- Thinking like an introvert can help you become a better business manager
- Master your time management skills by learning how to operate proactively in the “Second Quadrant”
- Practice the principles of evidence-based management to make better quality decisions
- Imagine your business as a brain so that it can learn and adapt in a constantly changing world
To be a successful manager you’ll need to master a wide range of skills. Business management involves managing the decision-making process, the use of time, and the people in your team. People are your most important resource because businesses are made up of people and the relationships between them. To lead effectively you’ll need to focus your efforts on how to manage your team to get the most out of them.
Consider the following six concepts from the management skills list:
1. Think like an introvert
There are various types of management skills but perhaps the most undervalued set of skills are those that belong to introverted leaders. Too often we focus on understanding how charismatic, heroic leaders manage businesses. What is more unknown is the great value we can acquire from understanding the managements skills of introverted managers, who often rise to be some of the most successful business executives.
- Think first, talk later.
Introverted managers often have advanced people management skills for one simple reason: they are great listeners. By really hearing your team, you can learn by listening and then allow ideas and plans to bubble up inside you.
- Focus on depth
You can have more meaningful conversations with employees by focusing on the depth of your interactions rather than the breadth. To be a successful manager you need to learn what is really happening in your organisation so that you can retain your top talent and resolve any issues.
- Exude calm
Businesses can be stressful environments. Inspired by the leadership style of introverted executives, you can be a reassuring presence by emitting a calm sense of confidence.
- Let your fingers do the talking
Introverted managers often prefer writing over speaking. This gives them time to prepare their response. You can learn from introverts by taking time to articulate your positions and carefully document your actions.
- Embrace solitude
Taking time out to be alone is a potent way for you to fuel your creativity, your thinking, and to be responsive in your decision-making rather than reactive.
2. Operate in the Second Quadrant
In his seminal book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey provides a powerful way to master time management skills. Certain tasks are important while others are unimportant. Some undertakings are urgent while others are not. Good leadership means determining proactively how tasks can be defined according to that rubric.
Tasks that are important and urgent, for example, are things like fast-approaching deadlines and energy-sucking crises. You want to avoid this quadrant. Activities that are not urgent and unimportant are usually forms of procrastination, and you’ll want to guide your employees out of that quadrant too.
The optimal space to be in is referred to as “Quadrant Two” because this is where you are attending to matters that are important but not urgent. These are priorities that you are working on ahead of time. The more you can implement good time management skills to function in this quadrant, the happier and more effective your team will be.
3. Focus on your weaknesses not your strengths
You may take great pride in your strength at managing human relations, internal processes or creating a space for innovation. Your blind spot however, is the area in which you are weakest.
There are countless tools that will help you discover the strengths and weaknesses in your management skills. One of the best tools is Robert Quinn’s “Competing Values Framework”.
It’s great to have strengths but understanding them is not as crucial as understanding your weaknesses. Address your weaknesses in terms of your leadership and management skills and you will significantly increase your effectiveness as a business manager.
4. Evidence-based decision-making
As a business manager you constantly need to make decisions. Often decision-making is based on our own experience, trendy management theories, or outdated information. When you’re under pressure you might make mistakes in your decision-making that will waste the time, money or energy of your organisation.
Evidence-based management encourages us to ask for evidence when a decision needs to be made. Find the logic, seek the evidence and spot flawed reasoning.
5. Imagine your business as a brain
There are a host of ways in which you can imagine your business, from a machine to an organism or even as a political system. Successful businesses need to be able to adapt constantly to challenges and shifts in the external environment. You can help your business become adaptable and make the most out of these changes by imagining it as a brain.
Our brains adapt constantly to the external environment by processing the incoming information and responding. When new situations arise our brains are very well suited to learning new things. You can take inspiration from the brain by motivating your team to keep learning and adapting. By creating a learning organisation you can ensure your business prospers in times of uncertainty and change.
6. Be a leader and a manager
Leadership and management are closely related but involve different activities. Take time to reflect on how you as a business manager are leading versus managing.
Management requires that you keep a diligent eye on details, group accountability, planning, problem-solving and organising. Practise your management skills by ensuring that your management system functions efficiently.
Leadership involves inspiring your team with a unifying vision, encouraging effectiveness, and communicating the strategic ways in which the vision will become a reality. Practise your business leadership by focusing on how you can take your management system and make it adapt to changes in the outside world.
Do you want to learn how to become a successful business manager?
Whether you want to follow an entrepreneurial path, a corporate journey, or become a brilliant HR manager, there are a variety of top-quality online courses for you to choose from that will ensure your success as a business manager. Enrol today and hone your business management skills through accredited institutions.