One of the more common ways to advance in any career is to work your way up to a managerial position. Most companies need managers. Jobs in management are often cited as the most promising jobs. Management positions come with increased responsibility, but they also come with a significant pay increase.
Not everyone is “management material,” which is an ugly phrase that still describes well the fact that you need to have what it takes to be a manager. You need to be good at what you do, you need to have the type of personality that can withstand the increased responsibility, and you need management skills. We’re here to address the last one of these, the skills.
What Are Management Skills?
There isn’t a single skill that will make you a good manager. Instead, managers have to rely on an entire set of skills to do their jobs well. You can divide those skills broadly into three sections: people skills, organization skills, and technical skills.
As a manager, you will have other people working under your supervision. It will be your job to manage them, which often requires a lot of persuasion, motivation, negotiation. These are all communication skills, and you will not be a good manager if you cannot develop them.
Organization skills will also be crucial for your career. You need to know how to organize the people you oversee so that they do their job in the best way. If you manage to pull it off and save your company some money in the process, even better.
Finally, you need technical skills — the skills that everyone working for you should also possess. You can’t be a good manager for a team if you don’t understand what their work entails. Without technical skills, you will not be able to community effectively, and you can forget about organizing workflows for increased efficiency.
Where to Start?
There are two ways you can approach improving your management skills. You can improve the skills you need the most in your prospective management job, or a current one if you are already a manager. You can also take a different approach and look for your weak spots if there are no pressing issues with any of your existing skills.
If you are not sure where to start, there are some popular choices that might guide you. Practicing your problem-solving skills is a sound choice. Going into assertiveness training is something many professionals do when they want to make a move forward in their careers. Learning about ethics in management can save you a lot of trouble if you get into a top position and are pressured to do things you don’t want to do.
How to Get Structured Training and Education
Because management positions are so popular, many educational institutions offer courses in management. Some of these courses last only a couple of days. Others are more comprehensive and require a bigger commitment. You can also enroll in a business school and learn business management there.
You shouldn’t disregard other providers of management education and training. Online courses in management can offer incredible value for the money they cost. More importantly, they give you the flexibility to learn at your own pace, without compromising the quality of knowledge you get. You can also find industry-specific management skills development, which is something you should pursue especially if you need to work on your technical skills.
The saying that practice makes perfect applies to management skills only partially. Once you get to a management position, every mistake you make can have serious consequences. You will have some leeway to make a couple of them, sure, but you will not be able to use your management position to practice skills. You will need a solid skillset before you sit in the big chair, and you will need to advance your skillset continually while you are working as a manager. So learn quickly, learn early, and be prepared.