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Mindset Shifts for Better Team Management

Sabrina, Graphic Designer at BandLab Technologies, shared her takeaways on building confidence and shifting mindsets on team management

A New Change: Picking Up a New Managerial Role

Can you tell us about how you ended up in your current role as a graphic designer at BandLab Technologies?

Before BandLab, I worked for a year under a company that works with psychological and mental well-being. I did graphic design there and designed board games for children. It was fun teaching children to have problem-solving skills and a growth mindset through games, but it didn’t really push me.

Afterwards, I got lucky because a friend referred me to the current creative director at BandLab. It’s definitely more than what I thought it would be because it’s in the music-tech landscape. I really like this job, because I learn something new everyday, and I’m very fortunate to have a creative director who constantly thinks about my growth and is always helping me look out for new opportunities.

I’m currently a graphic designer in the marketing team, which has around 17 of us. In the creative team, we have five people - my creative director, a motion designer, a video producer, a junior designer based in Philippines whom I am managing, and I.

I was very fortunate to be given this opportunity to lead a junior designer by my creative director. Initially when she asked me, I was a little unsure how to manage a direct report, and wasn’t sure how to delegate without being overwhelmed.

Learning to Lead: Overcoming Challenges and Finding Solutions

What were the challenges you faced before the management essential sprint?

I had lots of questions, such as how do I make space mentally to think about someone else and their growth while handling my own work? There was also a lot of imposter syndrome going on, because I felt very unprepared going into the managerial role. I didn’t have any guidelines and had to base everything off what I’ve seen over the years.

Can you share some solutions you learnt after going to NewCampus?

I remember Brian was asking us to come up with a cheatsheet to help us with one-to-ones. I really needed that, and that really taught me how to help my direct report grow.

Besides that, I also got to hear about solutions from my group mates. I was talking to Anne, a group mate of mine who lives in the Philippines, about how difficult it is to manage someone overseas. She shared that she and her direct reports have happy hour or lunch together on screen. It’s really interesting to hear about the point of views and experiences of the people around me, not just the theoretical solutions from NewCampus.

It’s really interesting to hear about the point of views and experiences of the people around me, not just the theoretical solutions from NewCampus.

Generally during the Management Essentials, I feel that the entire NewCampus managed to address lots of challenges I was already facing. I met a lot of people with imposter syndrome too, so I did not feel alone because I realised other people were facing the same challenges as well.

After coming up with a framework with my group mates during the Management Essentials, I used it as a guideline, and it’s really helpful.

An Increase in Confidence and Changed Approach to Delegation

How has your mindset shifted? What there a new understanding after the Management Essentials?

I definitely feel way more prepared and qualified to manage now. My mindset has shifted less into thinking how to give my direct report work, and more into how I can help them in their work so we can drive forward together. I became less stressed about how I might be perceived in their growth.

After the Management Essentials, I felt a lot more confident about delegation. I started to have a better direction of what I was doing, and there’s a bit more structure in how I manage my direct report now.

Before the workshop, I felt very uncomfortable talking to my creative director about my progress because I felt like there was no progress. Now, I can see and point out certain things my direct report can improve on. The team’s growth is a lot more structured and organised now.

Before the workshop, I felt very uncomfortable talking to my creative director about my progress because I felt like there was no progress. Now, I can see and point out certain things my direct report can improve on.

Now that you feel more comfortable talking to your Creative Director about your direct report, how has your relationship with your team or your Creative Director changed as a result?

Being both a manager and being managed is something I am still getting used to, and it is a position I am very grateful for. I tend to pick up on the way my Creative Director talks to me now, and the way she solves problems.

She’s like the captain of the ship with the way she finds solutions and manages us. I am definitely not on the same plane as her, but I can better understand why she does things a certain way and the way she thinks. She’s a really good manager and I aspire to be like that one day.

Discover how Management Essentials Sprint helps high-performers manage up, down, and across teams.

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