If you’ve made 2021 the year that you want to advance in your career, you may be considering a move into the world of management.
Many people think that to be considered for a management or team leader position; they need to be the best at what they do. In reality, you need a brand new set of leadership skills that you can use to nurture, inspire and direct your team.
With this in mind, boosting your interpersonal skills is the way forward to the career of your dreams.
According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), managers believe that 75% of career success depends on people skills, with only 25% depending on technical experience and expertise.
Here are seven of the vital interpersonal skills you will need to move forward in management.
“The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.” – Sandra Day O’Connor
As a manager, you may be tempted to take on all the critical tasks yourself to ensure they are done well. However, this is a bad decision. It will result in you becoming stressed and overworked, as well as your team feeling neglected.
A good manager will be able to effectively manage their own workload as well as the workload of other team members.
An essential part is being an effective manager is knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team and assigning tasks that complement their skillset.
This will ensure that all tasks are carried out quickly, efficiently and to an exceptional standard.
2. Communication and listening
“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” – Andy Stanley
To be a great manager, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Both written and verbal skills are equally important in a managerial or team leader role.
As head of the team, you are the representative. That means that you must report on how the team is doing to senior management, as well as to your peers. You will need to relay your ideas, thoughts and concerns in a clear, concise and confident manner.
You also have to report back to your team. Tactfulness and diplomacy is a must here. As a manager, you may need to talk to your team about sensitive issues like their behaviour or the quality of their work.
Don’t forget to listen as much as you speak! You need to make your employees feel heard, valued and appreciated.
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people.” – Lee Iacocca
To have a successful management career, you need to be able to help and impart your experience onto the people you manage.
Whether they are new to the industry or business or have several years of experience, your role is to help them progress. You can do this by supporting and listening to them, as well as arranging appropriate training and qualifications if they are needed.
Who knows… you may be inspiring the next generation of management!
4. Project management
“No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails.” – Woody Williams
Whether you are managing marketing campaigns, overseeing sales targets or are responsible for research & development projects, project management is a vital skill you need to learn.
Efficient project management will ensure that all projects you work on will run on time and to budget,
There are a variety of project management qualifications that can help keep you focused, such as PRINCE2 and Agile PM.
5. Relationship building and networking
“Your network is your net worth.” – Porter Gale
According to the CMI, 80% of managers think that building good relationships with others is one of the most important skills a manager can have.
Networking on a personal and professional level can help boost your commercial awareness, build your network and increase your knowledge.
Remember that you should build relationships with people at all levels. As tempting as it may be to network solely with people above your level, you will also benefit from building strong relationships with your peers and colleagues.
6. Problem solving
“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” – Henry Ford
Being a manager is not always a smooth and easy process. Occasionally you will come across a problem that needs to be resolved, sometimes quickly and discretely.
An effective leader will need to be able to identify any potential issues, evaluate the options and put a solution in place. They will also need to review any possible outcomes to reduce the likelihood of the problem happening again.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin
A good manager needs to be able to roll with the punches and be flexible if circumstances change. This can be anything from ensuring an ill member of staff’s workload is covered, all the way through to responding to a sudden change in Government legislation.
An adaptable leader will be flexible and encourage others in the company to be flexible too.
How can I develop my skills and become a good manager?
If you want to improve your interpersonal skills to become an effective manager, there are many ways you can do this.
- Asking to take on more responsibilities at work. For example, you could ask to mentor new starters, train as an internal auditor or help on a specific project
- Reading books and blogs about management, as well as signing up to webinars
- Volunteering with a charity or community organisation
- Studying for a professional qualification
According to the CMI, three out of four employees believe that having a qualification is the best way to showcase managerial skills.
Boost your leadership qualities with Manager Training
Manager Training, part of ITonlinelearning, has years of experience in putting prospective managers through their paces.
From project management qualifications through to CMI accreditation in leadership, we have the course that is right for your needs. The best thing is, they can all be completed online – meaning you can fit them in around your work and home life.
Contact us today to find out how we can help supercharge your leadership skills.