When you’re a new manager, it’s hard to know exactly the right things to do. You want to make a good impression but you have things that must get done.

It can be incredibly overwhelming especially when you’re in a small department or a solo practitioner. But, at the same time, this is a fantastic learning opportunity. Here are a few things to consider during your first six months as a new manager:

1.      Get to know your boss.

THIS should be the number one thing on your list. This person hired you and they want you to be successful. Do not blindside them. You want to understand A) what you can do and not tell your boss, B) what you can do and tell your boss later and C) what you need to tell your boss immediately.

2.      Find out what your colleagues expect.

You have a great sense of the competencies for your profession. Now, it’s time to confirm those with the individuals that you will work with every day. Trust me, they will very much appreciate being asked the question, “What do you expect from me and the department?”

3.      Build a relationship with your team.

Find out the background and experience of your team members. What are their goals? Let them find out the same about you. Also, make sure they know what is expected of them from other departments. Get their feedback on the responses. Do they agree or disagree?  

4.      Learn your company and industry.

Even if you were promoted from within, it’s possible there are things you need to learn like company financials, budgets, market share, customer satisfaction, etc. As a manager, you are expected to have knowledge of the operation – regardless of your department.

5.      Touch everything in your office.

What I mean here is open the drawers, look at the files, etc. Understand how the office works. That might shed some light on the best solutions to implement. You need to understand logistics to make good decisions.

6.      Resist the temptation to create change.

It’s very easy to say, “This is what we did at ABC company.” Or “I prefer to do XX over YY.” Always ask yourself if something needs to be changed – at least initially. You’re building credibility and a reputation. Employees want to know that you’re taking the time to evaluate all options before creating change.

7.      Make a list, then prioritize.

You’re going to see a lot of things that you want to change or that don’t make sense. Unless they are hazardous, unethical or illegal, it might make sense just to make a mental note of them. Then do your homework – ask employees why they exist. Find out the history. Then figure out what to tackle first.

Even when you’ve been hired to make change happen in the organization, you have to take time to build relationships with the team and understand the organization. Every company’s interpretation of “change agent” is different.

What advice would you give to a new manager during their first six months on the job? Share your suggestions!

Originally published on LinkedIn.com