Management positions are rewarding, but they’re also tough gigs. When you’re a manager, you handle employee conflict, customer service issues, operational crises, and a slew of other overlooked responsibilities. Though the job can be taxing and stressful at times, the experience a manager receives is invaluable.
If you’re currently in management or looking to move up in your company, there are certain skills you need to master to be an effective manager and make a significant impact. Some of these skills come with experience, while you learn others through educational programs. Here’s a list of the skills that should be your primary focus.
To become a phenomenal manager, you must first be a phenomenal employee. Be a shining example to your team by exhibiting an exceptional work ethic. Know the ins and outs of your team’s jobs as well as your own. Team members rely on you as their knowledge source, so you need to prepare for their questions.
Also, your team quickly picks up on small behaviors that you exhibit. For example, your team pays attention to what time you clock in and out, how long you take breaks, whether you’re present on the floor or not, and how you speak to customers and colleagues. Your team takes behavioral cues from you, so work the way you want to see your team perform.
2. Quality Leadership
Leadership is not the same as management. Managers take care of daily operations, timesheets, work schedules, and customer service complaints. Leaders, contrarily, inspire teams to grow and flourish. Leaders instill confidence in their team and work toward long-term strategic goals. Managers are certainly important for maintaining the day-to-day upkeep of business, but to keep a team truly united and encourage all members to look forward to another day of work, managers need to exhibit inspirational leadership qualities.
3. Strategic Thinking
Managers tend to get stuck on the daily to-do lists. However, there’s more to running a team than checking off boxes. Effective managers need to develop keen big-picture thinking skills. Though executives are often regarded as the big-picture thinkers, any manager at any level in a company can learn to think outside the box to make a greater impact within a department. An article from Washington State discusses how managers can think about the big picture just like an EMBA graduate is trained to do. It’s worth considering and potentially taking classes on the subject.
Change is part of every business, and the difference between businesses that fail and succeed is how they adapt to change. Same goes for managed teams. Management strategy must incorporate change to account for surprises and expected potential events. Planning for change is so important that schools like Maryville University are teaching change management strategies to their MBA students. To learn more about what a change management policy should include, click here.
Are You Ready to Step Up?
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, make sure you have an exceptional work ethic, develop quality leadership skills, practice big picture thinking, and learn how to adapt well to change. The better you get at these skills, the more effective you’ll be as a manager.