Words Are First Hurdle for New Tech Managers

New managers struggle. They also don't get much help -- or sympathy. My last column elicited a lot of heartfelt reader emails about the difficulty of, and lack of support for, the transition from technical work to management. My conversations with those

readers also revealed that whatever support they did get left their biggest need unmet. Training focused on skills -- the mechanics of management -- but the new managers still lacked the language to truly understand the value of management itself.

That's right. What they needed most were words.

They can think and speak clearly about technical work and how it adds value. But when it comes to the value of management, they have only vague words and platitudes to guide them. Without the clarity of language, new managers:

• Can't know what's important in their jobs.

• Can't focus on value-adding activities.

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