Thursday, January 10, 2013

Five Skills You Must Develop if You Want to Become a Manager

I have talked to several customers this week who have stable, well-paying jobs in very popular industries. However, no matter how good their job may be, they want to do "more" with their careers. If you are feeling stagnant in your career and want to move forward into a leadership role there are several steps you must take.

The first of these steps is to let your goals become known. Ensure your manager and human resources knows of your aspirations so they can help you develop a plan of action. Show the leadership team of your company that you are serious about your goals by developing your skills in these key areas.

Communication and Listening
No matter how good you are at managing tasks or projects, if you can't communicate effectively with people, you can only go so far in your career. A good manager must be able to interact effectively with all members of their team. You need to be able to communicate with your employees, your customers and your own manager. You must be flexible and adaptable enough to know how to change your own style of communication to connect with everyone at all levels.

Effective managers must emphasize listening as much as talking. No matter how important you become, a manager's job is much more than telling people what to do. The art of listening - both to what is said and what is not - is critical to knowing what is really going on around you.

Training and Coaching
Ask for opportunities to mentor and coach new employees. This is an excellent way to gain experience in training and will allow you to demonstrate that you have the skills to develop new employees - an important skill for being an effective manager. If these opportunities do not exist within your organization, consider joining an professional organization that will match you with someone you can mentor.

Taking initiative is another way to demonstrate your value to the organization. Look for inefficiencies or opportunities for improvement in your organization. Put together a comprehensive plan for overcoming these obstacles and ask your manager for permission to present and implement your ideas. Try to anticipate your manager's needs and take care of the details of your current job without ever being asked.

Problem Solving
Managers are most often problem solvers and "firefighters" resolving the issues of customers, team members, and higher leadership. Show your ability to determine the source of issues and be proactive in resolving not only the problem, but the underlying root cause.

Leadership and Management
People often use these words interchangeably, but they are not necessarily the same thing. Managers plan, organize, and coordinate while leaders inspire and motivate people to follow them. Managers focus on the short-term priorities where leaders have their eye on the long-term goals of where the organization is headed next. You must be able to do both - especially in today's economy where companies try to do more with less.

No comments:

Post a Comment