If your goal is to rise up the ranks in your business, there are some things you should know about how to be a great business manager.
With no more than a cursory glance of the internet, you will find thousands of websites awash with advice about how to be a great business manager. From being the first in the office to the last to leave, they extol the virtues of your employees respecting you and ‘not asking anyone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself’.
The lists of helpful and not-so-helpful skills are all well and good, but putting them into practice is a slightly more daunting prospect. To rise up the ranks, you need many things: inside knowledge of the business and the market in which you operate, commitment, enthusiasm as well as practical skills such as managing and leading people.
But what does it all really mean?
1. Business Culture
Any business management course worth its salt will talk about the culture within an organisation. Culture in a business is about its values and behaviours that create the social and psychological environment within it.
In other words, what is it like to work there? Do people respect each other? Is there a divide between ‘the workers’ and ‘the management’? Is there open, clear, straightforward communication? Do people feel valued?
If you want to be an effective leader and manager, rising up the ranks to the dizzying heights of success, the first hurdle is to create an atmosphere – or business culture – that is open and transparent. In most businesses, this starts with improving communication.
2. Manager maturity
This may not be a phrase that you are synonymous with but again, a high-quality business management course will take a long, hard look at the personality of an excellent manager.
Maturity if the keyword. As you climb the ladder, the days of you moaning when things do go right, looking for scapegoats and processes to blame, are GONE. If you cannot align yourself with the corporate direction as a manager, then your employees are not going to either.
3. Putting the right people in the right jobs
There is a skill and an art to delegation – and yet, so many managers don’t bother to learn how to delegate work.
Get it wrong, and you will have some people with too much to do, others with not enough, some people with work that they have no skills to do and people with specialist skills completing jobs that don’t require their specialisms.
It is not just about matching the right skill set to work that needs doing, but delegating work so people are challenged, as well as having variety and opportunity to develop and grow.
4. Regular one-to-one’s
Meetings are essential. Yet, regular meetings between staff and their manager are often largely ineffective, poorly structured and frequently re-scheduled.
This means that people pick up the message that there is always something more important. But, top business leaders say that ‘the conversation is the relationship’ and as a manager, you need to ensure that you nurture these conversations. Businesses need great leaders to thrive.
5. Manage conflict
There is no business in which there is no conflict. It is part and parcel of when a group of people come together. It is what makes us human.
People work well together, but some people don’t. Some people rub along nicely, others rub against each other. What one person will find to be a bubbly personality, another will find abrasive and overbearing.
Some people thrive on conflict, others detest it. If you don’t like conflict, it doesn’t mean you can’t be an effective manager but, as a business management course will highlight, conflict needs to be met, head-on.
But, handling conflict is something that will improve with training as well as experience. As a manager who regularly sees their staff for one-to-one meetings, as well as working hard to create a business culture that is open and transparent, who puts the right people in the right jobs and displays a managerial maturity that garners respect- dealing with conflict may not be something you have to do very often.
Being a great manager is, in part, about personality. But it is also about choosing the best way to deal with issues, to balance the wants and needs of your employees with the business, whilst keeping customers and stakeholders happy too.
What managerial skills do you think you need to be a great manager?
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