Tips for First Time Managers

 Published: July 1, 2020

By: Addie Schiefer


image of manager pondering while holding a piece of paper and eyeglasses set on desk

Finding yourself for the first time in a leadership role with others reporting to you and counting on you to have the answers can be intimidating. If this is you and you find yourself in the throes of a new managerial role, we’ve got some tips for you.

We asked a seasoned RT manager for her tips and tricks to help you bridge the gap from RT to RT manager.

Margie Pierce MS, RRT, CPFT, administrative director of respiratory care and pulmonary diagnostics, shares her tips for new managers—

Prepare and Plan

I recommend that new managers take the time to prepare a plan in advance for their onboarding. One of the most important parts of that plan is to build relationships outside of the department very early during the onboarding process.

Introduce Yourself

The new leader (in collaboration with their boss) should identify the organization’s key stakeholders and set up short introductory meetings (no more than 30 minutes) with the stakeholders. Examples of key stakeholders are medical directors, nurse managers, CNO, CFO, and COO.

Ask Questions

The new leader should ask guiding questions during the introductory meeting such as: What are the most successful traits of a leader in this organization? What are the biggest challenges the organization is facing? If you were me, what would you focus on? What are some opportunities for my growth that you can recommend? Who would you suggest I rely on as a potential mentor?

Build Trust

Regarding the respiratory care department, the first order of business is to establish trust. Identify opportunities and focus on translating them into wins while engaging staff in the process. Build personal credibility immediately. Your earliest actions will influence people’s perception of you. You need to start strong and that is achievable by being prepared with a plan for your onboarding.

Resource recommendations

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Addie Schiefer

Addie Schiefer is the Content Manager for the AARC where she creates engaging content for the association via the AARC website, newsletters, and social media. Connect with her about potential stories by email, AARConnect, or LinkedIn. When she’s not working, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, traveling to new places with her husband, hanging out with her dog JoJo, or browsing the aisles of the nearest Target.

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