Fundamental Skills for Every People Manager

Fundamental Skills for Every People Manager
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So, You Want to Be a People Manager
Almost everyone who has been encouraged to take on the role of people manager at work has succeeded first in their role as individual contributor or team member. High performing individual contributors — especially those with high levels of perceived leadership potential — typically attract the attention of those responsible for building leadership succession planning pipelines. But do they have the fundamental skills for every people manager?

Certainly, it’s exciting to be offered a new management position that raises your status. But make sure that you, as well as your supervisor, understand what it will take for you to succeed as a people manager. The skills you’ve displayed as an individual team member are not the same as those you will need as a team leader.

Fundamental Skills for Every People Manager
No matter what level you are in the company, if you are in charge of leading others, there are a few fundamental skills for every people manager that you need to develop and foster.

  • Create Team Clarity
    The best people managers start by ensuring that everyone is on the same page by creating a team charter that outlines a clear line of sight for everyone to contribute.  Our organizational alignment research found that team clarity accounts for 31 percent of the difference between high and low performing teams.

    You will know you have enough team clarity when everyone agrees with the team’s purpose, stakeholders, success metrics, strategic priorities, team norms, constraints, individual roles and responsibilities, and required resources, support, and skills.
  • Communicate with Understanding and Purpose
    The best leaders are masters at communicating. Great managers write and speak clearly, and they know how to listen. Good communication, perhaps the most fundamental leadership skill of all, supports better decision-making, trust building, change managing, and employee engaging.
  • Know Who You Are
    Sure, you can easily describe your outer layer of identity. But we’re talking here about your innermost layers. How truly self-aware are you?

    Self-awareness is one of those critical skills that influence how effective you are as a leader and manager.

    Are you clear and objective about your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses? Do you know how others perceive you? Is this the way you want to be seen?

    If not, what can you do to improve your “leadership brand” so that you can achieve your leadership aspirations?
  • Be Able to Persuade and Influence
    No leader can achieve grand goals on their own. Leaders need to be able to bring people together, persuade them to commit to the task at hand, and believe that the outcome is possible.

    Effective people leadership requires a certain savvy sense of each individual’s and each group’s special concerns and issues. Only then can leaders focus on guiding their followers toward a shared vision and motivate them to expend their best effort.
  • Learn from Experience and Apply the Lessons
    Wise leaders are open to learning from others. They make mistakes but learn from the experience and they get excited about learning new things. Are you willing to change your views and set new directions if needed?The best leaders and managers love solving problems and are the ultimate continuous learners.

The Bottom Line
While you should appreciate and welcome the challenge of managing a team, be sure you have access to management training programs to develop the fundamental management skills you will need to succeed. Are you truly ready to have your success dependent upon the success of others?

To learn more about fundamental skills for every people manager, download 5 Management Misperceptions that Slip Up Too Many New Managers

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