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Skills for successfully moving into management

21 March 2016

You’ve learnt the core knowledge of your industry and gained experience in your chosen field, and now it’s time to move into management. It’s important to know that managing people isn’t the same as juggling your own time or tasks, it requires an additional set of skills; skills that are critical to invest in.

The most important thing to remember as a manager is that it is all about people. Whichever industry you work in – from IT to healthcare and everything in between – you will always be leading a group of people. Here are six helpful tips to get you ready for the transition into management.

1. Find out who you’re managing

Learn each team member’s strengths and how they will best contribute to your shared objectives. Talk to them one-on-one and discover what drives them. People work best when they enjoy what they do, so use this to your advantage.

2. Develop strong communication skills

You know what needs to be done, but detailing it to others can be challenging. Embrace as many modes of communication as possible – set up meetings, create shared documents, write down game plans and have your team contribute to the process. Open communication is a key trait of successful managers, and the transparency of that communication helps build trust and motivation within teams.

3. Improve your people skills

Your team members are human beings. There may be things going on in their personal lives, conflict at work or general day-to-day issues occurring, so try to be empathetic and approachable. It’s important to see all employees as more than their practical or professional function. Issues will be resolved more efficiently when your team feel that they can talk to you about any issues affecting their performance.

Additionally, strong people skills means your team feels more comfortable with you, and your working relationships will be far more positive. This will lead to more efficient or successful outcomes.

4. Delegate and trust

It is your job to figure out what needs to be done and employ the right people for the task at hand. Be open about what you expect from each team member and why you think they will excel at it. Make sure that your team know each other’s roles, and that they work well together. Trust your team to deliver. Building trust within your team, and likewise displaying that you trust them, is a major factor in fostering positive manager-employee working relationships.

5. Lead by example

You are in charge and responsible if things go wrong. Your team will also look to you for drive, inspiration and leadership when projects veer off-course. Lead with integrity and confidence. Share your visions and make sure every individual knows that their task is essential to achieving the company’s overall goals. It is also important to celebrate your achievements as a team and reward hard work.

6. Acquire the right skills

Management takes dedication, and it isn’t something you can learn overnight. With SCU Online’s Master of Information Technology Management and MBA in Managing & Leading People, you will develop the skills to move into leadership roles with confidence. You already have the technical expertise, learn how to translate that into quality team leadership.

Get in touch with a Southern Cross University enrolment advisor to find out more about how an online Masters degree can advance your career. We’re available 8am – 6pm on Monday to Thursday, 8am – 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 8am – 5pm on Fridays. Call 1300 589 882.