Whether you are working as a supervisor, manager, director, or running your own business, there are many benefits to putting in the time and effort to work on improving your management skills. Good management skills and qualities include conflict resolution, communication, independence, curiosity, empathy, adaptability, emotional intelligence, advocacy, patience, and resourcefulness, among others. Managers who are highly skilled in these areas tend to be better leaders in the workplace, better able to create a welcoming and productive work environment, and better contributors to workplace efficiency. Whether you are just starting out in your career as a manager, have been working as a manager for several years or are hoping to work as a manager in the future, it is never too late to start working on better management skills to improve things for everybody and create a more positive work environment that gets better results.
Improve Your Knowledge
The more you know, the better, and there are lots of things that you can do to improve your knowledge and build your skillset as a manager. For example, investing in your education with this master’s in business management online from Aston University will not only help you boost your management skills and learn more about what it takes to become a better manager, but you will also improve your CV and help yourself be in with a better chance of finding better-paid positions in the future that are a good fit for you. You can also choose to study for your online degree in management and put your new knowledge and skills into practice as you go, since many online degree courses are designed for students who are also working and are flexible enough to fit around your career.
Assess Your Current Performance
As a manager, one of the first things that you can do to improve your skills is to simply assess your current performance. Be honest with yourself about how well you are doing as a manager. Consider your relationships with different co-workers and think about how effective you are when it comes to motivating these people and maintaining the individual connection with them. You may find it useful to write a list of your biggest successes and failures over the past few weeks or months, to help you determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. This can be a good way to get a better insight into yourself when it comes to figuring out where your strengths lie and determining which skills could use some more work.
Create an Improvement Plan
Once you have a better idea of what skills you are lacking in, you are in a better position to come up with a specific plan of action that you can put in place. Come up with a plan that has measurable results. For example, you may want to seek out people in your professional or personal life who are highly skilled in the area that you are hoping to improve and have a conversation with them about how they got there and what they do to keep this skill sharp. You may also find it helpful to read books, join online communities, or watch videos that cover the topic to improve your knowledge. You can also find various educational resources such as short online courses that you can take to improve lots of different management skills. Set goals for yourself with deadlines to reach them by, and record this in a journal or on a calendar to give yourself the chance to reflect.
Track Your Progress
When it comes to improving your skills, it does not often happen overnight so your progress might not be something that appears obvious. This is why when it comes to improving your management skills, it’s a good idea to keep a record of what you are doing as you can go back to this at times to see how much progress you have made. After a few weeks of dedicating your time to working on a certain skill, you might be surprised to see just how far you have come. Make notes of any positive changes that you have seen as a result of improving a certain skill. For example, if you are actively trying to improve your communication skills as a manager, then note down any instances where you feel that this has improved a situation at work that might have gone differently in the past, for example, if an employee came to you with a problem that you were able to solve effectively with good communication.
Work with a Mentor
When it comes to improving your management skills it can be very useful to work with somebody who is willing to act as your mentor. They can hold you accountable to your goals and help you notice things that you may not have realised on your own. Getting another perspective on your skills can also help you figure out what needs the most work while getting a better idea of the things that you are already doing well in. You could work with a supervisor or manager of your own or ask somebody who is highly skilled in the area that you are trying to improve to work together with you for support.
Ask for Feedback
Finally, as a manager, the biggest impact that you are going to have when improving your management skills is on your team. Asking your team for feedback is going to be one of the best ways to determine what you are doing well and what could use a little bit more work. You can do this by setting up a meeting with your team and asking them for honest, constructive feedback on how they feel about the improvements that you have made so far and if they have any suggestions. Be open to feedback and remember that criticism is an opportunity to learn something new and make improvements.
No matter where you are in your career, any manager can benefit from spending time on professional development of the most important management skills.