How Good Are Your Management Skills? Part 2 by Marcia Zidle

To be a great people manager, you must have an extensive set of skills – from planning and delegation to motivation and communication. for your long-term success, it’s wise to analyze your skills in all areas of management – and then challenge yourself to become better at managing and leading your team.

Did You Take the Management Skills Quiz in Part 1?

What was your score? What elements of management do you need to work on? Here are the eight essential skill areas where managers should focus their efforts plus resources to help you

1. Understanding Team Dynamics (Questions 5, 12)
Good management means understanding how teams operate. When forming teams, create a balance so there’s a diverse set of skills, personalities, and perspectives. Truly effective teams invite many viewpoints and use their differences to be creative and innovative. Read “Building Teamwork.

 2. Selecting and Developing the Right People (Question 9)
Finding great new team members and developing the skills needed for your team’s success is another important part of a manager’s job. You can develop your staffing skills by checking out “What’s Your Hiring Batting Average?

 3. Delegating Effectively (Questions 2, 14)
Having the right people with the right skills isn’t sufficient for a team’s success. Effective managers recognize that delegation – assigning work to the right people and clearly outlining expectations – teams can accomplish much more. Just because you’re responsible for the work, they should do it themselves to make sure it’s done right. Read “Delegate and Do It Right”.

 4. Motivating People (Questions 10, 15)
It’s one thing to motivate yourself, but it’s quite another to motivate someone else. We’re all motivated by different things. Getting to know your team members on a personal level allows you to motivate your people better. See “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”.

5. Managing Performance (Questions 3, 6)
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there are problems with individual performance. As a manager, you have to deal with these promptly. If you don’t provide feedback and coaching, you risk negative impacts on the rest of the team as well as your customers Read”Coaching vs. Criticism: What’s the Difference?”

 6. Communicating (Question 7, 13)
Effective communication is critical to any position you hold, but as a manager, it’s especially important. You need to let your team know what’s happening and keep them informed as much as possible with team briefings and other ways to update. See how good communication works in “Leadership Lessons Riding Fire Engines”.

7. Planning, Problem Solving, Decision-Making (Questions 4, 8)
Many managers are very comfortable with planning, problem solving and decision making because they’re often skilled specialists who’ve been promoted. Now it’s important to transfer these skills to managing a team. Read “Are You On the Road to Abilene?” 

 8. Avoiding Common Managerial Mistakes (Questions 1,11)
A common one is thinking that you can rely on your technical skills alone rather than reaching out to others It’s important to communicate with your boss to keep her informed.  If not you may have boss problems. Here’s how to avoid them.

Smart Moves Tip:

Whether you manage a department or a project team, it’s important to know how to get the work done right. When you’re asked to achieve something with the help of others, it’s complex – and you should spend much of your time managing relationships instead of doing the actual work. Delegating, motivating, communicating, and understanding team dynamics are some of the key skills needed.

Do you want to be a better manager?

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