situations caused stress in the past?
  • How can I best support your well-being?

Finally, one of the most important things I learned in my PR career: Your success is measured by the success of your team. Celebrate great work from your team, share kudos with your leadership, and give your directs opportunities to succeed and shine. Their accomplishments will be rewarded, and you will be rewarded as well. 

Establishing these best practices will go a long way to make sure that your well-being — and your team’s well-being — is a priority.

Thank you for joining me this year in a meaningful discussion about the well-being of the PR professional. Have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll see you in 2023!

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