Do you have the necessary skills to manage a team?
When things go wrong in business, the buck, so they say, must stop somewhere. And it is usually the manager or leader of the company who should answer the tough questions. It is not acceptable for any manager to pass the buck, blaming team members for the failure. This is because a manager is expected to know what his or her team is doing. They are expected to have an in-depth knowledge of business process but also people themselves.
Thinking of moving in to management?
If you are, then an exciting career that is full of opportunities and challenges awaits. With various business management courses and qualifications under your belt, you will feel ready to take on the challenge.
As you look forward, have you considered the necessary skills to manage a team? How will you stand out?
#1 Communicate & Motivate
A heady combination of skills to manage a team – and not one that many managers get right.
Managing a team brings to the surface feelings of inadequacy, competition and uncertainty. As the manager, you want to stay in control; you want to know who is doing what and when. Having an ambitious team member is great – unless you feel they are ‘after your job’.
This leads to all kinds of problems, usually because the manager tries to protect their position and standing. What results then is a lack of communication, a stagnant pool of information resulting in a de-motivated team.
An excellent manager has many channels of communication for both disseminating information, whilst listening and keeping everyone in the loop of information. They will also motivate their team and the individuals within in to be the best that they can be.
#2 Know People
Think about your manager, or a previous one. Does your manager know you? Do they understand the extra responsibilities that you have before you step into work in the morning? Do they understand you and know what drives you?
These are all big questions but an excellent manager will have some idea about each of their team members, their ambitions, their goals and their drive. They will also understand their personal circumstances too.
More importantly, an excellent manager will understand the strengths and weaknesses of people in their team. This is vital information, as it is the catalyst to placing people in strong positions, but also have areas that they can seek further training and learning.
With so many business management courses available, including online and home study options, there is no excuse for an under-trained team.
#3 Conflict Resolution
People fall out. Disagreements happen over minor issues. When allowed to fester, they become big issues that take time and effort to resolve.
Conflict doesn’t just happen within a team. It can happen between one project team and another, between one department and another too. There are also times when conflict happens between the business and the customer.
An excellent manager, one that is trained in conflict resolution, will understand it is not about who is right or apportioning the blame. It is about seeking the best way forward so that everyone is in a win-win situation.
#4 Empowerment (Without Micromanagement)
As the manager, your team will look to you for guidance, encouragement and support. And you must be able to give them this! Whether you’re training them on a brand new subject or giving them a quick refresh on an old process, you must be able to empower them with every word.
However, on the flip side of this, you mustn’t let your support and help turn into micromanagement. Micromanaging is when you control every part of an activity or enterprise. Often, this is because someone else is struggling to do so or you believe that you can do the job best yourself.
However, your team members must learn how to do these things themselves. So, if you find that micromanaging is an attribute you find yourself falling victim to, you should reel this in to succeed as a manager.
#5 Strategic Thinking
One of the most important skills to manage a team is strategic thinking, or planning ahead. A manager must be able to consider the bigger picture: focusing on the tasks of the day and planning responsibilities of the future. So, you must be able to set priorities in line with the goals of the company and attending the relevant training for continuous professional development of you and your team. With strategic thinking, you’ll encourage growth and change for a more productive organisation.
Bonus Quality – The Skill of Delegation
Have you noticed how some managers seem to effortlessly delegate tasks, work and projects, whilst managing them efficiently and effectively? And have you noticed how some people struggle with this?
Delegating work is one of the most important yet overlooked skills to manage a team. There is a talent to delegating work and without the above three qualities, a manager struggles to do so. If a manager doesn’t know the strengths and weaknesses within his or her team, how do they know who can deal with the project, and who will need support?
If, as a manager, they keep hold of information, how can they expect their team to function within a delegated task?
Always Seeking Improvement
There are many quality skills to manage a team that managers need. An excellent manager is always looking to improve, not just his or her team or how the business performs, but themselves too.
This is why an excellent manager will look to a variety of business management courses to extend their own knowledge and skill base, whilst also encouraging his or her team to do the same.
An excellent manager leads by example in everything that they expect their team to do. From learning new skills to trying new methods of working, to having open channels of communication and being part of the team too.
As a manager, how do you encourage team members to strike out and learn something new?