The buck stops with the manager of a company when it comes to both daily operations and long-term goals. This is the individual who's responsible for making sure that all departments are functioning in tandem and that every employee is on the same page. A manager's job requires a knack for leadership and numerous technical skills, conceptual skills and talents, but you don't necessarily have to be born with them. Management skills, time management and other essential skills can be learned and honed.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Leadership skills begin with being able to communicate effectively with your team members. You must not only be able to make your needs and expectations clear to them, but you have to hear what they're telling you as well - a sign of emotional intelligence. This applies to customers and clients too.
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Successfully doing both makes you an effective leader who can motivate your workers. You want to develop and maintain good, respectful relationships so your employees are willing to go the extra mile for you when necessary. You might realize that one or more of your staff possess undiscovered talents or abilities that you can put to use. This benefits you, them and your company.
Communication means offering sincere praise when appropriate as well, and it isn't limited to just oral skills. You should also be able to get your point across in writing. You want your memos to be read, not shoved to the side of someone's desk or deleted from their email after a brief scan. The Society for Human Resource Management recommends striving for the "7 Cs" – your communications should be courteous, coherent, clear, concise, correct, concrete and complete.
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Ability to Delegate and Collaborate
Communication skills are the cornerstone of strong managerial skills. Your team must be able to work well together. A great manager will be able to guide them to collaborate with each other, person-to-person or department-to-department. This requires a knack for conflict resolution, because you'll invariably have employees who just don't see eye to eye or get along.
You should also know when and how to effectively delegate tasks and to communicate what you expect from the process. These people management skills might involve assigning some of your own responsibilities to an enterprising assistant or moving work from employees who are buried in their workloads to others who have the bandwidth to help out. It creates a well-oiled machine that runs efficiently and productively, particularly if your workers are motivated by those courteous and concise words of yours.
Ability to See Around Corners
A good manager is a forward-thinking individual who has the ability to look ahead and anticipate challenges, even those that might be lurking unseen around corners.
You should be able to identify future challenges and prioritize them once you do. This requires some decision-making skills. Which of these issues must be addressed yesterday? What can wait until next week? Being able to separate the two will help avoid your team becoming overwhelmed and feeling like any effort is useless because there are only so many hours in a day.
A Knack for Finding Solutions
Strong problem-solving skills are integral to your success because there will be problems and your team will be looking to you to fix things when they crop up. They might be daily hiccups or long-term big-picture challenges, but it's a given that you and your staff will periodically encounter them. You have to be able to narrow down your potential solutions to find – and implement – the most cost-effective and promising among them. This can require an ability for comprehensive research and a knack for strategic thinking.
This skill doesn't have to begin and end with you if you've also mastered the art of collaboration. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 75 percent of managers surveyed felt that it was critically important that successful managers be able to effectively assemble teams to address problems, such as by organizing and successfully leading brainstorming sessions. This will also promote a sense of teamwork. You can take this one step further and solicit opinions and wish lists from clients and customers as well.
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