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9. Anger Management
We all fly off the handle sometimes. Managers are in a tight spot because losing their temper in the office could not only lead to gossip but could threaten their position as well. Some managers think that the best way to deal with anger management is to keep it to themselves.
Managers with this point of view misunderstand a vital part of anger management. Keeping your anger bottled up does nothing to manage it. The BBC states a slew of health issues related to bottling up one’s anger. That’s why anger management is an important management skill.
Instead of burying it, managers should instead seek to manage their anger. But how?
Most companies either have psychologists or psychiatrists on retainers for staff. Even if your company doesn’t, you can contact HR to make arrangements for you.
Spotting the problem and seeking to deal with it is a sign of strength, not weakness. Taking a time-out to sort through your emotions is also something you should look at. Letting emotions boil over can be dangerous and might lead to rash actions.
Similarly, if you have a problem with another employee or staff member, communicating that problem and working through it together is another way forward.
Anger management isn’t just a managerial skill but can be a useful tool for your everyday life as well.
10. Strategic Thinking
The best managers in the world have always been generals. Strategic thinking allows you to consider all the different facets of a situation and decide how to approach it to achieve the best results.
It’s common to find successful managers who remember this fact:
Strategic thinking suggests a proactive approach to running a department or office. Strategic thinkers within management tend to see the big picture and deal with preventing problems before they arise.
To be a better strategic thinker, you’ll need to spot trends. Whether it’s in business culture or employee behavior, spotting these trends gives you information that’s readily available, but that others routinely overlook.
To think strategically, you’ll need to ask tough questions. There’s a distinct difference between asking hard questions and asking obtuse ones. Hard questions have uncomfortable answers. Obtuse questions don’t have answers but frustrate your peers.
When you speak as a strategic thinker, it’s evident that you value strategy. Identify issues and break down your solutions into easy-to-achieve steps.
Most importantly, take action. Strategic thinking helps you to be more decisive by doing things with imperfect information. The benefit is that you’re more aware of how those actions will impact the company.
The art of strategic thinking will benefit other skills. Knowing when and how to thin strategically gives you an edge on others, one that’s plain to see.
11. Problem Solving
We’re not talking about Rubik’s cubes here. Managers are faced with all sorts of problems, and for you to deal with them effectively, you need to be a master at problem-solving. Problem-solving is probably one of the most important management skills excellent managers possess.
Many managers who think they’re great at problem-solving miss a crucial element of this skill: Effective problem solvers make life easier for the rest of the teams.
They remove frustration and confusion as well as alleviate misunderstandings within the workplace. An effective problem solver doesn’t defer the problem to somewhere else – they approach the issue and its related factors head-on.
To be a better problem-solver as a manager, you should first identify problems affecting the team. Those problems might be external (in the company or the outside world) or internal (between team members). After identifying the issues, Break it down into more manageable parts. Analysis of the problem allows you to sift through the elements of the problem and find the root. Locating the source gives you a chance to develop and implement solutions that address that problem.
The key to being a problem solver is to remember that solving the problem’s symptoms doesn’t fix the problem. To solve a problem ultimately requires you to address the root of the issue.
12. Embracing Change
Change is scary, but it’s also exciting. Successful managers know how significant change and adaptation is to the workplace. If you encourage your employees to embrace change, you can adapt your team to any challenge.
Even so, all successful managers must be wary of a significant pitfall: Not all change is positive.
As a smart manager, you should know that implementing change for the sake of change won’t end well. However, implementing change to shake up a workplace can have dire consequences if you don’t think it through enough.
Improving your attitude towards change might require you to think differently about bringing change into the workplace. Implementing change should take input from your staff. Making them part of the decision will ease the transition.
If you’ve decided on a change, the faster you implement it, the better it’ll be for the organization. Be firm but flexible in bringing about this change. If some factors need to be addressed, do so immediately before they brew discontent among your team.
Management needs to be positive about change. As the leader in your department, you’re an example to the others who follow you. Staying positive, even in the face of challenges, will help the rest of your staff stay the course through the uncertain transitional period.
13. Promoting Innovation
There are better, faster, and more efficient ways of doing things, but many companies have a hard time accepting innovation. The problems with innovative solutions stem from managers that are afraid of new approaches to doing things.
The most detrimental way of thinking for a manager encompasses a single thought: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Innovative managers see new approaches or cutting-edge hardware and software as elements that could improve productivity and help employees be more efficient. Softwares such as Wave Invoicing or Wave Accounting are both online platforms that innovative managers would see as a boon.
To develop the skill of promoting innovation, you need to be able to spot the things that others don’t see. As much as we hate to admit it, problems with efficiency exist throughout our organization. Listen to the complaints of team members, and dissect their issues. Search around for similar issues and how other companies solved them.
Innovative thinking starts from within the team. Listening is a crucial ability that can help you refine this skill.
14. Critical Thinking
Everyone fancies themselves a critical thinker until it’s time to do critical thinking. The art of thinking critically helps us organize information in our heads so that we can make a reasoned decision.
Most managers make a dire mistake when it comes to critical thinking: They believe that you need all the information to make a duly reasoned decision.
That’s not strictly true. In fact, critical thinking can help you make decisions with incomplete information that’s still logically sound.
Developing your critical thinking requires you to appreciate a problem from different perspectives. Your team can help you here, especially if you managed to build a rapport with them as a mentor or through transparent communication.
You should suspend your emotions when looking at the problem. Emotional responses tend to cloud logical judgment. Look for the best possible outcome given the situation.
Will it lead to harm for one or more employees? Would it be easier to deal with this in another manner?
The answers to these questions can help inform your decisions.
Critical thinking might make it seem like you need to look for the most complicated solution, but that’s a misconception. Sometimes, critical thinking helps you spot the most natural solution. You might even be pleasantly surprised that you missed it before.
All human beings enjoy when their contributions are appreciated. As a manager, your praise could be the reward or the motivation to help an employee be more productive. Appreciation can help to lift the spirits of an entire department.
Those who have this management skill always keep this in mind: All appreciation needs to be genuine.
Other skills like mentorship and transparency help build trust, but a poorly placed appreciative statement can erode all of that goodwill. It’s also important to remember that appreciation isn’t the same as recognition.
Appreciation is telling an employee they did a good job. Recognition is just giving an employee the nod for being involved.
Helping employees understand your appreciation can benefit from the department’s workplace culture. Don’t just focus on the significant actions, but look at the small ones as well. Understand the behavior and quirks of your staff. It’s a lot easier for them to accept your appreciation in their own “language” than yours.
Finally, don’t ask employees for their appreciation. If you earn it, you’ll get it. Instead, focus on appreciating employees and showing them why the department values their contributions.
Appreciation can be a powerful motivator for some employees. Your appreciation for their efforts can help them feel more welcome and engaged within the workplace.