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What Knowledge and Skills are Required by a Manager?

What knowledge and skills are required by a manager?

What knowledge and skills are required by a team manager?

Have you been recently promoted to the role of team leader or team manager?
If yes, then it is probably because you know the job to a greater degree than others.

You know your customer needs, and you know your organisational systems. You have a great deal of technical knowledge and expertise.

Therefore, when the role of manager needed to be filled, your name rose to the fore, and you got the job.
But now that you are a team leader-manager, you are expected to be able to manage people. And people are not easy to manage.

You may need to improve your people management skills

As a team manager, how can you get the best performance from yourself and others?

Because your job as a manager is to get the best performance from others; and to do that, you will need to know what knowledge and skills are required to achieve that goal.
It is this additional skill set that you need to quickly acquire.

Here is a list of six skill sets that you need to master if you want to be successful in your role of team manager/ leader:

  1. How to set achievable and realistic goals.
  2. How to communicate well: You need to communicate your message and your personality.
  3. How to manage priorities: Planning ahead, preparation, prevention of avoidable errors.
  4. How to manage conflict: Conflicting colleagues and poor performance issues.
  5. How to motivate yourself: self-motivation, self-confidence, self-control.
  6. How to motivate others: How can you inspire a positive emotional response in the minds of your listeners; customers, colleagues, suppliers and bosses?

1. How to set achievable and realistic goals

The leader manager must have a very clear notion of the goal to be achieved. The team manager must know where he/she is heading.

A leader manager must have a clear sense of direction.

If you are leading a business enterprise, then the purpose of that enterprise is "profitable trading".
If your activities result in trading for no profit, or worse, if you are trading at a loss, then you are off track.
If you are in the public services or working in a charity, then your purpose is efficient service.
If your activities are inefficient, then you are off track.

What is your goal?

Do you have your goals clearly defined? You need to be clear on your targets.

Decide; what is the purpose of the team's existence?

When you have the purpose of the team's existence clearly in mind, then your role is to facilitate the efficient expression of its purpose.
Your task is to ensure that every action taken by every member of the team corresponds directly to the achievement of the team's goal, or stated purpose.
Similarly, ensure that every action taken by every member of the team does not waste valuable time because it does NOT correspond directly to the teams stated purpose.

Goal focus is the first and most important personality trait that you need to perfect if you want to be a superior team manager.
Being goal focused has the capacity to transform your efficiency rating by up to 200%.

2. How to communicate well. You need to communicate your message and your personality

You are not Robinson Crusoe; you don't live alone on a desert island. You live and work surrounded by other people. And your success as a manager is dependent on your ability to gain the willing cooperation of others.

You need to gain their assistance if you are to achieve your goals. If you fail to gain the willing cooperation of others, then you cannot achieve your goals.

Since you are not telepathic, you will have to use language to communicate your message. Language in the spoken form, together with your body language and your voice tones.

You need to write emails and reports, you need to improve your ability to express yourself in writing.

In addition you may need to:

  • Improve your appearance.
  • Improve your listening skills.
  • Improve your questioning skills.
  • Improve your memory skills.

All these communication skills combine to make you a more effective personal communicator.

Look at the above list; ask yourself, "Which of the above list are weaknesses in my performance?" Meaning: Which two or three of the above list of seven items are your weakest and if you did improve on your current skills would make the biggest impact on your performance.

Imagine that you spoke with greater clarity and confidence; wrote with more style and persuasiveness, you would look like a true professional.

Being a confident communicator has the capacity to transform your efficiency rating by another 250%.

3. How to manage priorities: Planning ahead, preparation, prevention of avoidable errors.

Let us now assume you have laser-like goal focus, you are an amazing communicator, and therefore you are able to gain the willing cooperation of a huge army of people.
That still won't be enough to win. You will need to come up with a plan.

A plan is a thought process set into writing.

A plan is the method by which you will achieve the goal.

An ambitious goal without a plan is useless.
An ambitious goal combined with a brilliant plan is a powerful force for progressive change.

We believe that planning is an essential skill, and we have developed what we call the P LIST.

The P- List is a set of skills that you need to develop: all beginning with the letter P.

  • Planning
  • Preparation
  • Prevention
  • Prioritisation
  • Practice
  • Proper protocols
  • Perfecting personal performance
  • Pinpoint potential problems
  • Pinpoint potential opportunities
  • Proper psychology

That is a powerful list isn't it?

You need to consider each one and ask yourself if you are in need of improvement on any one of them.

  • Are you planning ahead sufficiently?
  • Do you do enough preparation?
  • Does your team suffer too many preventable errors?
  • Do you have a method to prioritise your tasks into value order?
  • Do you practice what you preach?
  • Do you have Proper Protocols?
  • Are you striving each day to perfect your personal performance?
  • Do you look ahead and try to pinpoint potential problems.
  • Do you see the potential opportunities?
  • Do you have the Proper psychology?

Get involved with the P list

Being a brilliant planner has the capacity to transform your efficiency rating by another 375%.
And that would make a massive difference!

So, build proper plans.

4. How to manage conflict: Conflicting colleagues and poor performance issues

Even though we can now assume you are a master practitioner of the P LIST, your problems are not yet over.
Because even though you have a detailed plan, other people won't follow it. They won't like it. So, they won't comply with it.
So, now you have a new problem: conflict.

Conflict is inevitable. If you work with others you will need methods to resolve conflicts.

  • Some people will disagree with the goal.
  • Some people will disagree with the plan.
  • Some people are plain disagreeable.

Do you know anyone like that? Do you have any disagreeable people in your team?

You need to handle these people

You need to handle conflict according to logical, (rational) principles.

You need to stay logical. You need to not get too emotional.

  • Don't get angry
  • Don't get upset
  • Don't get bitter
  • Don't run away from conflict

You need to develop methods of dealing with conflict "according to the principles of reason." That means;

  • You concentrate on the facts of the case. Not their feelings.
  • You use objective language, not subjective language.
  • You distinguish between facts and opinions.
  • You distinguish between reasons and excuses.
  • You focus on the future, not the past.
  • You try to discover the corrective action, not "who is to blame?"

Remember that you need to keep your colleague on your side, emotionally.
Winning a battle that leads to you losing his loyalty is a Pyrrhic victory.

A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to a defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. (Another term for this would be "hollow victory").

Remember that you need to keep this person on your side.

You don't want the team to fragment into opposing camps.
Under pressure, a divided team crumbles.
So handle conflict according to logical principles not emotional bloodletting.
Learn rational conflict management techniques.
Being brilliant at handling difficult people has the capacity to transform your efficiency rating by another 175%.

5. How to motivate yourself; self-motivation, self-confidence, self-control

All these conflicts and other pressures can have a tiring effect on your mind.
Therefore, you will need to know how to manage your own emotions. You will need to learn the arts of emotional management.
Emotional management is the art of directing the focus of your mind and the physical state of your body so that you are able to create a positive mental attitude, especially during tough times.

Here is the major principle of emotional management.

Memorise the following statement:
"You feel whatever you think about".

"You feel whatever you think about".

Your feelings come from your thoughts.

And amazingly, you can control your thoughts.

  1. If you control your own thoughts, you will control how you feel in any given situation.
  2. If you control how you feel in any given situation, then you can control how you REACT in any given situation.
  3. If you can control how you react in any given situation then you can master the situation.

But on the other hand, if you cannot even control yourself, then you will never be able to control the situation. Would you agree with that?

ONLY IF you control your will, will you control the situation.

And that is what you want to be able to do.

Therefore you need to focus your mind on:

  • Your goals
  • Your plans
  • How to gain the cooperation of the other people involved

This type of thinking will cause you to feel:
Positive, progressive confident and motivated.

Which is what we want.

Being able to control exactly how you think, feel and react in any given situation has the capacity to transform your efficiency rating by another 450%.

That is amazing!

6. How to motivate others. How can you inspire a positive emotional response in the minds of your listeners; customers, colleague's suppliers and bosses?

Can we assume that you are in agreement with the previous list of five steps?

  1. You need to have clear goals.
  2. You need to develop excellent communication skills.
  3. You need to formulate brilliant, detailed plans.
  4. You need to use your logical mind to handle difficult people, with whom you have been having recent trouble, and they will then fall into line. And that would be nice!
  5. You are feeling powerful because you are managing your own mind.

You feel strong.
If you really were doing the entire list of five above, can you see that you would be able to inspire a positive response from everyone who stands inside your sphere of influence?
If the above were true, can you see that you would have an inspiring effect on the others around you?

Now you can give away to others the skills you have in your own possession.

You can give away to others the gifts of:

  • Better goal focus.
  • Better communication.
  • Better planning and preparation.
  • Better, more rational conflicts. (Fewer emotional conflicts).
  • Better control over the emotions. You can make others feel more positive.

And since they are feeling more goal focused, prepared and positive, then they will also be more likely to be effective, won't they?

Then, you will be able to get the best from yourself and others.

How can you get the best from yourself and others?

That was our original assignment as a manager.

Here are the skills again: You need to learn more about:

  1. How to set achievable and realistic goals.
  2. How to communicate well. You need to communicate your message and your personality.
  3. How to manage priorities: Planning ahead, preparation, prevention of avoidable errors.
  4. How to manage conflict: Conflicting colleagues and poor performance issues.
  5. How to motivate yourself; self-motivation, self-confidence, self-control.
  6. How to motivate others. How can you inspire a positive emotional response in the minds of your listeners?

Please learn to master each set, in turn.

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