These are some skills that, when push comes to shove, a good manager can’t do without. Many of these skills are developed and refined over time rather than being instinctive qualities. More often than not, these are skills that can serve you at any stage of your (management) career.
Adopting a skill-set that will open up management opportunities
A successful mastery of workplace competence can help you ascend the corporate ladder. Picking up skills that all good managers boast is a sure-fire way to start being viewed as a team leader, while at the same time allowing you to futureproof your career. Learn the skills that you should be practising and perfecting right now to keep future (management) opportunities open and smoothly transition into the next phase of your career.
1. Be a problem solver
Be sure to always present solutions when you take problems to your boss. Your ability to think creatively and to address challenges as they emerge will show your supervisors that you’re someone who has a strategic mind, and someone who can anticipate obstacles and devise solutions to problems. Your boss will recognise that you are a hard worker who isn’t afraid to take initiative, and who doesn’t wait to be told what to do when problems arise. Problem-solving, in short, is one of the best ways to show the top brass that you can add value to the company.
2. Be a boss
Being a boss means maintaining a singular focus on what matters most at the end of the day: the results you deliver. Don’t let yourself be distracted or, worse yet, overwhelmed by nitty-gritty details and moving parts that just aren’t that important at the end of the day. Keep your eye on the prize and focus on what matters most in everything you do because your performance is what you’ll be measured on when the pressure is on. This will prove to your supervisors that you’re someone they can trust to keep their priorities straight and to plan their work accordingly. This will help them entrust you with larger projects and responsibilities in the future.
3. Be accountable
Accountability is another one of those skills that you’ll need to succeed, no matter what career path you pursue. Do you find yourself deflecting blame in your current job? Are you sometimes reluctant to admit to your own responsibility when a project falls through or you botch a task despite your best efforts? While reluctance to assume accountability is a perfectly understandable reaction, it’s one that doesn’t look good, for team leaders in particular. If you want to position yourself for a successful career, it’s critical that supervisors start viewing you as someone with an ownership mentality, someone who’s not afraid to assume accountability when things go awry. Start developing the courage to take responsibility right now in matters small and big, so you won’t be tempted to bury your head in the sand when you reach a higher level in your career.
4. Learn to keep your cool
It can be all too tempting to simply apply the internal or external pressures you are facing to those around you. The trick to dealing with stress and pressure is to not let it infect everything around you. Now is the time to learn to develop coping strategies so that it becomes obvious to your bosses that you won’t buckle under pressure when entrusted with bigger projects or responsibilities.
5. Be a nice person
You can set yourself up for success by bringing the right attitude to work. It sounds so simple, but your attitude is the best calling card you could ask for. Any boss will value someone with good interpersonal skills, someone who is able to effortlessly get along with different types of personality. Demonstrate to your bosses that you’re ready for more responsibilities by showcasing your soft skills and emotional intelligence. Being diplomatic and respectful in your interactions with others will communicate to them that you are able to adjust your behaviour and approach based on your interlocutor – a key skill that will come in handy when you start managing others.
6. Motivate those around you
Pragmatism is great, and every team needs a team member with their feet firmly on the ground. But what separates excellent managers from their peers is their enthusiasm, their cheerleader qualities. As a manager, you have to be able to bring out the fire in your employees, to coach them so they give their best performance. You should be that one person who always brings a positive attitude and who is able to motivate their co-workers in the final hours before an important deadline. Your bosses will value that sort of motivation, and they will see it as a sign that you’re someone who’s dedicated not just to their own success, but who also thinks bigger and wants the company and its employees to flourish.