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4 ways to make yourself management material

4 ways to make yourself management material

Taking on a management position can come with a number of appealing perks: a higher salary, greater responsibility, the opportunity to add your own stamp on something truly exciting.

But there’s a lot more to effective management than simply slapping ‘manager’ on to the end of your job title. As a manager, not only will you need to juggle your own workload, you’ll also be accountable for the performance, productivity and engagement of an entire team.

So, if you have your eyes on the managerial prize, either at your current organisation or at another, here are four ways to make yourself fighting fit for management:

1) Polish your people skills.

As well as being good at what you do, an effective manager needs excellent people skills. At times you’ll need to be confident and influential; in other situations you’ll need to demonstrate patience and understanding.

In order to be successful as a manager, you’ll need to articulate yourself clearly and emphasise with people from all different backgrounds, age groups and levels of experience to build genuine relationships with those around you.

2) Be a problem solver.

When you’re given a new task, don’t stand by ambivalently waiting for things to fall in place. Take action!

Think strategically about how you can go about achieving the desired result, carefully considering all the different challenges and outcomes that might set you of course. And when you interact with your higher ups, don’t bring problems - bring solutions.

Being a problem solver largely comes down to your attitude. Demonstrate your ability to think like a manager by remaining calm, rational and calculated during tricky situations.

3) Be the best you, now.

Rather than waiting until you’ve received a new job or promotion to prove yourself fit, start by being the best you can be now.

The true essence of an effective leader> comes down to your attitude, not your job title. A leader is professional and trustworthy; they never shy away from a challenge and they always show support and kindness to others.

Demonstrate your leadership potential by taking on smaller leadership opportunities, such as taking the lead on projects, or volunteering to help others who are struggling. Not only will this approach equip you with more skills and knowledge – you’ll also start to be seen as a leader by those around you.

4) Manage your own expectations.

If you genuinely enjoy what you do, but you’ve been doing it for a while now and want a fresh challenge, it’s worth setting some time aside to carefully assess your own motives for management before you begin the application process. What is it that attracted you to your current career? What aspects of your job do you like or dislike? Where do you want to be in three to five years’ time?

A management position comes with the chance to form exciting new ideas and see them through to fruition, but it also requires a great deal of humility. A large chunk of your time will be spent supporting your team to succeed, and it may require getting stuck in on less than exciting tasks from time to time.

So, if you enjoy helping others around you to learn and develop their skills, management might be a great fit – if not, there is no shame in looking for a new challenge elsewhere.

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