Winning promotion to a managerial position is an exciting progression in your career journey. While you have the excitement of increased responsibility and mental stimulation – and, of course, a higher pay packet – being a manager is a challenging role that can take its toll on you over time if you are not prepared.
However, several essential skills will enable you to thrive in your managerial position, and the good news is that you can learn and develop these if you feel that you lack in certain areas. Here are six essential skills that you need to succeed as a manager.
While it might sound obvious, being organized is an essential managerial skill. As an administrator, you will be managing many of the logistics involved with running your team. This could include, for instance, managing workloads (including your own), organizing employee training, and carrying out appraisals.
You need to keep track of all such tasks to ensure that work is completed on time and your office environment remains as calm as possible – it is not fair on your team to land them with a high-priority task simply because you forgot all about it. Like Asana, project management software will help you stay organized and keep on top of your team’s workflow.
2. Commercial awareness
Understanding the different components involved in making a business successful and the marketplace in which a company operates is essential knowledge for a manager. This includes understanding the organization’s aims and mission statement and being aware of and keeping up with the social, political, and economic issues affecting the business.
You can gain commercial awareness by building up a lot of experience working for the company, for instance, if you have spent several years working on the shop floor as a sales assistant before securing promotion to retail management.
However, pursuing a university degree in a business program will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the necessary skills and market knowledge. An online MBA will allow you the flexibility to successfully study for a degree while holding down a full-time job and fulfilling other life and family commitments.
3. Problem-solving and decision-making
Problems arise daily in business; solving them is what makes a career in this sector mentally stimulating and satisfying. However, there are several problem-solving skills that you should develop to ensure that you are a calm and inspirational manager during a crisis to whom your team can look up for guidance. For instance, you should be able to remain relaxed and able to think clearly in a situation.
Creative thinking is an essential problem-solving skill to have as you will be able to think outside the box and identify methods to be used to help solve the problem. Furthermore, as a manager, you will be required to make a snap decision when an incident – positive, negative, or neutral – occurs. This might be, for instance, how to complete a task in a short time frame. As such, you will have to quickly weigh up and assess the pros and cons of a situation to make an informed decision.
Do you struggle to delegate specific tasks to your workforce and find that much of your subsequent time and energy is spent chasing updates? If so, then you could be engaged in micromanagement. This managerial style is instrumental in creating a toxic working environment that could eventually result in employees becoming deeply dissatisfied in their jobs and maybe even exacerbating workplace stress.
As such, it is essential as a manager that you learn how to delegate tasks effectively. Assess the different skillsets of your team and assign tasks accordingly.
For instance, one person you know has intricate knowledge of Photoshop, and you could task them with designing templates for social media posts. Delegating tasks to your workforce will also free up your own time to complete your managerial tasks. Together, this makes for a more productive team with smoother processes.
Effective communication is something that a lot of managers struggle to achieve. If you have been promoted, you might find it difficult to adjust to managing colleagues who are now your subordinates. As such, follow a passive communication style as you are concerned about jeopardizing existing friendships and relationships.
As a counterpoint, if you have recently arrived at a company, you might be preoccupied with cementing your reputation as a strong manager who gets results and, as such, takes an aggressive communication style to get your team to follow your orders.
Both of these approaches are ultimately ineffective, leading to high employee dissatisfaction and a drop in productivity. Instead, use assertive communication to get your point across. As this communication style is cemented in retaining balance and mutual respect with others, you and your team will be able to clearly and more effectively communicate your needs.
6. Interpersonal skills
Being a manager is all about dealing with people, and as such, an ability to build relationships is integral to your success.
Your company is also likely to see results and job satisfaction if they respect their leader; you can earn this respect by showing your managerial qualities and authority while also being a supportive presence who is more than willing to play an equal part as a member of the team.
You can build relationships within your team and get to know each other on a more personal level by organizing team-building activities.
For example, participating in an assault course is a fun way to practice essential collaboration and communication skills, or you can unwind after a long day’s work with a few drinks at the local bar.
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