All of us know that managers need a combination of hard skills and soft skills to win in the marketplace. How is 2023 different?
In the dynamic landscape of 2023, the role of a manager is more crucial than ever before. The ability to navigate uncertainties, lead diverse teams, and drive results demands a unique set of skills. In this blog post, we will delve into the essence of management skills, explore their types, provide concrete examples, and guide you on the path to developing these essential abilities. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the 5 power skills for managers to not only survive but thrive in 2023.
Management skills encompass a broad range of abilities that enable individuals to oversee, lead, and coordinate the efforts of a team to achieve organizational goals. These skills are multifaceted, involving interpersonal, communication, decision-making, and strategic thinking capabilities.
Yes, we have a different kettle of fish.
We have come out of a pandemic that reminded us to be more human than ever before and value the contribution one can make in someone’s life. People have learned the value of working together to unleash the potential of collaborative working. Does the company promote this? Are managers comfortable showing their emotional side alongside the objective and task-oriented side? How do they deal with the combination of rational and emotional sides of their colleagues? Are managers ready to collaborate and work in an environment that is less structured and more flexible yet result-oriented?
Secondly, powered by the gradual shift in our socio-economic conditions, there are changes in the behaviours of the employees in the workforce. Now employees want a certain part of their day carved out as private time; they want feedback to be specific and quick; they seek to understand why they have to do what they are asked to do. They do not take kindly to situations when the company’s beliefs and norms are not to their liking. How do companies recognise this reality in their systems and processes? How do managers deal with this situation? For example, managers may not be comfortable allowing their younger colleagues the freedom and independence they seek; find it hard to accept that the young folks need private time which they did not find when they were younger. Managers do not have the skills of offering quick feedback, positive or negative. Many of them believe in developing their team members by criticising the work done by them; they do not see the need of appreciating good work. And many such challenges galore!
Thirdly, the environment around us has been changing rapidly. Science and technology, the legal environment and more such changes have been impacting the modus operandi in organisations. Managers are required to be agile and adapt to the developments in the environment quickly. Apart from the soft skill of adaptability, we need them to develop a good level of understanding and appreciation of the technical skills so that they can identify the opportunities to make changes and lead the change management programmes effectively.
Essentially, we are talking about a combination of hard skills and soft skills. Let’s call them power skills.
The Power skills needed:
Every industry sector and job role has its unique requirements for skills and expertise. The subject matter expertise needed is much beyond the experience of having done the job hands-on in the past. Managers are expected to be able to connect the dots and envision various possibilities. As technology is evolving, some industry sectors lead the adoption and learn through the process. Every manager needs to understand and absorb these learnings to discover various possibilities in his or her domain of responsibility.
Communication has always been important for anyone in a managerial role. The tenors of communication keep evolving as the context changes. in 2023, for communication to stick, it has to be an honest and sensitive appraisal of the performance periodically and frequently. Over time, the frequency of performance feedback has started rising and a good balance between appreciation and opportunities for improvement has become more essential than ever before. The importance of sensitivity has never been as important as it is today. We have noticed employees getting impacted negatively and damaging their mental health when their manager delivers negative feedback or criticism in a way that shakes them up. This style of appraisal does not create value for an enterprise. Hence, in 2023, this is one of the important power skills.
Agility, willingness to change and driving the change hands-on, is another dimension of the modern manager’s capability. This is significant because changes have been taking place at a rapid pace. For example, organisations have been making changes to their remote working policies over the last two years and are still unsure. Given this backdrop, a manager has to continuously evolve one’s style.
Innovation and creative thinking are something that has always been useful. However, given the volatile situations we encounter every day in our lives, businesses have been changing fast as well. The possibilities that ChatGPT seems to suggest are just an example. Managers have to seek creative solutions to the problems at hand.
Finally, the way a manager makes decisions, engages with the stakeholders and negotiates with them makes him or her a great manager in the current times. All of us have been told several times in our lives that decisions which appear to be win-win are the best way forward. However, it is not practised very regularly. Given the current times, managers have to develop the power skill to build a genuine understanding of the counterpart, develop a rapport that is based on honesty, trust and mutual respect and focus on a partnership that lasts long.
Types of Management Skills
1. Leadership Skills:
Leadership is the cornerstone of effective management. Managers need to inspire, motivate, and guide their teams toward common objectives. This involves setting a vision, fostering a positive work culture, and being a source of inspiration during challenging times.
2. Communication Skills:
Effective communication is the lifeblood of successful management. Managers must articulate ideas clearly, listen actively, and provide constructive feedback. In the digital age, mastering virtual communication tools is equally vital.
3. Decision-Making Skills:
Managers are often confronted with complex and time-sensitive decisions. Being adept at making well-informed choices is a critical skill. This involves analyzing situations, considering alternatives, and understanding the potential impact of decisions on the team and organization.
4. Time Management Skills:
With a myriad of tasks vying for attention, effective time management is non-negotiable. Prioritizing tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and optimizing workflow are essential components of this skill set.
5. Adaptability and Change Management:
In the rapidly evolving business landscape, adaptability is a key differentiator. Managers must embrace change, navigate uncertainty, and lead their teams through transitions. This involves staying informed about industry trends and proactively adjusting strategies.
Examples of Management Skills
Let’s delve deeper into these skills with real-world examples:
1. Leadership Skills in Action:
Picture a manager who leads by example, demonstrating a strong work ethic and a commitment to the organization’s values. Through open communication and a genuine interest in team members’ well-being, they foster a positive and collaborative work environment.
2. Communication Skills Unleashed:
Consider a manager who excels in virtual communication. They leverage video conferencing tools, ensure concise and clear written communication, and foster an inclusive atmosphere where all team members feel heard, regardless of their physical location.
3. Decision-Making Mastery:
Imagine a manager facing a critical decision with tight deadlines. Through thorough analysis, consultation with relevant stakeholders, and a decisive mindset, they make a choice that aligns with the organization’s goals, inspiring confidence in the team.
4. Time Management in Practice:
Think of a manager who efficiently juggles multiple projects by setting priorities, breaking down tasks, and delegating responsibilities. This ensures deadlines are met without compromising the quality of work.
5. Adaptability as a Game-Changer:
Envision a manager who anticipates industry changes, proactively adjusts strategies, and leads the team through transitions. Their ability to navigate uncertainty positions the team and the organization for success in the face of evolving challenges.
How do I Develop these Management Skills?
1. Invest in Professional Development:
Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to stay abreast of the latest management trends. Seek out courses that focus on leadership, communication, decision-making, time management, and adaptability.
2. Mentorship and Networking:
Connect with experienced mentors who can provide guidance and share insights from their own managerial journey. Networking with other managers allows you to exchange ideas, learn from diverse experiences, and build a supportive professional community.
3. Seek Feedback and Reflect:
Ask for input from supervisors, teammates, and peers in a proactive manner. Reflect on your managerial decisions and actions, identifying areas for improvement. Continuous self-assessment is key to personal and professional growth.
4. Embrace Challenges:
Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Tackling difficult situations hones your decision-making and problem-solving skills, contributing to your overall managerial competency.
5. Stay Informed and Adaptable:
Stay informed about industry trends, technological advancements, and global developments that may impact your organization. Cultivate a mindset of adaptability, recognizing change as a constant and proactively adjusting your strategies.
Skills of a Good Manager
Beyond the specific skills mentioned, a good manager embodies certain qualities that set them apart:
A good manager is aware of the wants and needs of their team members. They demonstrate empathy, fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment.
Integrity is the foundation of trust. A good manager upholds ethical standards, leading by example and earning the respect of their team.
In an ever-evolving business landscape, creativity is a valuable asset. A good manager thinks outside the box, encourages innovation, and seeks novel solutions to challenges.
Flexibility is crucial in adapting to changing circumstances. A good manager is open to new ideas, embraces change, and adjusts strategies as needed.
The capacity to recover from setbacks is known as resilience. A good manager remains composed under pressure, learns from failures, and uses adversity as a stepping stone to success.
Human capabilities are way more than we imagine.
Human beings embody limitless possibilities. We have to remain watchful of our environment and evolve. 2023 is the time when all of us are witnessing changes, quickly adapting to them and driving changes ourselves. As long as we are dynamic and agile, believe in the human spirit and pursue excellence, we shall evolve ourselves into acquiring the power skills needed and win in the marketplace.
In conclusion, the 5 power skills for managers to succeed in 2023 extend beyond technical expertise. Leadership, communication, decision-making, time management, and adaptability are the pillars that support effective management. By investing in professional development, embracing challenges, and embodying qualities like empathy and integrity, managers can navigate the complexities of the modern workplace and lead their teams to success.
As we navigate the dynamic landscape of 2023, remember that mastering these skills is an ongoing journey. Continuously refine your abilities, stay attuned to industry changes, and cultivate a leadership style that not only meets the demands of today but paves the way for the challenges of tomorrow. Skills for managers are not just a checklist; they are the compass that guides teams toward excellence in the ever-evolving business landscape.