Irrespective of industry, most manager jobs will entail directly managing a team of employees. There are of course a number of manager positions nowadays that can best be termed as ‘managers without portfolio’ but these are the exception and not the rule. Thus, to be successful in managing a team, you need to be a good leader who is inspiring and dependable. Leadership will entail showing an ability to calmly handle problems and resolve conflicts amicably. A high level of emotional stability is key allowing you to make good decisions even under high pressure.
Jobs in management require individuals who have good communication skills. Your ability to communicate effectively with your team members, peers and seniors is vital for your success as a manager. You must be able to clearly define the goals and responsibilities expected of each person in your team in order to avert confusion that would otherwise be caused by misunderstanding. Your ability to communicate as a manager is also important when dealing with people outside your subordinates and comes into play when you need to report to your seniors.
Since jobs in management will involve overseeing a team, your ability to relate well with members of your team is of utmost importance. Interpersonal skills include the ability to listen keenly to other people’s points of view even though they may be of a lower rank than you. One of the key measures of your people skills is how approachable your juniors consider you to be. Take and give criticism positively and be ready to delegate work as this helps bring the self confidence of your team members.
Management jobs require a high level of confidence. Few things weaken a team faster than an insecure leader whose confidence is clearly lacking. A successful manager needs to show confidence when dealing both with team members and with seniors. With a confident leader, teams will work more coherently and be able to function better as a unit. One of the best ways to build confidence is by becoming a subject matter expert in your area of work. However, you do not have to know more than everyone else in your team for you to lead them. But you must at least be able to demonstrate an above average understanding and a deliberate effort at improving your knowledge.
Decisiveness is another key characteristic of good managers. As a manager, you will be called upon to make a number of difficult decisions time and again. For instance, you may need to fire one of your team members. You may be required to order a salary freeze for a member of staff that may not be performing as per expectations. All these are challenging decisions that will require you to manage well if they are not to get out of control. As a manager, you would not want your bosses to be always stepping in to put out the fires in your department. Your decisions must be clear, firm and with rational explanation behind them.
Organized and a Good Planner
Personal organization and the ability to plan are two other critical management skills you need. You have to chart out a departmental plan at the beginning of the year that each action in the department should be geared towards achieving. Management jobs require managing different staff members with multiple and sometimes differing functions. As a manager, you need to plan not only for the individual team member but for the entire team and make sure that these two plans are complementary. You have to check progress continuously to ensure that everything is on track and no one in the team loses sight of the end goal.
Jobs in management come with the need to lead by example. It is not all rosy for the manager as they must not only talk about what needs to be done but they must live it too. Managers are accountable to both their supervisors and their subordinates.
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