Whether you are at the start of your managerial career or have been in the role for years, it is important to continue growing your skill set. Some managers can lose motivation or feel like they are stagnating. There is no easy way to avoid this, but there are things you can do to avoid falling into the trap of complacency. It’s all about staying on your toes and doing your best to continue growing as a manager.
1) Be Aware of Your Professional Development Needs
As much as we may not think so, our ability to manage successfully often changes over time. We get better with experience, gain new knowledge and insight, refine techniques and develop ways of working. Managers should constantly evaluate how their managerial skill set could benefit from an upgrade and even take management classes to better train themselves in these areas.. This might mean changing how you work, which team members you support, or even what tools you use – whatever works best for you and your organization.
2) Set Goals
It is always good practice to set short-term objectives that you can then monitor and measure. In addition to these, it’s also useful to make longer-term plans too. These can focus on developing certain skills such as leadership, coaching, communication, and delegation. They might include learning new technologies or identifying what new areas of expertise you need to strengthen. Whatever goal you set, having them clearly defined will keep you focused and ensure you don’t find yourself wasting time chasing vague dreams.
3) Have a Leadership Mindset
A key component of being successful as a manager is to adopt a leadership mindset. If you’re used to operating without clear direction, then when you become a manager, you’ll find it difficult to lead unless you’ve had some training or mentorship. Being able to influence others is one thing, but making sure you know where you want to go (your vision) and then acting towards achieving it is another. Developing and practicing self-leadership is essential, either by writing down your own vision statement or taking part in workshops.
4) Invest in a Coach
While you may already have excellent people management skills, no matter how skilled you are, you always stand to learn more. Coaching allows you to review and test out different methods, try something new or simply gain fresh perspectives. The most effective coaches will understand what each person brings to the table, enabling you to build a high-performing team. To identify a suitable coach, ask colleagues who they recommend for your specific area of expertise.
5) Build Trust
Trust is the basis of every relationship. When you start a new job or join a team, it is very likely that you won’t know everyone well. By building relationships quickly and maintaining open lines of communication, you will soon establish strong bonds, which will enable you to develop a high level of trust between yourself and the other members of your team. You’ll also find that trusting relationships lead to higher levels of productivity, greater commitment, and stronger performance.
6) Be a Vicarious Reader
Read widely, especially outside your field of expertise. Don’t just read about the latest advances; rather, seek information relevant to your current role and interests. Reading material and books related to management styles can help inform your personal style and encourage you to think critically about the approach to decision-making in your organization.