Managers come in many forms and have plenty of different tasks to do. You could be a customer service manager, admin manager, office manager—whatever!
Regardless of your specific job title, all managers share a common theme: being in charge of people. As a consequence, it’s your job to look after the employees beneath you. This means you ensure they do their jobs correctly—but you also help educate and train them to be better.
Naturally, this requires a particular skillset. So, here’s how you develop your own set of skills to improve as a manager:
Find a Mentor
The best managers tend to have someone they look up to—like a mentor. This person gives them advice on how to do things, and they have previous experience in management.
In some cases, you may have your job role because someone promoted you. In fact, you could’ve been promoted by your own manager. As such, there’s a ready-made mentor right there. They have all the experience required and they also happen to know the organization you work in.
Otherwise, you can find mentors just about anywhere in life. Your parents may be excellent mentors. They should have plenty of life experience to help you out. Who knows—your mother or father may have been in the same position before as you. By getting assistance from people who’ve walked the walk, you’ll soon develop your skills. They’ll teach you what to do in certain scenarios, and they’ll help you take control over your team.
Study Relevant Subjects
A lot of advice out there in regards to becoming a better manager or leader will tell you to study. That’s all it says: study. This advice isn’t technically incorrect, but it could be more specific. Instead, study relevant subjects. Study things that help you develop skills that are beneficial to your manager role.
For instance, you could study the psychology of human learning. By doing this, you learn how people’s brains work and the type of work they respond to the best. Places like Rutgers University have online Masters courses that cover this type of thing, so it’s something you can study as you work.
If you understand how your employees are wired, then you can alter your managerial style. Focus on things that will psychologically tick with them. As a result, they respond better to training and improve their quality of work.
If you run a business, then attend business events. Conferences and trade shows help you learn more about your industry and how to proceed with things. The same goes for anyone who has a team of employees to manage; attend different events!
People hold inspirational and motivational talks all the time. You may even get some business owners or managers at trade shows that host a talk and provide advice. If you go to things like this, it’s an excellent way to learn new things.
It’s similar to having a mentor, only there’s no direct contact with them. You still get advice from someone more experienced than you, and they might even hold workshops as well. So, it’s worth looking for events like this as you continue your personal development as a manager.
Never be afraid to ask your employees for feedback. Ironically, they’re probably scared to do this to your face. Therefore, set up a way to give anonymous feedback. There are surveys online you can set up, or hand out cards that they can write on and place anonymously in a box.
The idea is that they tell you what you’re good and bad at. At the very least, they can tell you what they like most and least about working for you. This can help you see if you’re too strict in some areas or if you’re not giving enough attention to their own development, etc. Find out what you can work on, then develop the skills to make yourself better.
If anything, this is the most vital of all the tips. If you don’t know what needs work, then how can you improve? You’ll waste time developing a load of other skills that are worthless to your job.
Managers have many responsibilities, but your team is number one. If you learn how to take care of them, then the rest of the business will thrive. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sales manager with a team of five people or the general manager of a business that oversees hundreds of employees! All that matters is that you learn how to be better at your job.