Posted 29 November 2013 by Chris Farmer
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Fundamental management skills
There are many management skills; there are hundreds of them. A fact that, to the fledgling manager, can seem a little daunting. But things can be simplified if you realise that not all of them are vital skills.
Some are more important, more fundamental than the others. And it is these fundamental management skills that you need to get right. If you get the fundamentals right, then you will probably win as a manager. But if you cannot get even the fundamental management skills right, then you will probably lose.
So the question in your mind is: What are the fundamental skills of a manager.
Here are four fundamental skills that all managers, and team leaders, need to master.
They are as follows;
- The ability to set goals.
- The ability to use language well.
- The ability to plan ahead well.
- The ability to manage other people so that you can inspire in others feelings of self-confidence and self-motivation.
1. The ability to set goals
The ability to set and achieve goals is a fundamental management skill because the purpose of a team is defined by the goal it is striving to achieve. If there is no goal to achieve, there is no purpose for a team even to exist.
If the management is not clear on the goal, then the team will fragment. It will break up into smaller units and each unit will pursue its own self-generated goal. But the organisation as a whole will no longer be functioning as a unified entity. It will be chaotic and will soon flounder. Therefore, goal focus is the number one fundamental skill of the manager or team leader.
2. The ability to use language well is a fundamental management skill
The role of the manager is to achieve the goal. And that can only be done if that goal is properly communicated. And you can only properly communicate if you can use language well. You need to be able to make yourself understood. You need to be able to make yourself understood, both in the spoken form of communication, and in the written form. Some people find it very difficult to find the words they need to express themselves; both in speaking and especially in writing.
But since you must get the best performance from every other member of the team, you must be able to communicate well. That means you must be able to use language to express every thought, idea and item of information, in clear, unambiguous terms.
3. The ability to plan ahead well is a fundamental management skill
If you have a goal, and if you have succeeded in communicating the goal to the team, the next fundamental skill required is the ability to generate a practical plan that may be capable of achieving the goal.
A plan is a thought process put into writing.
The plan should lay out the practical steps that will be taken, by whom, with what, and by when. The plan should be the result of a logical analysis of all the relevant factors and should not be the result of guesswork or wishful thinking.
Many people don't plan ahead. Many people guess. Many people indulge in wishful thinking.
These are not skills. They are errors. The fundamental management skill is the skill of logical analysis and the ability to draw up practical plans of action.
4. The ability to manage other people so that you can inspire in others feelings of confidence and motivation
Many people have plans that they don't have the courage or energy to put into practice. The plans lay unused. To be of any use, the plans must be implemented with a feeling of confidence and motivation. And therefore the manager must be able to inspire feelings of self-confidence and motivation in others.
There are some people in the team that lack confidence. There are some in the team that lack motivation. And some lack both!
The leader manager must be able to inject some positivity into the team by means of:
- Talking about the goal
- Talking about the plan
- Talking in ways that presuppose success is inevitable, provided we stay focused and keep revising and improving our plan, according to new information, as we learn about it.
Motivating and inspiring others is a fundamental skill of leadership and management.
If you want to know more about:
- Setting and achieving goals.
- The accurate use of language.
- Building practical plans.
- Motivating yourself and others.
Then please, do attend our two day programme.