8 Skills That Will Take Your Managerial Career to the Next Level
Looking to advance as a manager?
The best managers have mastered certain skills. Some may have those abilities naturally, but most learned them along the way. If you want to take your career to the next level – taking on a managerial role, eyeing a more senior position, or starting your own business – you need to master those same qualities.
What skills should you develop? We offer 8 things you should work on to advance your career.
1.Learn the required technical skills.
First, you want to develop the technical skills and knowledge related to your field. That might mean learning how to run a particular machine or tool or other skills such as closing a sale, computer skills, or understanding the market and clients related to your business.
The required skills will be different for everyone, of course. A person who works in the sales department will need different skills than a software engineer or someone in marketing. Those skills must then be truly mastered. You must work to perfect your knowledge, always learning and striving to be better. Seek out a mentor to help you or consider further education or certifications, if needed.
2. Learn how to be a better communicator.
The ability to communicate effectively with your team members, as well as other managers and departments, is absolutely essential. It’s called “people skills” and you will have to develop them, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Keep in mind that communication has many forms. It may occur face-to-face, but also through other means such as phone calls, video conferences, emails, memos, and texts, so you must be adept at all of them. If you have trouble forming coherent thoughts on the phone, write down bullet points of what you want to say. With any written communications, pay careful attention to spelling and grammar.
3. Learn how to be a problem solver.
If you want to be a good manager you need to be that person who comes up with solutions to problems. Build a reputation as a “fixer.” According to CareerBuilder, “The right skill set empowers managers to identify, face, and overcome various problems that might arise in the workplace.”
You must be detail-oriented and learn how to identify problems before they become catastrophic. Plus, develop the ability to analyze all data and critical information relating to your industry so you are able to answer questions and solve any issues that may arise.
4. Learn how to see the big picture.
You’ve probably heard this phrase a lot. What it really means is being able to see all of the different pieces and understand how they fit together. “That means seeing the whole through analysis and diagnosis of different states…in such a way that he can predict the future of the business or department as a whole,” according to Entrepreneur In A Box.
Depending on its size, your company may have many different departments. The goals of each department might be different – and may even run counter to yours – but you still need to be able to work within the system to satisfy your objectives as well as company goals.
5. Learn how to understand team dynamics.
Being a manager means managing…well…people. Whether it’s a team of three or 50, you want to be able to read people, understand their strengths, and be able to motivate them. Your job is to help employees become better at their jobs in order to increase production, make more sales, land that new account, or whatever the goals are for your department and the company as a whole. You want to understand how the people on your team think, what motivates them, and how well they work together, among other things. According to Time Business, “Strive for balance in skill sets, personality and viewpoints, and don’t be afraid to shake things up occasionally. A little uncertainty can show you who can thrive in tough times.”
6. Learn how to develop employees.
It’s not just about the team…it’s also about developing individuals within the team. You probably had a manager or mentor who helped you develop important skills. Being a good manager means you must now take on this role. Start by rewarding top workers with additional duties and training. Teach them everything about the business and your industry. The greater the understanding, the more successful your team will be…along with your company.
7. Learn how to delegate and motivate.
This is difficult for many people, but the ability to delegate is essential if you want to be a good leader. The hard part is learning to trust some functions to other employees, but having others take on responsibilities will give you more time for essential tasks that only you can do. Choosing the right employee for certain tasks goes back to Skill #4 on this list.
You also need to be able to motivate your team. According to CareerBuilder, “Hiring managers look for leaders who can spot employees’ strengths and encourage them to develop their skill sets. The best managers have a keen eye for areas that could be improved and know how to approach these issues diplomatically so workers feel encouraged to make productive changes, rather than discouraged by their shortcomings.”
8. Learn how to make informed decisions.
As a manager, you will need to make hundreds of decisions every day. Making good decisions hinges on getting all the information necessary. Seek out other managers or senior leaders and members of your team to develop a complete picture of the issues at hand.
There is always something new to learn when it comes to mastering and business and finding success. Developing these 8 skills will help you take the next step in your management career. If you’re looking for more guidance on how to get to the next level, we can help. Contact us today for more details on our recruiting and business consulting services.