No great manager or leader ever fell from heaven, its learned not inherited
― Tom Northup
A better manager is someone who knows that management is an art that needs to be learned. No one has been born a manager and certainly, no one has become one overnight. To become a better manager, one must learn, develop and keep on growing. If you are a manager and want to become a better one, you must learn about the effective management techniques. But before that, let us talk first what management is about and what are the aims and purposes of the management and manager.
What Management is About
Basically, management is about decision-making and implementation. A manager has to decide which processes need to be done and put these processes into action through people. Needless to say, the people are the most vital resource of the manager. Without the people, the manager cannot be able to effectively perform his role. However, managers become better through the innate resources that they have, such as their own skills, competencies, know-how, experience and time. These innate resources can make a manager achieve results, but he knows that he has to manage these resources well and direct and motivate people to achieve a greater result.
Traits of Successful Managers
Michael Pedler, John Burgoyne and Tom Boydell identified in their book, A Manager’s Guide to Self Development, the 11 traits that successful managers possess and every manager who is aiming to become better must develop. These are:
2. Social skills and abilities
4. Relevant professional knowledge
5. Command of basic facts
7. Analytical, problem-solving, and decision/judgement-making skills
8. Mental agility
9. Emotional resilience
10. Continuing sensitivity to events
11. Balanced learning habits and skills
The Aim and Purpose of Management
The aim and purpose of management is to make use of the human, material and financial resources that an organization has and produce best results. Additionally, it is also the purpose of the management to add value to these resources through trainings, seminars, getting more capital, among others. To achieve all of these, the management does the following:
By providing direction to the people, a better manager develops a vision that they will use as motivation to achieve the mission. He will also provide leadership and governance to the people that follows the ethical values and standards of the organization, so the people can fully commit.
It is also the purpose of the management and the role of the manager to make changes. And, not only must the manager make it but assist the people through it, so the transition will be smooth-sailing and won’t affect the way they work.
Accomplish Great Results
As a manager, he must also accomplish great results starting from the projects, up to the operations and to the whole organization.
Meet the Needs of the Clients
It is also the purpose of the management and the role of the manager to meet the needs of the clients. Because without the clients, the business cannot grow, as the clients are the source of income of the business. To meet the needs of the clients, the management and the manager have to promote the services and/or products to the target demographic, acquire contracts, deliver the services, assure that the delivered services or products are on time and at high quality and solve problems that may arise.
Work with people
As it is said, the people are the most vital resources of the management. That said, the manager has to work with them. He has to build relationships not just to the people who belong to the organization but also to the people outside to build networks and gain partnerships.
Manage and improve self
A manager has become a role model for his people. Because of that, the manager must learn how to manage himself and improve the skills that he possess. Through this, his people can learn from him and become equal if not better than him. Also, this is so he can contribute more to the organization and become more competent.
Expectations from the Better Manager
With these aims and purposes of the management, the managers are expected to do the following:
1. Make things happen
2. Solve problems
3. Make decisions
4. Prioritize things
5. Exercise control
6. Exercise authority
So if you’re the manager how can you meet these expectations and become successful and better?
Make Things Happen
To make things happen, a manager can do these three techniques and become better:
1. Discuss about implementation separately
Many managers have struggled and failed to make things happen, because they don’t talk separately talk to their team about how to implement a certain action. Usually, they hold meetings where they will decide and talk about the possible solutions right there and then, which leads to just coming up with a decision and not actually implementing it. To avoid this, schedule another meeting after the decision has been made. At this meeting, only talk about how to implement the decision.
2. Take a little step right away
Remember, every journey starts with a little step. So, if you want things to get done, start with little steps and do it right away. After you have come up with a decision, you can go back to your office and make a draft or order the materials you would be needing.
3. Delegate actions and add ownership
Many times, a team comes up with a perfect plan on how to make things happen. But forget to delegate the actions and add ownership. The people do not know who will do this and that and this leads to not getting anything done. To avoid this, chop the tasks, assign it to the people and give a time frame.
Managers are also expected to solve problems within the organization. To become an effective problem-solver, here are some techniques you can apply:
1.Define the problem
Determine what has gone wrong in the process. This is the first step to solving a problem.
2. Define your objectives
Determine what you want to achieve now.
3. Develop a hypothesis
Make a hypothesis about the cause/s of the problem.
4. Gather facts
Find out what really happened that caused the problem. If people are involved, learn to listen to both parties.
5. Analyze the gathered facts
Not all the facts you have a relevant. So, separate the relevant and focus on it.
6. Make a plan
Make a plan on how you can achieve the objectives that you have defined.
7. Implement the plan
This is when the action starts. You can start with little steps, then big steps.
Did the plan solve the problem? If it did achieve your objectives, then it is solved.
As a manager, you are also expected to be decisive. To be a better manager and better decision-maker, here are some techniques to do:
- Don’t procrastinate: Don’t let problems sit still because you’re procrastinating. This will only make it harder and longer for you to make decisions.
- Analyze the situation: Analyze the situation’s nature and what could be done about it.
- Don’t be assuming: Be realistic. Don’t assume this is what happened or this will happen. If you assume, you are playing with luck not the fact.
- Learn from the past: Go down the memory lane and use your experience.
- Analyze the cost & benefit: Ask yourself if the possible benefit is worthy of the cost. Sometimes, the benefits may fall short.
- Determine the rewards and the possible risks: Do not just think about the rewards of your decision. Think also of the consequences and evaluate if the odds are in favor of you.
- Be systematic: Do not just make a decision without making a system on how you should do it.
- Make the decision: Once the systematic plan is done, make the decision.
- Create a backup plan: Your decision might not always be right, so you should have a back-up plan.
- Evaluate the outcome:If the outcome is good, you made a good decision. If it didn’t come out as planned, implement the back-up plan.
The tasks of the managers are all important, which cause many to become overwhelmed. However, you need to know which ones you need to prioritize. To do this, here are some techniques:
Create a To-do List: First thing in the morning, create a to-do list. Write down all of the things that you have to do. Then, separate the urgent to the non-urgent tasks.
Assess the value: In assessing the value of your tasks, consider the task that is most urgent and have the most impact.
Be realistic: Be realistic as to which tasks are attainable in a certain time frame.
Be flexible: In a fast-changing world, except that you will have to change priorities. The task that you think is the most urgent, will have to be left to have time for a more urgent task.
Don’t be a perfectionist: Of course, everyone would love to do things perfectly. But sometimes, you lose too much time on tasks because you don’t think it’s perfect yet. Know when what’s done is done and move on to your next task.
Exercising Control Techniques
Being a manager, you should also exercise control, not just in the activities that are being done and will be done, but also the people. Here are some techniques on how you can exercise your control:
1. Start by determining your objectives.
2. Set your standards, the budget and the target.
3. Determine the things you want to have a control with.
4. Set your Key Performance Indicator (KPI), so you can measure your success.
5. Decide the control system that you will use to measure the performance.
6. Make sure that your measurement system is accurate and updated.
7. Measure the performance regularly.
8. Make sure that everyone who is involved measure their own performance and knows about the measurement system.
9. Compare the results.
10. After the results are shown, take actions to achieve the opportunities and improve the results.
Exercising Authority Techniques
Managers have to exercise their authority for their people listen to them and make things happen. But, better managers should know that authority is not just about power. Better managers do not exercise authority by relying on their position and power, but by relying on their wisdom, expertise and experience. To exercise authority as a better manager, here are 10 techniques for you:
1. Be a good role model. That means you have to be a great leader, manager and expert at what you do.
2. Be clear on what you expect from people.
3. Let them know that you know what and why you are doing things and where are you going with these things.
4. Explain the actions you are taking.
5. Know that people only recognize authority if it exist and that it is not absolute.
6. Do not rush into making decisions. Think first.
7. Make people accept that there will be times when what you say is what should be done and that you are accountable for it.
8. Show your confidence to everyone.
9. Communicate with people clearly and ensure the message comes across and understood.
Managers as Leaders
A good manager should know that not all managers are leaders and management and leadership are two different things. But, it must be stressed that a manager must be a leader to become better. Leadership and management go hand in hand. To make this clear, let’s define management and leadership.
Managers vs. Leaders
- A manager administers while a leader innovates.
- A manager copies while the leader creates his own.
- A manager maintains the order in the workplace while the leader develops.
- A manager focuses on the structure of the organization and the processes while the leader of the people.
- A manager counts on control while the leader on trust.
- A manager will make things right while a leader will do the right things.
With these definitions, we can say that a manager is concerned about getting results through taking, positioning, using and controlling the money, facilities, people and other resources while the leader focuses on people, as they are considered as the most important resources of any organization.
How a Manager can be a Leader
A manager can become better through becoming a leader. But the question is, how can you become one? Below are the 5 pillars of becoming as successful leader and manager:
Establish Trust and Credibility
Establishing trust is important as a leader. If people trust you, they are more likely to follow you. But to earn their trust, one must be credible. So, you need to be good in aspects such as honesty, integrity, fairness, compassion, & cultivating relationships. With these traits, people will look at you as a credible person who is worthy of their trust and support.
Sharing a clear vision
For a manager to become better, he must share with his people his clear vision. The people must know what their manager wants them to reach. If they don’t know your vision, there’s a high risk that you will not achieve it, because of the differences.
Be a coach, mentor, listener and communicator
A better manager and leader is someone with good interpersonal skills. After all, you need to be dealing with people for this position and just sit and be at your desk all the time. As a better manager and leader, you need to go out there and support your people. Through supporting, you need to become their coach, mentor, listener and communicator. You have to discover their talents and skills and develop these as well as listen to their ideas and communicate to share your clear vision and motivate them.
Make decisions and take ownership
As a leader and manager, it is your job to make decisions that will affect the whole organization. You have to rely on your skills, experience and wisdom. And because not all decisions that we make are right, you need to take ownership of these decisions. So, there will be no blaming game and so you can learn from your mistakes.
Go in the right direction and keep everything under your control
It is also your role to strive for the best and bring your troop to the right direction and keep them on that path under your control. You have to keep everyone close and have the same vision, so that you can all accomplish the mission.
In closing, becoming a better manager is becoming a leader. You don’t just have to be managing the resources of your organization, but also develop these resources to achieve greater heights. Furthermore, a better manager is not just someone who manages and develops the resources, but also develops himself.