7 Skills to Help You Excel in Your Management Career

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Having the ability to successfully lead a team and become a respected manager takes specific, fine-tuned skills. Below we look further into the seven skills you need to help you excel in your management career, and how you can develop and hone these skills for future roles. 

Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

Decision-making and problem-solving come hand in hand as a skill, as making decisions involves solving problems. A manager will need to spot and solve problems every day, often simultaneously. This also means remaining calm in a fast-paced, pressurized environment. You should have the ability to think on your feet, making snapshot decisions and solving problems so your team can remain productive.

Thinking creatively will enable you to bring new ideas to the table and shine as a leader within your organization. You need to be thinking one step ahead at every moment, considering the most efficient and effective ways to meet a business goal or complete a project. Being able to navigate the pros and cons and still make an informed decision is a vital aspect of being a great manager.

Delegation and Organizational Skills

A manager should be able to juggle several responsibilities, which means your organizational skills must be on point. From managing your workload to running training sessions and overseeing your employees, there is a lot to be done in one day. Being badly organized will not only look bad on you, but you’ll also have unhappy employees.

Within organizational skills comes delegation, which allows busy managers to delegate tasks to their employees and other colleagues. To delegate effectively, you need to understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, as well as those of your teams. This ensures that you delegate effectively, assigning the correct duties to the correct employees. Delegation should never be a sign of weakness as a manager, as employees need their time to shine and improve their skills too.

Communication 

Perhaps one of the most important skills that a manager needs is communication. Being able to effectively communicate with employees, CEOs, stakeholders, and potential clients will ensure you make strong, positive connections within the business. Strong communicators understand how to address and talk to different people within a business, knowing when to be formal and informal to gain the best results.

As a manager, you should master all forms of communication, including verbal, written, and listening skills. You are the first line of communication for your employees and will liaise with other professionals through meetings, via email, and over the phone. This means having a good level of spoken and written English, a strong vocabulary, and confidence. Communication is also about how you hold yourself, such as maintaining eye contact and smiling. 

An excellent manager is the backbone of their team and can make employees feel comfortable and enjoy their place of work. When an employee feels like they can’t discuss their worries and concerns with a manager, the workplace can become unhealthy, and things can fester unbeknown to management. 

Mentoring

Managers are mentors for others looking to advance their career prospects and work their way up in the business. This means your employees will look up to you and may ask for support and guidance. If you’ve already reached a managerial position, you’ve gained a repertoire of knowledge, skills, and experience to pass down to others. 

Being a good mentor includes assisting and advising your employees, helping to build their confidence and providing actionable constructive feedback. You are the driving force behind your employees’ progression within the business, which also reflects greatly on you. 

Commercial Awareness

Commercial awareness is something that many graduates lack according to recruiters. It’s all well and good knowing how to run a team of employees, but if you lack commercial awareness, you are destined to fall flat. Progressing to a management level also requires an understanding of how a business works and how the national or international marketplace works. 

Managers should understand how a business operates from the bottom up and therefore have a good understanding of what makes a business successful. It can be difficult to manage a team of people and develop a sense of empathy when you don’t even understand their job role and can’t put yourself in their shoes.

To demonstrate your commercial awareness, you need to show your organization that you have an awareness of its values, goals, and mission. You should be able to identify competition, understand the sector you want to work in and know about the economic and political issues that may affect the organization. 

How Can I Develop These Skills?

It’s all well and good reading about the skills you need to excel in your management career, but without proper implementation, it can be difficult to develop and hone them. There are many ways in which you can develop these skills, mainly from education and job roles. If you are still studying, look at joining student societies, volunteering, or completing an internship.

After graduation, you should look into studying for other professional qualifications, such as an advanced business degree. A Master of Science in Management (MSM) is a great choice of skills for professionals who aspire to further excel in their management career. You can also study alongside your current job role by taking an online MSM degree

Lastly, try seeking out a mentor in your chosen field who can guide and support you. When you need advice, they can support you in making the right choices while leaving the ultimate decision process up to you. A mentor can also provide personalized feedback about your management style. You can also write down your strengths and weaknesses surrounding these skills and reflect on them often. 

From decision-making and problem-solving to commercial awareness, these seven skills will allow you to perform at your best in a managerial role and excel in your career. These skills are not something that can be taught overnight. 

With consistent reflection and observation, you can build these skills as you go, through further education, work, and even in your personal life. 

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