New managers need these 6 core competencies
Top skills for New Managers Checklist
So you've climbed the ladder and made it to manager? Well done! Now make sure you learn these vital skills for new managers and keep your spot!
Congratulations you’ve just been promoted! Now is a good time to take an objective view about your competence level in some of the key skills that all new managers are expected to acquire. This means sitting down and completing a Personal Development Plan either with your boss or on your own initiative. As companies cut back on training personal action is becoming increasingly common, so it's important to understand what core competencies are required for your new role and to take steps to acquire or strengthen them. If you have been successfully promoted that would normally indicate that you have a strong basic skills and excellent potential.
But for many the transition isn't quite as fluid or straight forward.
Management skills coincide with leadership skills, and involve many of the same competencies which can be confusing. A high number of managerial roles are also stepping-stones to leadership positions. Leadership is about people and vision, while management is about the organisation and performance of an organisation. Many managers are also good leaders, while others are content to stay in more practical roles. Many managers lead huge teams and some good leaders actually make poor managers which creates further ambiguity.
Both functions require levels of executive presence which need to be worked on. Where do you stand? Take the 3Plus Executive Self-Assessment if you are unsure.
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6 key competencies needed by new managers
It’s important for new managers to be effective communicators both orally and in writing. Effective communication means that the recipient has complete clarity on the topic discussed, plus any action points required, and is able to follow through with minimal consultation. This also means a willingness to have the difficult conversations to reach a win/win outcome that many avoid. Emotional intelligence is a key quality for a new manager. Many think it’s an innate skill but it can be learned. It impacts the way a team functions, leading to employee engagement and team cohesion. Remember that people leave bosses not companies. It also allows new managers to get the support of their bosses and influence decisions taken in other areas.
2. Project management
You are now the boss and responsible for the whole project from start to finish. This requires ownership of all elements and outcomes – both the good and the bad. It means you get credit for success and have to take responsibility for any hiccoughs. You will be accountable to senior managers for those results and your reports for dealing with any fall-out. You need to be ready for that and committed.
3. Delegation, prioritisation and time management
Shifting from a junior role to a more lead function means that new managers have to let others do their assigned jobs. Many micro-managers struggle with this and find it hard to step back, especially if they were top performers at a lower level. The temptation to step in and take over can be quite powerful. This involves delegating, prioritising and effective time management. Failure to get this right can lead to team dissent and even personal burnout while you try todo everyone's job.
4. Decision making
Nothing makes new managers appear weak than an inability to make a decision. This is not to suggest that collaboration should not be part of your modus operandi but to gain the respect of your team and establish authority - decisions have to be made. Even tough ones.
5. Financial understanding
Basic financial knowledge is essential to any new managers and to making the leap from subordinate to leader. New managers have to understand the numbers of their business including analysis of data, budgeting, forecasting and basic P & L calculations. This might mean completing a basic finance course for non-finance professionals.
6. Presentation skills
Nothing is more important than being able to communicate to a group. This could be your peers, reports, bosses or external stakeholders. Getting beyond "death by power point" is going to be a critical skill to acquire sooner rather than later. The topic could be dull statistics or a visionary white paper. Make sure you are completely trained and skilled in creating a slick and engaging presentation that reflects your points well..
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