Are you uncomfortable managing people?

You’d be surprised how many people, how many managers are uncomfortable doing this or maybe you aren’t?  Perhaps you have experienced it or are experiencing it every day now. Possibly, this might be you – happy to manage but then not enjoying the people management bit at all. In my experience, this is not uncommon. Great practitioners often get promoted into management roles and soon they are floundering. Why? Usually, because someone makes a presumption that a great practitioner can be a great manager.

Exploding fireworkUnfortunately, as a team member, you don’t have to manage or lead others. You can just be you, warts and all. Does this mean that you are somehow deficient for consideration for a leadership role? Clearly not. However, understanding the skills that are needed and, indeed, are pivotal to managing people will help.

So, do you have good communication [and listening] skills, team-building skills and the ability to motivate others? If you do, you are making a flying start. Why? Because according to research carried out by the Chartered Management Institute into 21st Century Leaders, these are among the top four skills sought by employers. For the record, the other ranked second was problem-solving and critical analysis.

No doubt you are now mulling over how you measure against that thinking? Remember, a key part of management is managing people. In my experience, they are lovable, fractious, fragile, lazy, hard-working, volatile, loving, obdurate and caring, to name but a few of their many qualities. Every day presents new challenges for you as the manager, as each new day brings differing aspects of human character. You’ll never know quite what to expect. To top it all, you need their combined efforts to achieve some agreed goals or objectives. It is a fabulous role though not for the faint-hearted.

If you decide to pursue a career in management, there are some other qualities you need. I think they are – self-awareness, resilience, emotional intelligence, empathy, persuasiveness, and a positive outlook. I also think you should be able to work collaboratively both inside and outside of your organization, be able to work with people from differing cultures and backgrounds,  and build and maintain effective relationships. Can you negotiate and network and do so virtually as well as physically? Can you handle the difficult conversation, deal effectively with different personalities and situations and do so thinking laterally?

If your answer to these questions is yes or in the main yes, then I’d say try management – it might just be for you!

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