How To Improve Your Managerial Skills

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As a manager, one of your major tasks is to spearhead your staff’s professional development.  But you also have a responsibility to yourself.  An effective manager continually hones his managerial skills.

There are four working skills required of every manager.  The manager position skills are:

  1. Technical skills.  This refers to both the technical knowledge of your company’s products or services and how the company works as a business.  It is knowing how to utilize and manage the company’s tools and resources to meet and exceed the company’s goals.
  2. Conceptual skills.    Good managers are problem solvers and decision makers who can think outside the box.
  3. Effectiveness skills.  Some effectiveness skills are time management, project management, negotiating skills, operations review, improvement implementation and priority setting.
  4. Communication skills.  The ability to effectively impart ideas, thoughts, words and actions both orally and in written communication is critical.  Presentation skills are also required.
  5. Interpersonal skills.  Coaching and mentoring staff is an important skill for managers to master.  A manager should be able to work with a diverse group of employees.  He should know how to deal with different personalities to draw out the best in each individual.  A good manager is someone who can bring individuals together to work as a team.

Skills staff must possess are different from skills managers must display.  As manager, it is your duty to find ways to improve your own managerial skills.  You are the role model and as such should display managerial ethics and skills to be effective. Here are some ways to further your managerial career:

  1. Ask for assistance from human resources.  Technically, the Human Resource department should have training programs lined up for all job positions in the company each year.  Find out from HR what training programs are available for the position of manager.  The training programs should be a mix of courses aimed at honing the different skills required of the position.
  2. Read books and other resource materials.  There are many books on managing in general and books that address more specific managerial skills. For example, there are books on time management, organizational development, conducting performance appraisals, project management techniques and others.  Take the initiative to explore these resources on your own.
  3. Attend training programs.  Find outside training programs that can help you become a better manager.  If you know that your presentation skills are weak, find consultants that offer this type of program.  Use the internet to find the best training programs that can address your areas for improvement.  Make sure to read reviews by those who have attended these courses already to see if the program is right for you.
  4. Link with or join professional organizations.  There are professional organizations for managers depending on their field of expertise.  By joining an organization or two, you can share information, ask questions and seek guidance from those who have been successful managers for many years.

Being a successful manager is not simply ensuring that your company’s profits are soaring or that your staff are happy.  To become a good manager is to continually hone your managerial skills.  Just because you have been a manager for 5 years does not guarantee that you are a good one.  The skills required of managers 10, 15, or 20 years ago are not totally the same as the skills required of managers now.  Continually look for ways to update your managerial skills so you can be a true role model for your staff and your peers.


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