Are you wondering if it might be time to take the next step in your career? Though many career paths eventually lead to management, not everyone is cut out to be a manager.
There are certain skill sets and personality traits that help a person become a successful manager. Consult this list to help determine if management might be a good choice for you.
1. You don’t get involved in drama or gossip
Managers need to remain impartial in the workplace and set an example of professionalism for their employees. They can care about their employees, but they need not get in the middle of everyday squabbles.
If you’re one who likes to hang around the water cooler and thrives on hearing the latest scoop on coworkers, then management may not be the right place for you. In particular, if you have a track record of taking sides and are deeply immersed in office politics, management could only make things stickier.
2. The actual work has lost some interest for you
A common reason for going into management is you’ve become so good at your day job that you can do it easily and even train others to do it. When your everyday work has become routine, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to take on a new challenge.
A good manager knows well the work of their employees but doesn’t feel the need to continue completing the work themselves in order to gain fulfillment. If you’re ready to let tasks go and delegate the work while leading others, the management track could be right for you.
On the other hand, if you tie most of your professional enjoyment to completing your actual work and feel you would miss it were it greatly reduced, think twice before giving it up for management.
3. You’re a clear communicator
To be an effective manager, you must be able to give clear instructions that allow your employees to be successful. Are you able to pass along tasks to team members or coworkers and see them completed appropriately? Managers who are not able to set clear expectations will frequently get a different result than they intended, leading to frustration on the side of the employee and manager.
Importantly, being a good communicator means having strong listening skills as well. One of a manager’s most important jobs is being there to listen to their employees and help them with challenges they are facing.
4. You believe in your company’s mission
Managers have a difficult position of always needing to think of the business’s best interests first. It is much easier to put the company first if you truly believe in the mission.
You need to be able to sell the company line to your employees, and if you haven’t bought into the company’s mission and values, doing this will be much more difficult. A higher management salary likely won’t make up for you having to stand up for a company you don’t believe in.
5. You enjoy helping and developing others
Imagine that you’ll be explaining things in detail that may seem straightforward to you. Take caution if this seems painstaking to you. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind teaching someone a new skill, management may be enjoyable.
You’ll also be dealing with others’ problems and helping to troubleshoot challenges. If you take pride in being a sounding board for your friends and family members, helping to guide them to logical solutions, then management could be a good role.
6. You’re patient
As a manager, you’ll need to listen to complaints, deal with extra paperwork (hiring, reviews, leaves, etc.), and help employees through stumbling blocks. Your employees will mess up; it just happens. You’ve got to be forgiving or risk alienating those underneath you who you need to perform.
An impatient manager can quickly become a micromanager who creates disengaged employees or drives normally independent ones to leave.
7. You keep your cool under pressure
Managers should show employees how to logically work through challenges that arise. They are the ones employees run to when something goes wrong, so they need to not respond with emotions that will cloud good judgment.
Managers can also be in the hot seat when a department or project team is not delivering. They need to know how to motivate their employees without stressing out direct reports in a hostile or counterproductive way.
Get Ready To Be An Amazing Manager
If several of the signs on this list sounded like you, then you may just be cut out to be a great manager. Though there are baseline personality traits and personal interests that can make management a better fit, there are also ways to work on developing certain skills to prepare you for management.
For example, you can take courses in active listening or giving constructive feedback. There are also general management courses that cover a wide range of topics and may be helpful in easing a transition to manager. See if your company will support you in some formal preparation for a manager role.
Making the move to management can be a big step in your career, and if you’re the right type of person with the right mindset, it can be also be a rewarding experience for you and your employees.