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How to improve your management skills?

The skills that every manager must have.

Have you ever wondered what are the skills that make a manager successful? They are a set of personal and professional skills that every aspiring manager must possess.

Probably each of you has come across different bosses or managers. You have noticed that some of them achieve very good results and their employees are happy to carry out their tasks and follow them. This is what distinguishes a good manager from others. It seems simple, but in fact, successful managers must have some skills to be such. Some people say that you have to be born with these skills, but that's not true. Managerial skills can be learned like any other skill and with practice these skills are developed and improved.

What are the required skills for every manager? What skills do you need to learn if you want to be a good manager?

There are various theories in management that address the skills that every manager must possess. Most of them include the skills that psychologist Robert Katz points out. These are technical skills, conceptual skills and humanitarian or interpersonal skills.

1) Technical skills

These are the skills that the manager has as a specialist in a field. These skills are needed to perform his job in the chosen profession. Technical skills include, for example, working with computers, machines, software and the like, but also here are the knowledge and skills for good sales, design, positioning in the market of products and services. Technical skills can be defined as acquired competencies or qualities in a job or training. Managers use these skills every day. They must be able to pass on these skills to both their employees and those above them. It can be said that in most cases people become managers precisely because of these skills and because they are good at their job. Nowadays, digital skills are not the least important. They are already an integral part of corporate management. Can you imagine a manager without a smartphone or other online communication device?

Technical skills are the first step in the development of a good manager. When a manager develops at a higher level in management, these skills become less and less important for his work, because he can find people with such skills to help him.

2) Conceptual skills

Conceptual skills are related to how the manager perceives, understands and analyzes the big picture of the problem or situation. This includes ideas that the manager comes up with. These skills are related to the ability to look ahead and anticipate different situations and possible problems, respectively to find solutions to these problems in a timely manner, even before they arise. Strategic planning such as compiling organizational values, policies, goals can also be related to conceptual skills.

Unlike technical skills, which are used more by low-level managers in the organization's management, conceptual skills take up most of the work of senior managers. They spend a significant amount of their time inventing different concepts and predicting their effects on the organization.

3) Humanitarian or interpersonal skills - communication skills

The manager's job is to work with a lot of people. If we think more, we will understand that in fact managers and management as a science exist precisely because of the people who are governed. Communication and human communication skills are known as humanitarian or interpersonal skills. These skills can turn a manager into a leader who motivates people to achieve better achievements and results. 

Humanitarian skills include team conflict management skills, negotiation skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills. 

The good humanitarian skills of the managers are related to giving positive feedback to the employees, praise, understanding of the individual needs of each employee and others.

Humanitarian skills are important at all levels of management, because communication and working with people is common to all managers.

These are the three main skills that are necessary for the success of any manager. Some authors add other skills, but they can be attributed to any of the three skills listed. For example, some authors cite diagnostic and analytical skills or decision-making skills as mandatory skills for managers, but they are included in conceptual skills. To make good decisions, managers must have conceptual skills. Other skills that stand out are leadership skills. The very word management means leadership, it is a process rather than a skill. Managing people is part of a manager's humanitarian or interpersonal skills.

Once we have learned the basic skills for every manager, we need to understand what to do to improve these skills in ourselves to become good managers.

1) Do your job well

As we have already said, many people become managers because they do very well in their work. Sometimes these are the most responsible employees in the department or those who have achieved the best results. If you want to become a manager one day, you must first prove yourself as an employee and specialist in your field. This way you will have the necessary self-confidence that you understand your work and are familiar with all the subtleties in it. When you become a manager you will know very well the problems in the respective field and how to deal with them.

2) Find a mentor

The best way to become a successful manager is to learn from one. If there is no one in your company to admire, you can look for good managers elsewhere. Sometimes good managers are leaders who are popular and famous. Observe how these people behave, what they say, try to understand what their values ​​are and why they are so successful. It will be useful to read autobiographies of famous managers and leaders to learn from their experience and wisdom to inspire you.

3) Learn to communicate well

The Bulgarian proverb "A good word opens iron doors." is not to be underestimated if you want to become a good manager and leader that people love and follow. We are not saying that all the time you have to say only good things, be insincere or something like that. But the power of communication is very important when working with people. Sometimes you will have to say less pleasant things, but you have to do it in a way that does not offend or cause a loss of motivation and confidence. Communicate with people to inspire and motivate them, even when they are wrong, emphasize their strengths and skills. 

4) Improve your presentation skills

The work of managers is often associated with presenting plans, budgets, projects to employees as well as to other managers or stakeholders. That's why it's good to develop these skills so that you can influence and impress the audience. Sometimes you may have a unique idea, but if you do not know how to present it correctly, it may never be accepted by others. Good presentation skills can help you develop your career.

5) Show empathy

Empathy is a very important quality that will help you a lot in your work as a manager. This means putting yourself in the other person's shoes to find out the reasons for their behavior. When you manage people, it is important to show them that you care about them, and when you show empathy, others feel that you are trying to understand them without judging them and without looking at them from a higher position in the hierarchy. You can have periodic personal meetings with each of the employees, find out about the difficulties they face at work, you can ask them about their personal lives, if they feel comfortable sharing they will create a closer relationship with them and you will reduce the distance they are experiencing. 

6) Avoid micromanagement

You need to be aware of the tasks and projects that each member of the team performs, but try not to interfere too much in every step of the work of employees. This way you create stress for both employees and yourself. Excessive interference in the work of employees is perceived as a lack of confidence in their skills and has a demotivating effect. If you do this, employees will never learn to be independent and take responsibility. Try to give more freedom to employees and intervene in their work only when really necessary. 

7) Read a lot and develop

Education is important for building management and leadership skills, but it is not enough. Successful managers are constantly evolving, are aware of new trends in their field and are interested in everything related to their work as managers. It is recommended that you attend seminars and courses for managers, as well as those for personal development. A good tip is to take 30 minutes or 1 hour a day to read a new article on management, an interview with a successful manager, watch a video on this topic, read a book on management, all this will help you develop your skills and to learn something new every day.

Everyone dreams of being a manager, many become managers, but few become successful managers.

Being a manager is a job in itself and a constant improving and developing of skills. If you want to become a good manager, start learning and developing these skills right now. Remember that you must first be a good specialist in your field, learn technical skills, then you will need to develop conceptual skills. Without humanitarian skills, it is almost impossible to become a good manager, no matter how good your technical or conceptual skills are. 

And the most important thing to be a successful manager is to love this job!

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