A manager is a specific type of work position that usually involves the supervision of others. Most managers are also supervised themselves, placing them in the middle of upper administration and all designated positions below them. This dynamic can be challenging, especially when added to an increased work-load and weighty responsibilities. Those who are proactive in developing managerial skills can decrease, and possibly prevent, certain job stressors. Here are strategies to help minimize managerial stressors.
- First, become an expert in conflict resolution. Managers often find themselves caught in the middle of simultaneously needing to please clients, superiors and subordinates. Despite the actual job title, a manager must be able to work well with others. This entails a certain willingness to be approachable, humble, teachable and flexible. A manager who models respectful communication will not only earn the respect of his/her co-workers, but also prevent conflict from escalating. Work environments that are able to maturely handle conflict, will naturally be more consonant. This can result in higher work productivity.
- Second, become skilled at setting personal and professional boundaries. Due to the nature of the management position, it is necessary for a manager to be able to use his/her voice to set limits around his/her personal and professional life. For example, if family is a high priority, then take ownership of scheduling the work week, so it does not encroach on important family events. Also, have the courage to stand up for employees, to other co-workers and authorities, whose knowledge of them is more limited. On the flip side, gain the professionalism required to correct an employee who is in need of improvement, without feeling guilty or manipulated. Boundaries like these will lessen confusion and allow employees, and superiors alike, to know what to expect.
- Finally, be intent on arranging support from others. Do not attempt to develop managerial skills alone. Find a mentor or someone considered worthy of emulating. Then enlist him/her for encouragement and advice. Read books, and attend classes and workshops on being a good manager. This networking will act as a secure foundation when new or daunting managerial issues arise.
In conclusion, developing managerial skills can help facilitate a more harmonious work environment, and increased job productivity. Be willing to set aside time to learn and apply conflict resolution skills. In addition, have the tenacity to set personal and professional limits on time and energy. Most importantly, align a network of supportive mentors and resources.