Constructing a Versatile Management Toolkit
Developing your management skills is a long-term project. You may never reach the end of this project, but if approached in the right way, you can reap the rewards from an early stage.
This is the third part in a series of articles focused on supporting managers with tips and guidance. We started the series with our articles “10 Ways to Become a Better Manager” and “6 Ways to Master Your People Management Skills”.
The article focuses on diving a little deeper into self-evaluation and developing your skills as a leader even further.
Covered in this Article
What Makes a Good Manager?
The most effective managers never consider themselves at the top of their game. These are the managers who continue to evaluate their own performance and build on their existing strengths.
A good manager is continuously in a cycle of reflection and up-skilling.
6 Management Toolkits
We talk about the “management skill-set”, but in reality a manager needs to be in proficient within several different areas.
Ah communication… that core management skill requiring constant work. There’s a reason we harp on about it so much: Excellent communication lies at the heart of every thriving team.
This high level of skill with communication incorporates taking time to have regular 1-to-1 catch ups with your team members, being clear and thoughtful about how you communicate, and really listening to what each person says.
No matter how smoothly things are running, or how dedicated you are to creating a positive working environment for your team, problems will inevitably crop up.
The key is to know how to nip problems in the bud with pro-active problem solving skills. Become familiar with the kinds of problems that arise in your workplace, and look at potential solutions.
Strategy and Ideas
Looking ahead, and at the bigger picture are both important factors in the role of a manager. You will need to develop strategies for maintaining and improving performance, and come up with fresh ideas for how you do things.
You never know where the next outstanding idea might come from. Listening to your team’s suggestions for improving processes and trying out new approaches to your work may just open up a whole new level of productivity.
This encompasses both 1-to-1 relationships with your team members, and building a strong, communicative, and productive team.
Many skills fall under this category including motivational techniques, communicating, performance management, and resolving conflict.
Here, you’ll need to ensure that you lead with an energetic attitude, inspiring others to give their best to their role every day.
In addition, it’s critical to review how you do things, removing any non-value add activities, and implementing any improvements you feel will make a process more efficient.
Is it ever possible to manage your time? Perhaps not, but there are many ways to be really efficient with your time on a daily basis.
Making the most of your time comes with understanding how to prioritise, delegate, and plan out your tasks within realistic time frames.
The great news is that these areas have overlapping skills, so when you work on improving one toolkit, all other areas will benefit.
Are You A Good Manager?
Self-reflection is one of the most powerful tools in a manager’s repertoire.
If you’re new to a management role, feeling like your effectiveness has plateaued, or on the eternal quest to become a better manager, take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions and evaluate your management skills.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Can You Take Criticism?
When you’re in a leadership role of any kind, it can be difficult to accept criticism in any circumstances.
Learning to see constructive criticism as an opportunity to reflect and learn can help you grow as a manager.
2. Can You See The Other Side?
This one comes to the forefront when you’re dealing with poor performance from a team member.
Looking at the situation from their perspective can shed light on why their performance is falling short, and having empathy for how they are struggling will build trust and a channel of clear communication in the working relationship.
3. Do You Lead By Example?
Telling everyone to work harder won’t wash well if you’re procrastinating. Reinforcing a process is useless if you’re cutting corners. Walk the walk and your team will follow.
4. Do You Invest in Your Team... and Yourself?
You will improve your team's productivity and potential through continuous investment in training and development. Learning new skills also contributes to increased team morale.
This applies to you too! Don’t get rusty – expand your knowledge and skills regularly through study, self-reflection and training.
5. Are You Inclusive & Respectful?
This is essential. Never forget that every person on your team, or under your leadership is human – prone to mistakes, and possessing as many concerns, challenges and goals as you do.
They may have different customs or cultures than yours. It’s crucial to be mindful and considerate of their needs.
8 Key Management Skills
As you may have guessed, the clue to our 8 Key Management Skills lies in each of the questions and management toolkits above:
6. Time Management
7. Problem Solving
8. Continuous Development
How can you bridge the gap in your skill-set?
Perhaps you’re really strong in a few of these areas. Maybe you are quite confident with all 8 skills.
But how do you bridge any gaps in your abilities so that you’re firing on all 8 cylinders?
Your personal and professional development as a manager will be a continuous loop of self-evaluation, training and upskilling, and application of your new knowledge and skills.
We recommend starting with one of the courses below, opting for the one that ticks off your current highest priority.
Training Options for Busy Managers
3 Ways to Get Started
- Click on the course name above to learn more about training, download a brochure, and reserve your place on an upcoming course date.
- Ask Us A Quick Question Online by clicking the orange button below.
- Call Us on Freephone 1800 910 810 to speak with our experienced training consultants. Our head office is open Monday - Friday (9.00 am - 5.30 pm mon - thurs, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Friday.