Many people get into a management role because they have built a reputation as someone who gets things done. While some successfully adapt and make the transition to a management role, there are others who struggle. In some ways this is not a surprise as being a great technician is very different to being a great manager. So what are the core skills and qualities to being an effective manager?
Core Skills and Qualities 1: Communication Skills
Being an effective manager requires the ability to communicate well in writing and verbally. Those who are exceptional managers are also great at listening.
Core Skills and Qualities 2: Highly Organised
The biggest challenge facing managers is often too much to do and not enough hours in the day. As a result this necessitates good time planning, time management and prioritisation skills.
Core Skills and Qualities 3: Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
One of the biggest requirements of a manager is to deal with obstacles and blocks that get in the way of getting things done. This requires managers to think creatively and come up with new and innovative solutions to overcome problems.
Core Skills and Qualities 4: Great At Delegating
The biggest temptation for some managers is to try and do everything themselves rather than delegate to others. This is the fastest way to burn out and give a message to your team that you don’t trust them.
Core Skills and Qualities 5: Able To Motivate
The ability to motivate others is essential if you are going to get their support to deliver results. Yet what I have found is that many managers have little or no idea what motivates their team because they have never taken the time to find out.
Core Skills and Qualities 6: Tact and Diplomacy
We all have bad days, get frustrated or annoyed with someone on our team. Good managers won’t rush in like a bull in a china shop to tackle the team. They will tactfully and diplomatically give there feedback and restate expectations.
Core Skills and Qualities 7: Manage Up and Manage Down
Many managers feel like piggy in the middle. Their boss wants them to help them get results. Their team members or subordinates have needs to be addressed. It is tough but you need to work on giving the best you can to all the different relationships you need to succeed.
Core Skills and Qualities 8: Win Hearts and Minds
If you have ever tried to make any kind of change, you will know that the real challenge is not in terms of the process piece, but getting people on board. Listening and involving others makes a big difference.
Core Skills and Qualities 9: Personal Drive
You will have good days and days when you wonder why you are even bothering trying to be a good manager. Having the personal drive to keep going despite the setbacks really counts.
Core Skills and Qualities 10: Perspective
We all fall into the trap sometimes of believing that everything is life or death. Good managers learn how to keep things in perspective and distinguish what really matters from everything else.
The Bottom Line: Managing is a tough call and there will always be areas to develop and improve.