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Successful Manager Skills

Successful Manager Skills

Successful Manager Skills

Successful managers have developed the soft skills that allow them to operate more successfully.

If you want to be a successful manager, then you need to know which skills to develop and how to develop them.

The skills all successful managers need to develop are:

  1. Goal achievement skills.
  2. Motivation skills.
  3. Planning skills.
  4. Delegation skills.
  5. Conflict management skills
  6. Communication skills.
  7. Self-control: (self-discipline, self-motivation, self-confidence)

1. Goal achievement skills.

The goal is the reason for the team's existence. The people in the team are acting as a cooperative union with the intention of achieving a goal. Without the goal, there is no team function. Commitment to the goal, is the glue that binds the team together.

To bind the team together, the manager must reaffirm to the team what the goal is. The manager is overseeing the activities that will result in the successful achievement of the goal.

Successful managers clearly define the goal and they commit to its achievement.

To successfully set a goal, ask and answer these eight questions:

  1. In general terms, what is the goal?
  2. Specify the goal using numbers (quantify the goal)
  3. Specify the goal using words (give a full description of the goal)
  4. Name the key result indicators that will be used to track progress
  5. Name the skills, knowledge and information needed to achieve the goal
  6. Name the resources, (people, money and technology) needed to achieve the goal
  7. Name the deadline
  8. Check the deadline is reasonable and not over optimistic

2. Motivation skills.

Allied to commitment to the goal, is motivation. The motivation comes from the reasons for the goal. The goal provides the motive and therefore is the source of motivation.

There are two kinds of motivation: positive motivation and negative motivation.

  • Positive motivation comes from talking about the positive benefits we will enjoy if and when we achieve our goals. Some people respond best to positive motivations. These are people who are motivated by desire.
  • Negative motivation comes from talking about the negative consequences we will suffer, if we fail to achieve our goals. Some people respond best to negative motivations. These are people who are motivated by fear.

Unsuccessful managers use only negative motivators; they use threats and promises of pain to motivate.

A successful manager understands the twin track pleasure-pain theory of motivation and can use both types. He will use mostly positive motivators, but on occasions will use negative motivation.

3. Planning skills.

Planning is the art of getting organised before the event. Many unsuccessful people don't plan. That is why they are unsuccessful.

All successful people plan. That is the main reason they are successful. They make themselves ready before the event.

Good managers are planners. They have everything planned out and organised. Everyone on the team is fully aware of the plan, all the materials are available, funding if organised, and the performance is successful because it is well planned.

If you want to be successful, become a consistent, detailed planner. This involves learning the following:

  1. Prioritisation - The art of putting things into the right order.
  2. Preparation - Make sure everything is in place, before you need it.
  3. Practice - Make sure your skills are well developed.
  4. Problem solving - Finding the causes for a problem and replacing them with solutions.
  5. Prevention - Solving a problem by making sure it does not happen in the first place.

4. Delegation.

Part of your planning will necessitate delegation. Delegation is the act of entrusting a task to another. This is good because it enables you to:

  • Develop their skills.
  • Utilise the full productive capability of the team.
  • Balance the load across the individuals that comprise the team.
  • Plan for succession and promotions.

Delegation must be done properly. The task must be given according to the following rules:

  1. The task must be specifically communicated, so that no misunderstandings are possible.
  2. The progress on the task must be measured.
  3. The task must be within the person's skills range.
  4. The task must be well resourced.
  5. The task must be given a reasonable deadline for completion.

5. Conflict management skills.

Conflict is inevitable because not everyone agrees with your views. If there is a conflict, then follow these rules.

  1. Don't ignore it. Tackle the conflict situation early.
  2. Don't get emotional. Keep your language factual, not opinionated.
  3. Name the "wrong behaviour".
  4. Name the "right behaviour"
  5. Ask the person to change from the "wrong" to the "right" behaviour.
  6. If they refuse, ask them for an alternative solution to your proposal, and negotiate a mutually agreeable "right behaviour" solution.
  7. Ask for their commitment to the new "right behaviour".
  8. Thank them and leave on a positive note.

6. Communication skills.

Successful communication means the ACCURATE transfer of information from one mind to another: Communicate without error, omission or deformation.

Communication relies on your proper use of language, so you need to practice making your communication clear, convincing and positive.

Follow these rules for communication:

  1. Be as specific as you can be. Avoid generalities or ambiguous statements. An ambiguous statement is any statement that can be understood in more than one way, for example "Send that to me ASAP".
  2. Use numbers to quantify your communications. Use numbers to specify exact times, exact quantities, exact amounts, exact rates.
  3. Don't waste time talking about what you don't want. Talk about what you DO want.
  4. Always be polite. Never be rude to anyone.
  5. Develop a tendency towards optimism rather than pessimism or fear.
  6. Self-control: self-discipline, self-motivation, self-confidence.

7. Self-Discipline

You cannot successfully manage others unless you can manage yourself. That means you must master yourself, before you can master anything else.

  1. Master your own mind. Think optimistically not pessimistically.
  2. Master your own language. Think before you speak. Don't just blurt anything out.
  3. Never swear. Swearing reveals a lack of respect for your listeners and makes the person swearing sound brutish.
  4. Master your bad habits. Identify your worst bad habit and replace it with its opposing good self-discipline.
  5. Master your fear. Identify any irrational fear, such as public speaking or spiders, and break it by wilfully forcing yourself to do the thing you fear.
  6. Master your physical body. Take control of your physical condition and improve your health and energy levels. Eat better, exercise more.
  7. Master your motivation. Make yourself do the tasks you don't want to do.

Self-discipline is the master key to your success. Six tips for success.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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