Increasingly businesses are realising that the skills of their middle managers can make or break their performance. The lack of adequately trained managers is damaging the competitiveness and responsiveness of many businesses. To ensure you meet modern business challenges and are successful in your Middle Management role, below are 5 core managerial skills that are needed.
1. Change Management Skills:
The ability to communicate, respond to and implement change is central to the middle management role. Mergers, acquisitions, new products or services, relocations and redundancies are a fact of life and change is central to modern business survival. Middle managers are often best placed to manage employee reaction to change and to offer the support and encouragement that is necessary to implement it effectively. Effective training can make sure that they can help others to prepare and handle the process of change.
2. Soft Skills:
Alongside the hard realities of operational knowledge, soft skills come to the fore in the middle of the business hierarchy. Leading change, identifying and managing resistance to it and ensuring that deadlines are met are just some of the tasks that middle managers will have to take on. You’ll need to communicate with Senior Management and provide reports on a daily basis: the chain of communication goes both up and down and so a high degree of emotional intelligence and good communication skills are needed.
As a middle manager you act as the point where actual results and company goals meet, so it is essential that you have transparency with regard to work, results and team performance. Your reports must be suitable for the headlines and forecasting required in the boardroom and for honest appraisals of your team’s work.
4. Setting and Achieving Goals:
You will be expected to meet your own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), so an ability to prioritise is essential alongside time management skills. You will also be expected to develop KPIs for your own teams and identify any training needs, or other support, they may need to achieve these.
For most companies innovation is a critical skill to find in middle managers. It is what will differentiate them from the competition and allow them to deliver a superb service at superb returns. The effective middle manager must not only look for new ways of working, but they must also learn how to test and assess them and to develop the confidence and negotiation skills to create space for them within the business.
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