Are Your Management Skills Up to Date?

I’m not talking about knowing the latest ‘flavor’ of management or the buzzwords. “Retention” is the battle cry once again. Many organizations are now using engagement survey stats for managerial performance measures. Your management skills along with to your technical credibility keep you viewed as a valuable contributor, not just a place holder, by your peers and execs.

Here are 5 things that may give you a clue to your people-management success:
1) As your organizations upgrades its systems and processes, are you self-sufficient with your own technology? Can you create and print your own reports? Can you map drives to the printer from your laptop? Set up and run an effective teleconference? Do you use e-mail and IM productively? Can you create effective power point decks, graphs and other frequently used documents? Constantly asking for help can drive your staff nuts.

2) Do your meetings make good use of your staff’s time and talents? Do you share the information from your manager’s staff meeting that needs to trickle down? Does everyone know why they are in the meeting and what they are to contribute? Everyone should have a meaningful action item that moves your project along after each session. Hopefully you’ve shared a laugh and highlighted some successes (team building). Weekly meetings should be less than an hour, max.

3) Do you share your staff’s good work with your peers and manager, or take just credit for having “a good team?” If someone has been especially helpful or had a pivotal idea that has led to the project success, give them the credit. Don’t be worried about losing your talent. If you don’t share their talent, they’ll leave anyway. Some of the best corporate leaders are known for the talent they grow.

4. Are you proactively reducing or minimizing conflict? What are the issues that continually flare up? We often avoid issues, hoping they will evaporate. Lay a safe groundwork to resolve the issue, then get to the root to find common ground. Don’t jump to a solution until both parties have fully understood the other point of view. More productivity is lost through avoiding conflict, rather than effectively addressing it.

5. Does your staff punch your buttons? Personality style differences can be maddening, for both parties. Schedule time and get assistance so everyone understands individual preferences and expectations. Then help each other to communicate based on that knowledge. At minimum, give them a warning sign if you are in a bad mood.

These tips are based on a few of the items that keep bobbing to the surface in most engagement surveys. They cross all types of workplaces and generations. For each of these five areas there are specific skills you can develop to keep up to date with what your team needs from you.

What other management skills or Competencies for your organization have you seen that need to be updated?

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