Most managers are regular employees who get promoted, but a lot of times that promotion comes with the realization you lack some managerial skills. It’s different being in management, but there are some things you can work on even as an employee that will really help you when that promotion comes.
These skills are actually good to learn no matter what your position is. For instance, a bank teller needs to “act with authority” when explaining why a check bounced — Saying “It looks like you might have not had the funds in your account; I guess maybe that’s why it bounced” with hesitation doesn’t have the same level of authority as “Your account balance was $50.00 short of the check amount when it came into the bank and you don’t have any overdraft protection set up, so an automatic process began. This is what you can do about the situation….”
If you want to be ready to move up into management, start learning what you need to know.
A Checklist of Skills to Learn
- learn how to be comfortable having difficult conversations — all managers have to be able to do this because sweeping problems under the rug doesn’t make them go away.
- learn how to give feedback the right way — tell people when they are doing a good job, and if something is wrong, say so clearly without hinting around while providing a few reasonable suggestions.
- learn how to clarify goals — ask the boss what practical benchmarks are being looked for so everyone can be on the same page. If you can’t measure it, you can’t all reach it.
- learn how to act with authority — if the decision is based on policy, say so. If you want someone to do something, don’t make it sound like an option.
- Learn how to separate relationships from work performance — sooner or later a manager has to confront a lousy employee and fire them even if that employee is a friend. This is one of the hardest things managers face.
Is Your Resume Ready?
One of the things that will be examined closely when your name comes up as a potential manager is your resume. If you aren’t confident your resume is ready for that examination, the Resume Critique can give you professional feedback and concrete suggestions for making sure you are ready for the next step in your career.