Becoming the manager that everyone wants to work for has never been easy. In today’s fast paced, ever-changing world, the job of a manager is getting harder. Managers will find themselves regularly encountering new, unfamiliar challenges to overcome, so it is critical that their skills continuously develop. But what are the most important skills they need?
Let’s look at what organisations need from their management team. Each manager needs to be able to turn strategy into action; to plan, organise, assign and monitor the work; grasp basic business finance; and have enough commercial awareness to make sound decisions. These skills are fundamental to good management practice. But on their own, they’re not enough.
Latest research tells us that the key competencies in a modern manager’s toolkit are: motivating teams, leading people through change, nurturing creativity, influencing (up, down and across the organisation), collaborating with other teams and unlocking people’s potential to perform. In our globally connected world, it seems that people skills are more important than they have ever been.
But that doesn’t just mean being skilled at managing others, it means a manager being able to manage themselves. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are therefore paramount, as is being comfortable with uncertainty, paradox and contradiction. Sounds like a tall order!
The good news is that all these people skills can be learned. It’s true that managers will pick up some skills ‘on the job’ – more so if their own manager is able to coach. But it’s also true that as a professional, you need professional development. A management development programme offered by the organisation is an excellent way to start to acquire the critical knowledge, skills and behaviours. But there is much a manager can – should - do to develop themselves independently.
According to Peter Drucker, if managers want to succeed and advance in the workplace, they have to take charge of their own development and performance, in effect becoming their own "chief executive officer." So where should they start?
There are three dimensions to managing yourself as a manager effectively:
1. Develop the Right Mindset
- Use positive thinking to stay motivated and focussed
- Build emotional intelligence to better understand their own and others’ feelings
- Be open to listening and learning
2. Set the Right Goals
- Look to leverage strengths
- Be SMART
- Create a personal mission statement
3. Take Responsibility
- Organise your own work day
- Motivate yourself
- Exercise self-discipline
There are a range of practical tools available to help your managers develop in these three areas, covered in the first stageof our management development programme. However, they can also be used by your managers to kick-start their own independent development.
If you want to find out more about these tools and how they could help your managers develop themselves, get in touch!