Shruthi Kamath's Path to Becoming a Manager

Rising to the Challenge: Shruthi Kamath’s Path to Becoming a Manager

“Can I really do this?” It’s a question that echoes in the minds of countless professionals contemplating a leap into management. The fear of the unknown, the anxiety of making decisions that impact others, and the worry about losing the familiar comfort of their existing roles – these are the emotions that grip many aspiring managers.

Meet Shruthi Kamath, a Senior Customer Success manager with nearly eleven years of professional experience. She deals with client communication, understands their requirements, and gives them the experience of the product and services. Shruthi is a creative and self-driven person who enjoys turning her ideas into reality. She always gives her best in every project she takes on.

But as a manager, like so many others, she was initially scared at the mere thought of becoming a manager. We’ll talk about her fears and hesitations about taking on the role and how she turned those feelings around and became the excellent manager she is today. Her professional story demonstrates how embracing the unknown can lead to remarkable professional and personal growth.

A Change of Heart: How Support and Self-Discovery Overcome Hesitation

“I thought I could never become a manager because it never seemed like my cup of tea.”

Shruthi Kamath
Initially, when Shruthi got an opportunity to become a manager, the idea didn’t sit well with her. She had reservations, mainly because of the negative stereotypes associated with the managerial role. The common belief that team members often dislike their managers weighed heavily on her mind.

In retrospect, Shruthi’s reluctance to take on a managerial role primarily stemmed from her concern about positively impacting her team. The thought of stepping into a managerial role brought the weight of wondering whether she could contribute positively to her team’s dynamics. The hesitation wasn’t rooted in self-doubt but rather in a genuine desire to ensure that her influence on the team would be constructive and beneficial. This thoughtful consideration lingered in her mind as she contemplated embracing the role of a manager.

“Managing people is a challenging task.”

Shruthi Kamath
Another reason why the idea of stepping into a manager’s shoes didn’t initially appeal to Shruthi was the complexity associated with the managerial role.She had always been the kind of professional who thrived on improving and streamlining processes. The thought of whether she could effectively manage it all made her uncertain. After all, managing people is often considered one of the most challenging tasks in the professional world.

As a manager, the to-do list seems endless. You need to understand each team member’s unique work style, what motivates them, and how to inspire them to achieve their goals. You have to ensure that the work gets done on time and that your team is content working under your leadership. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you still have your own tasks to complete. The sheer magnitude of it all made her wonder if she could juggle it successfully.

After some conversations with her colleagues and seniors, Shruthi began to see the manager’s role in a new light. It dawned on her that this might be the next step for her growth and professional development. With her seniors’ and colleagues’ support and encouragement, she decided to take the leap.

Stepping into the managerial role turned out to be an enlightening journey and became an opportunity for self-discovery, too. With every interaction, she learned valuable lessons, not just about managing others but about understanding herself better. 

Early Days of Leadership: Shruthi Kamath’s Managerial Challenges

“I would explain the tasks at hand clearly and would still sense a little doubt in the room.” 

Shruthi Kamath
For Shruthi, a first-time manager, the initial hurdle she faced was ensuring that her team members fully grasped the task at hand, aiming to bridge potential communication gaps. Often, she found herself in a situation where she would explain things to her team, only to realize that her message hadn’t landed as intended. Sometimes, it was frustrating for her to repeat herself and still be uncertain whether her explanations had truly resolved the issues or if her team truly understood her.

This challenge became a significant learning curve, pushing her to find more effective ways to communicate her ideas and tasks. As the meticulous professional that Shruthi is, she was determined to solve this challenge; after a few trial and error methods, she found a method that worked for her team.

“To tackle the communication gap effectively, I started doing a simple exercise after discussions.”

Shruthi Kamath
To handle the communication challenge head-on, Shruthi initiated a simple yet clever exercise within her team. She began by articulating what needed to be done and then asked her team members to repeat what was articulated once she had finished. It was an easy yet effective approach designed to uncover gaps in understanding and ensure that her messages were crystal clear. This exercise not only made it easier for her to identify communication gaps but also allowed her team to actively participate in the process of bridging those gaps. It was a step towards fostering a more cohesive and communicative team where everyone was on the same page.

“I had a hard time understanding the team’s point of view and building empathy.”

Shruthi Kamath
Another significant challenge Shruthi grappled with was seeing things from her team’s perspective to understand what was causing delays and struggles. At times, it seemed to her like they weren’t doing their job properly. It was a learning curve for her, a journey of self-discovery. She realized that in her role as a manager, it was crucial to comprehend what her team members were going through. Without this understanding, frustration might have been her default response when they didn’t meet her expectations.

So, she embarked on a mission to bridge this gap. She knew that it was vital to get to the root of the issue. Shruthi discovered the importance of diving into her team members’ backgrounds, understanding their challenges, and providing support where needed. She understood that without this empathy, simply reprimanding them for not meeting her demands wasn’t a constructive approach.

Shruthi made it a practice to connect with her team members personally. She engaged them in conversations where they felt safe to open up and share their concerns. By creating this atmosphere of trust and open communication, she discovered a whole new dimension to her role as a manager. It wasn’t just about directing tasks; it was about being there for her team, understanding their struggles, and helping them overcome obstacles.

“I used to get worked up easily if something didn’t go according  to the plan.”

Shruthi Kamath
Shruthi used to find herself quickly getting worked up when things didn’t go according to plan, often reacting critically in the face of unexpected challenges. Recognizing this as a challenge, she embarked on a mission to improve her approach.

Her turning point came when she realized that not everything unfolds as planned. Instead of reacting impulsively, she opted for a more measured response. When confronted with a situation that triggered frustration, she chose to sit with it, allowing herself to process the emotions it evoked. Only when she felt composed and clear-headed did she engage with the situation.

This transformation wasn’t just about managing her reactions; it was also about fairness. She understood it wasn’t right to react abruptly with her team members for circumstances beyond their control. This shift in her response and perspective marked a significant milestone in her managerial journey.

Shruthi’s Managerial Mantra: Active Listening and Constructive Feedback

“As a manager, I assure that I am here and willing to listen to what my team says.”

Shruthi Kamath
Shruthi has the most visionary ideas in the room, and she recalls that when her managers heard her out and engaged with her thoughts, her job satisfaction and overall work engagement soared. Knowing the importance of out-of-the-box thinking, she, as a manager, carries this belief of active listening into her role. She considers it vital to encourage her team members when they approach her with their ideas. For Shruthi, being open and receptive to these ideas is a fundamental practice.

For her, sharing ideas is not just about whether they will be implemented; it goes far beyond that. She never dismisses her team members’ contributions outright, nor does she label any idea as unimportant. Instead, she listens attentively, asking questions and showing genuine interest in understanding the concepts presented. 

This approach is more than just about ideas; it fosters trust and a healthy rapport within her team. By demonstrating a willingness to consider and engage with her team’s input, Shruthi cultivates an environment where every member feels valued and respected. This trust and respect not only lead to stronger teamwork but also contribute to overall job satisfaction and engagement in the workplace.

“I make sure to check in with my team regularly and give them constructive feedback.”

Shruthi Kamath
Shruthi’s experience in her career taught her the value of receiving constructive feedback, something she felt she had been lacking in her career initially. As a manager now, she has made it a point to ensure that her team members receive the feedback they need. What sets her approach apart is her skill in delivering feedback in a manner that doesn’t leave her team members feeling disheartened.

She takes a thoughtful approach to identifying the right way to provide feedback, always aiming for a constructive conversation. Her feedback isn’t about making her team members upset; it’s about helping them improve their work. She provides them with clear guidance on how they can enhance their performance.

Shruthi’s feedback strategy involves beginning with something positive, acknowledging the areas where they’ve excelled, and then gently introducing areas where there is room for improvement. This balanced approach creates an atmosphere of growth and development, where her team members can receive feedback with an open mind, knowing it’s geared towards their success. This approach ensures her team members feel supported and motivated to enhance their work continuously.

As Shruthi’s journey as a manager unfolds, she’s shown a remarkable ability to recognize her shortcomings and proactively address them. Her determination to avoid falling into the stereotype of managers she once feared has fueled her growth in this new role.  While she humbly admits she still has much to learn, it’s impossible to ignore her genuine enthusiasm when discussing her newfound role.

For Shruthi, the real charm of being a manager lies in the trust her team members place in her. It’s not just about overseeing projects and making decisions—it’s about those moments when her teammates approach her with problems or seek her advice. To her, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as being a reliable source of guidance and support for her team. Witnessing her colleagues look up to her, trusting her judgment, and seeking her assistance has become the most fulfilling part of her managerial journey. As Shruthi continues on this path, it’s evident that her journey as a manager is not just a professional milestone—it’s a personal evolution.

How can Risely help?

Shruthi Kamath has developed her leadership style and perspective through her experience and seniors’ guidance. Her journey to overcome hesitance and become a confident manager is commendable. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all managers have the same time, resources, and opportunities to perfect their leadership style.

Every manager is unique in their leadership style and challenges. That’s where Risely comes in. Risely offers a platform for managers to seek the guidance and support they need to navigate their leadership journey. It provides tailored steps and insights to help managers refine their approach and achieve their true potential.

Here’s how Risely solves challenges for many Managers like Shruthi:

  • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 30+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
  • Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities are tested, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, to see how well managers have achieved these critical functions. Based on these assessments,  they learn about their  skills and abilities with detailed reports.
  • Start growing: With time, managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges provided by Risely. It dynamically supports the manager’s  progress through resources like toolkits, samples, and assessments.
Risely, the AI co-pilot for leadership development, makes the road easy for up-and-coming managers and team leaders. While you are navigating the new ways of a managerial role, Risely takes the lead on your growth and creates personalized learning journeys leading toward your professional goals. In a busy world, it’s the buddy you need to succeed! 

Kickstart your leadership development journey for free now!

Learning from mistakes is great. But what if we skip them? Find the loopholes in your skills with Risely’s range of assessments today.

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