4 Ways new managers can lead a diverse team

No one is born a perfect leader.

The people we admire and look up to for inspiration have gained their wisdom through mistakes and numerous challenges. Even the professional influencers you follow will agree that success comes after continuous learning and multiple hit and trials.

According to industry reports 50%-70% newly hired managers and executives fail at their new jobs and leave within 18 months. Why is that? There are a number of reasons why managers struggle, the reasons could vary right from no sense of support, lack of communication, and a sense of disconnect between the team members and the managers.

To help set up new managers for this daunting task Vertex Digital Academy offers a boquet of courses on leadership and management in order to successfully manage a diverse team and be an approachable leader. Team leaders or managers must aim to create an inclusive culture that celebrate differences and fosters the best performance from every team member.

Skills to develop when managing diverse teams

Becoming a leader makes you responsible for not only being aware of gaps in diversity but also recalibrating how you move through your workplace. This involves becoming a supportive and aware leader. This can help you develop your diverse teams to perform better, be healthier and thrive in their workplaces.

A leader can only reap benefits from a thriving diverse team if they manage it effectively and efficiently. To begin with here are a few key areas a new manager should start with in order to manage a diverse team. These are all important elements for effective management which can be learnt through knowledge and practice which is provided through various online courses on our platform.

  1. 1. Situational leadership

One of the most important things managers can do is to understand the performance culture of your organization. Are people from diverse backgrounds being given the same opportunities in terms of performance and promotions. As a first step, managers can work on communicating constructive feedback that direct reports can apply on the job. In many leadership courses available coaches talk about how new managers must learn to give constructive criticism in order to make sure their team members are growing in the right direction.

It is also important for managers to think about tailoring management styles in order to help each and every direct report in their team, particularly in a diverse team. Instead of treating others as you want to be treated managers must strive and learn to treat people the way they want to be treated. This is called situational leadership which involves developing empathy and increasing emotional intelligence.

  1. 2. Conflict management

Conflict management may bring to mind some intimidating images, a manager acting as a third wheel between two fuming employees. Or a manager sitting between two groups which refuse to see eye to eye, bottlenecking a project and lowering employee morale.

Instead of thinking this way, a manager must think of conflict management as a positive exercise which could allow the diversity of your group as a catalyst for growth.

Some common reasons for conflicts are having different needs, different values, customs and violation of personal boundaries. The roots of many of these conflicts are miscommunication. Conflict management skills are formed not in a day but through practical application. Which is why it is necessary for all managers to learn the skill of conflict management and maintain the harmony in a team.

  1. 3. Soft skills

Soft skills are an integral part of leadership and handling conflicts. There are many managers who do not enter with the level of consciousness around how their identity impacts them as leaders. Over the course of our lives, we are all impacted by the various levels of pressures that impact us, be it societal, personal or any unconscious bias.

The influences of media, stereotypes, and personal experiences can influence us in many ways. Whether or not we like it, every individual is affected by the same. To exercise and grow your emotional intelligence, consider getting to know yourself better.

This comes with good communication skills with the team and being in sync with your thoughts and communicating it correctly to the team. As the leader of a diverse team creating environments that foster open communications across the board shows that you value varied voices and opinions.

  1. 4. Setting KPIs

A manager should be mindful of team members motivation which is achieved through goal planning. Goal planning motivates team members by helping them see how their efforts are making a difference for the greater good of the organization. This builds a sense of community and belongingness.

As a manager you must learn how to set Key performance indicators and goals for every team member along with setting goals for your own self. By focusing on logical processes and reasonable commitments, developing performance goals and standards enables you as a new manager to set clear outlines of work standards and better performance on the job.

An efficient manager must know the SMART approach which stands for specific, measurable, result oriented and time framed approach with team members, managers to demonstrate their commitment to a consistent performance

New managers can learn such approaches like situational leadership, conflict management and more through pursuing industry relevant courses that will upscale their careers and help them be the leader they should be for the growth of others on their team.