The Top Skills You Need As A Manager
Many team members harbour thoughts about taking on positions of leadership and authority. That is natural because many of them possess varying degrees of ambition. However, not all of them possess the objectivity or the maturity to evaluate their claims to positions of authority honestly. That too, when compared to the claims of their co-workers. This is why becoming a team manager can be quite a daunting prospect. This is especially so if you have to handle the team that until recently you were a part of. Yet, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
What are the Biggest Challenges of Becoming a Manager?
The top challenges that managers encounter each day at work include:
- Dealing with people who have several opinions about any given situation, but do not have the courage to act on their convictions
- Working with a team or peers who are not willing to collaborate
- Bringing out the best in all their team members, regardless of whether they are underperforming, outstanding or just average
- Not having the opportunity of handpicking your own teams
- Responding to every crisis that occurs
- Managing people who have short-term and selective memories
- Being in a no-win position as they’re stuck between their subordinates and their bosses, with each side having their own expectations from them
- Managing their own insecurities
7 Top Qualities that a Manager Must Have
To be a successful manager, you need to possess certain essential skills. Here is a list of the top skills that every good (and successful) manager must have.
- Dealing with the Here and Now: Getting work done remains the core function of a manager. Each day will invariably bring its own set of challenges e.g. inadequate levels of staffing, a lack of facilities or budgets etc. Taking each day as it comes and scoring more hits than misses is an important trait to possess. If you can take in the lessons from lost opportunities and capitalize on them in the future, then you are on the right track.
- Making Plans: If dealing with the present is important, such as planning for the days ahead as well. This includes making adequate preparations for key dates in the year. It signifies the need of evaluating the current trends at the workplace (and the industry). It also involves being able to foresee how these trends might affect the work done by your team in the future. Consider this as being the manager’s way of being two steps ahead of the present.
- Assigning Roles Based on Skills: Each team is comprised of several individuals with various strengths and skills. To ensure that people do their work, managers need to identify the role that each team member plays (or has the ability to play when the situation demands). Typical roles could include:
– Workers and,
- Communicating Effectively: This does not just signify one-way conversations, where you speak and the team listens. It also denotes two-way conversations, where your team members speak and you listen to them effectively. Managers need to make sure that they speak to all their team members regularly. This fosters team spirit. It also mitigates the chances of hostility and jealousy that could wreak havoc on the team.
- Inspiring Your Team: Managers need to treat each person with respect. This entails treating each person as an individual. It also involves building bonds with each person in the team. Therefore, managers must appreciate and recognize the good efforts of the achievers in their teams. In addition, they must also focus on boosting the morale of the “quiet performers” in the team. Giving these individuals their dues often keeps the team functioning smoothly.
- Delegating Responsibilities: Once managers know the strengths of their team members, they could look at delegating some of their responsibilities. This might reduce the workload of the manager. It could also help in the development of the team members perhaps, to take on positions of leadership in the future. Set the timelines. Provide any facilities that the individuals might require. Thereafter, offer support when (and if) needed and monitor progress.
- Being Able to Take Hard Decisions: Managers cannot always be popular. Looking for win-win situations in every conflict situation is nice. However, it might not always work out. On such occasions, biting the bullet is the best course of action. However, managers must ensure that they speak to all the people affected. This might help in abating the impact of the decision taken.
Numerous courses and books elaborate several different views on management styles at the workplace. However, the secret of becoming a good manager lies in cultivating constructive bonds or relationships with the people in your team. If you know the strengths and improvement areas of each person in your team, you will be able to play to their strengths. That too, while you work on overcoming or diminishing their shortcomings.
Want more tips on how to be a good manager and advance in your career? Take our Introduction to Management course!
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