“How to become a great manager?” is a question I find most managers seek an answer to, but only a few ever get a sufficient response. If that’s you, it’s essential to understand that both leadership and management are multifaceted disciplines. To be proficient, you need to nurture a range of crucial skills, which include:
- Communication: This skill is fundamental to becoming a great manager. It involves articulating your vision clearly, setting expectations, and interacting effectively with various stakeholders. Listening skills are equally important as they facilitate understanding of diverse perspectives and feedback, enhancing overall leadership and management.
- Strategic Thinking: Exceptional managers think ahead, anticipating potential challenges and planning accordingly. They comprehend how their decisions will influence their team and the broader organization, both short-term and long-term.
- Decision Making: Good leadership often demands making difficult decisions, sometimes based on incomplete information. This requires the ability to scrutinize a situation, consider potential outcomes, and make informed choices.
- Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Sensitivity to the emotions and viewpoints of others can result in better team dynamics and efficient management. This also includes self-awareness of your emotions and their impact on your behavior and decisions.
- Delegation: Aspiring to become a great manager means recognizing that you can’t do everything yourself. It’s essential to trust your team members and delegate tasks effectively, ensuring the right people handle the right tasks.
- Conflict Resolution: Conflict is inevitable within any team. Effective managers identify and resolve conflicts before they escalate, ensuring fair and effective solutions. In fact many successful managers seek to establish an environment where productive conflict is practiced routinely.
- Motivation and Inspiration: The ability to inspire and motivate your team can increase productivity and morale. This typically involves recognizing team members’ achievements, providing constructive feedback, and fostering a positive work environment.
- Change Management: Leaders must be proficient in guiding their teams through organizational changes, enabling them to adapt and prosper.
- Problem-solving: This involves identifying, analyzing, and resolving problems creatively and innovatively.
- Adaptability: In today’s fast-paced world, the ability to adapt to new circumstances, learn from experiences, and be open to change is crucial.
- Coaching and Mentoring: Great managers often act as mentors, helping individuals enhance their skills, improve performance, and achieve professional goals. This involves guidance, feedback, support, and offering growth opportunities.
- Self-Management: Also known as self-leadership, this involves managing one’s own time, emotions, and behavior effectively. Leaders who manage themselves well serve as robust role models for their teams.
- Managing Upwards: This involves managing your relationship with your superiors effectively, ensuring alignment between team efforts and organizational objectives.
- Cultural Competency: As workplaces grow more diverse, it’s vital to appreciate different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, fostering an inclusive environment.
- Technology Literacy: In the digital era, comfort with technology is essential. Leaders should understand how different technologies can benefit their team or organization, and stay up-to-date with relevant technological trends.
If you’re struggling on how to become a great manager and leader, these skills can be learned and developed over time, keeping in mind that different manager-leadership roles may require a unique combination of these skills.