With the rise of automation, comes the rise of soft skills. The landscape of work is shifting, and in order to keep up with the change, workers need to develop competencies that machines won’t tackle. In this series we talk about the top 10 soft skills that will help you to thrive in 2020. And today’s skills are People Management and Coordination.
What Is People Management And Coordination?
Management skills are abilities that an executive should possess in order to ensure smooth workflow in a team. These include avoiding crisis situations, promptly solving problems, and accommodating differences within the team.
Coordinating team members requires a people-oriented leader who is trusting, accepting, and dominant, and who is committed to team goals and objectives. The coordinator must be someone who is open-minded enough to listen to others, but strong enough to reject their advice.
When Is Team Managing Useful?
Managers and team leaders provide their team members with a safe environment to flourish and grow. It is natural for the team to have interpersonal and logistical obstacles every now and again. And it is the responsibility of the leader to set the tone to establish what’s expected in each situation. Here are three ways team managing practices resolve problems.
Handling Interpersonal Conflicts
Managers play the role of mediators who intervene when there is a collision of interest and power within a team. Four common types of conflict are task-based issues, leadership issues, work style issues, and personality clash issues. Some of the mediating techniques used are allowing everyone involved in a conflict to be heard and then moving forward with facts, not assumptions.
Sometimes existing friendships within a group may cloud judgment and make it hard to separate work and personal life, thus it is important to be aware of group dynamics. Managers need to pay particular attention to frequent unanimous decisions, as these can be a sign of groupthink, bullying, or free-riding.
Meeting deadlines and delivering quality work are a result of clear and forward-thinking communication. Managers should establish clearly understood dates and should break tasks down into gradual stages and monitor for potential bottlenecks through feedback.
Directing employees optimally includes allowing them to manage their own tasks, assigning specific work, and equipping them with well-defined resources and tools. Apps like Asana and Monday allow teams to update their work status in real-time, which eliminates the need for micromanagement.
Building company culture
Shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices are factors that characterize a successful organization. A positive corporate culture helps attract talented people who will find real value in their work.
The authenticity of managers encourages others to share what’s important to them. Such feedback can then easily transform into actionable changes which will continue shaping the company’s environment.
What Makes a Great Manager?
No one is born a great manager, but anyone can develop the soft skills required. First you need to realize that you don’t need to be a superhero. On the contrary, you need to determine what identifies you and play to your strengths.
You will fail to gain credibility if you don’t live by what you preach. Read on to learn about three crucial tactics that will help you to develop your people managing skills.
Creating Well-Defined Roles
Teams work best when all personnel have roles that play to their strengths. The feeling of ownership and responsibility allows all to be accountable for their part. Clearly set responsibilities exclude the possibility for competition for resources and tasks. Along with increasing team efficiency, defined responsibilities increase productivity and build up momentum.
Assigning roles requires understanding individual strengths. The most effective way to learn about your team’s abilities is to ask your team members about their skills and passions. Alternatively, past experience within the company is a good indicator of dominant traits.
Brilliant managers tend to be great persuaders. They have the ability to make people want to do the task at hand and think it was their idea in the first place. To get the message across, you need to have an action plan and be ready to deal with resistance. Putting your audience in a good mood and matching their body language encourages a stronger emotional connection.
Be sure to convince them that the task at hand is in their best interest and outline how the new situation will be better than the present one. To become a better negotiator, refer to a free course on negotiation and persuasion put together at Yale University. You will make principled arguments that persuade others.
Showing Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (or EQ) is about how good you are at reading others’ emotions. Emotionally intelligent people show empathy and tact, are self-aware and in control of their feelings. To become better at understanding people’s behavior, learn about predicting and changing behaviour and practice reading emotions and the facial changes that occur when one tries to disguise them.
Additionally, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory helps identify 16 distinctive personality types based on extroversion/introversion, information, decisions, and judging or perceiving structure. This might help you to further discover your strengths and weaknesses.
Great Responsibility Brings Great Pressure
Just as many professionals suffer from an Imposter Syndrome when they attribute their success to luck rather than skills, managers tend to be susceptible to a few syndromes, too. Here are three of them.
This syndrome is associated with power and the excessive pride that comes with it. It is more likely to manifest itself the longer the person exercises power and the greater the power to be exercised.
Usually, symptoms abate when the person no longer exercises power. It is less likely to develop in people who retain a personal modesty, remain open to criticism, and exhibit a degree of cynicism or a well-developed sense of humour.
The executive functions of our brain are fully developed by age 30. If a person’s executive functions fail, he or she will have trouble analyzing, planning, organizing, scheduling, and completing tasks. It may become hard to handle frustration, start and finish tasks, or stay on track. To compensate for this, adults may use cards, symbols, sticky notes, lists, journals, and apps.
Using external motivations like points systems and being accountable to others at work and school can also help reinforce the process of accomplishing goals. To become more aware of whether you need additional sources to help boost your work, take this test.
Procrastinators know when they are putting things off. Someday Syndrome is the thought that one day I will: start my own business, write a book, or visit Rome. It stokes in us a desire without necessarily demanding any work on our part. With Someday Syndrome, sufferers really believe they will do it, but not right now. They might go as far as to write lists and join clubs; they just never get beyond that. Here is an article to learn more about the syndrome and find some food for thought on how to tackle it.
Managing people requires nailing different techniques in psychology and interpersonal relations. Seeing beyond the problem on the surface is what determines a great manager and allows great managers to communicate effectively with their teams.
Photos: Shutterstock / edited by: Martina Advaney
Check out the other articles in the series of Top Future Skills:
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