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Top ten steps to success in management development

Becoming a manager is an aspiration for many employees as they embark on their career. It’s important to note that the skills needed to manage a team can be different to those required to be good in a role. To help you get the most from the leaders  in your organisation, we have compiled a list of 10 top tips that all managers should brush up on.

1. Be a leader, be motivating  

Lead by example and show your staff how to achieve their goals. Have the same expectations of yourself that you do for your team. Be a motivating force for your staff and maintain an active role in the  day-to day running of the business.


2. Commercial awareness

Ensure you have the full picture of your business and the commercial environment in which it operates. It is important that managers show the ability to adapt; to prepare for, act on and implement change. Managers must be aware of the impact that decisions make on the organisation as a whole.


3. Problem solving

As a manager, you must be able to face and solve issues which arise on a daily basis. You must recognise barriers to efficiency and innovation and think critically and creatively to overcome them. If a member of your team is having an issue it is your responsibility to step in and help them past it.


4. Communication

Effective communication is vital. Managers must not only be heard, but they have to know when to listen. The best managers use a range of interpersonal skills to be able to communicate effectively and they know what techniques to use in a given situation. Communication is a two-way street; in order for a business to run smoothly there must be a coherent understanding between manager and staff. 


5. Monitor team and individual performance

It is important to remain vigilant to your own and your team’s performance. You must be aware of how your team performs best and how to ensure they consistently strive for improvement. Frequent performance reviews are essential; they may require difficult conversations but always try and ensure they have a positive outcome. Tracking your own personal development is also key; never stop improving or learning. Learning is an ongoing process for everybody. There are always new skills you need to learn or a new software you need to manage.


6. Emotional awareness- an empathetic leader

Business is about relationships between people. To make those relationships continue to be beneficial, you need to show emotional intelligence to ensure you are sensitive to different points of view. Be responsive to your team’s needs - professionally and personally. Help them to grow in a positive way and support them through any struggles you may be aware of. You want to be someone your team turns to, not avoids.


7. Coaching

Coaching is about empowering employees to think about and solve problems. It is about guiding people to achieve their best. Simply ask ‘what is wrong?’ and go from there. Stay up-to-date with you employees to ensure you can help them through any issues that may hinder their performance. It is important to learn from your team - the more experience you can build as a coach, the better leader you will be. Trust your employees - you hired them for a reason!


8. Effective delegation

Delegation as a skill refers to being able to assign the right tasks to the correct people. You cannot manage everything by yourself - share responsibilities and tasks with others. Delegation helps managers to avoid wasting time. Optimise productivity and ensure your team take on responsibility for tasks. It is important to give employees a chance to stretch themselves and take on new responsibilities.


9. Technical expertise

Gaining technical expertise gives you the ability and knowledge to achieve your key objectives. Skills must be useful within your role, ranging from operating machinery and software to the ability to sell and understand the market in which the business operates. You must become the ‘go-to’ person within your team, with the ability to handle queries coming your way. 


10. Listen

Do not dismiss others - they could be offering business-saving advice. Listen to your team’s opinions. You do not have to take every one on-board but for them to know that you listen will motivate them further into thinking of new ideas. Listen to clients; what are their requirements? Listening is an important tool of business and by mastering it you learn to understand not only your employees, but also your customer.