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A move into management is not for everyone, yet it can be a natural progression for many. If you are currently unsatisfied with your level of responsibility, or you feel like you have more to give, a move into management may be the ideal step for you. But, can you really ask the question should I move into management without answering ‘am I ready for management’ and ‘what skills do I need?’
Before moving into management, there are several skills to master: -
Be a good motivator – Be prepared to boost team morale and energy even if it starts to falter. The ability to inspire others is something that often comes naturally to managers and leaders. Can you inspire and motivate?
Communication – As a manager, you will be communicating with people at all different levels and you must be able to get your message across clearly and concisely on paper or in person.
Delegation – Whilst it can be tempting to take on every task yourself, spreading yourself too thinly is the worst thing you can do. You need to master the art of delegation so that you can grow and think ahead.
Project management – Can you put together effective project plans, manage deadlines and budgets, manage project changes, and deal with scope-creep effectively? As a manager you’ll need to keep you eye on each of these tasks and be able to take control.
With a solid grasp of these four key skills you’ll then need to look at how you set a great example for your team. As a manager, you’ll need to be confident leading by example, which also means being professional and punctual both in work and for meetings. You will need a strong work ethic, many people think that being a manager means having the luxury of leaving work early, on the contrary.
Being accountable for your team’s performance as well as your own is easy when things are going well, but if things go wrong, how will you handle it? Being a manager means you can’t play the blame game in order to protect your pride or stature, instead it’s up to you to put it right and address why things slipped.
Are you ready to be there for your team in every way? You’ll need to support your team in every way, from ensuring they have the right resources to do their job, to responding appropriately in a personal crisis to ensuring their efforts are acknowledged and rewarded appropriately.
The final consideration is one of agility and commitment; are you able to make tough calls when the pressure is on? Can you quickly formulate the right plan of action based on the right data?
Management roles are not for everybody but if you are already an effective communicator with a drive to lead, chances are you will flourish by taking a step closer to the top.
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