Managing People with More Experience Than You

As a manager, you don’t need to be the brightest, most experienced, or most skilled person in the room.

While it would be nice to think that your staff would walk into your office, put all their problems on your desk, and leave when everything is solved, that’s just not reality.

The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert at everything – that’s what your team is for!

The people who work for you have been doing this longer than you have. They know the industry better than you do. They’ve worked with more end users. They’ve seen things go wrong before and know how to right the ship.

To get the best results from your team, all you need to do is invest in them and get out of their way.

Recognise and rely on the experience of your most senior team members. Leverage their experience to your advantage and solicit their advice—or turn to them for more technical advice or specialised knowledge.

As a manager, you should feel comfortable stepping in to redirect your team as needed or stepping back to allow more experienced employees to take on additional leadership tasks.

Also, ask how you can better help your team’s most experienced personnel and do everything you can to remove hurdles and expedite their performance to establish respect and credibility.

Take time to write down your managerial accomplishments and strengths on a daily or weekly basis. Writing things down helps you recognise how well you’re performing as a manager. Most importantly, writing helps you overcome self-doubt.

The moment you start thinking about delegating a task to one of your team members, find time to sit down and remind yourself why it’s important that you’re the one doing it.

The key takeaways

As a manager, you don’t need to be the brightest, most experienced, or most skilled person in the room.

Recognise and rely on the experience of your most senior team members.

Writing down your managerial accomplishments and strengths will help you overcome self-doubt.

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