Whatever our career aspirations, the better we do at work, the more responsibility we get. For some, that means taking on the role of a manager, then eventually a leader. And while from an employee's perspective, the right way to manage can seem obvious, once you actually step into that new pair of shoes the view can be much more complicated.
Every organization is different. If you are a manager in a small company, you will have a lot more influence over plans for the future and the best way to implement them. In larger organizations, you gain more responsibility but with less influence.
Being a manager of people, whether frontline, middle or senior, you will need to learn a range of new skills to help you succeed. Often these have less to do with operations, logistics or technical skills, and more to do with people — negotiation, influence, and conflict resolution. Your communication and emotional intelligence skills matter more than ever.
This is where personality can help.
When we use personality frameworks, with ourselves as managers and with our teams, it helps us to:
- Recognize the value of others’ talents
- Develop the compassion and patience we need to listen to different perspectives
- Recognize the need for different motivators and capabilities for a team to be successful
Over the next few weeks, we are going to be highlighting how different aspects of personality can help us improve at different aspects of management. We are going to focus on five core themes:
1. Knowing who you are as a manager. This includes your biases and strengths, and how those appear to your team. We’ll look at how you can map the strengths of your team, and take a look at the different kinds of team culture.
Read more: What Kind of Manager Am I?
2. Communication. When everyone has their own motivations, needs and strengths, how do you set goals, manage deadlines and give feedback in a way that works for the recipient? We’ll also take a look at what it means to appreciate your team and how to run meetings effectively.
3. Managing conflict. Conflict among team members is both inevitable and necessary. Some of the most effective managers are the ones who can navigate and resolve conflict effectively. But we all bring our own beliefs and defaults to the table around conflict, so we’ll break this down from a few different perspectives.
4. How to build a high performing team. Here, we’ll be talking about cognitive diversity, hiring and firing, collaborative problem solving, work environments and what creativity looks like for different types of teams.
Read more: What is your Team's Personality?
Read more: How to Inspire Creativity Within Your Team
5. How to support your team through change. Here, we’ll take a deep dive into how to plan for change, communicate about it, and manage the stress that comes with change. Whether we like it or not, change is a constant. But being able to understand why it stresses people out and being able to adapt for that will make it easier for your team to navigate the process.
Read more: How to Help your Team When They Are Stressed
Being a manager can be a steep learning curve, requiring skills that you simply haven't been taught yet. You can spend a lot of time aspiring to be your version of a “great manager” only to feel like you are constantly failing. That is normal, and it's okay to feel that way. But you can get through the “I feel like I am always screwing up” part of learning in two ways—first, by knowing the skills you need and practicing them everyday, and second by utilizing insights about the people in your team to manage them in a more impactful way.
This series will help with the first, helping you identify the skills you need and providing practical suggestions on how to apply them at work. For the second, you can use the Truity@Work platform with your team to access assessments and reports focused around specific workplace challenges.
Wherever you are in your management journey, we want you to feel supported and empowered to create a great working experience for your team, and for your team to know they are contributing to the greater purpose of your organization. If there is a specific topic you would like us to cover, please email me at email@example.com.