The Benefits of Improving Your Management Skills

Management Skills

Growing your career means much more than just earning a basic college degree. While a college degree, such as a bachelor of the arts or sciences, in your given field will help you to obtain your first job, it will not be enough to help you climb the corporate ladder to a leadership role. This is because you are not the only professional with that degree or skill set. What will help you to stand apart from your colleagues is developing top notch management skills.

The term management skills generally refers to your ability to successfully influence the actions of others. Whether you are in a formal management role now or aspire to be in one in the future, developing management skills is the key to expanding your sphere of influence within your company as well as your industry. Many successful professionals even improve their management skills so well that they are able to manage upwards. This means being able to successfully influence your boss or even his or her boss.

Influencing others through management skills has many terrific benefits. If you can manage a group of colleagues with whom you are working on a project, for example, then you will be able to make decisions regarding the direction that that project takes. These can include delegating assignments to different members of the team, ensuring that your feedback is utilized appropriately and, perhaps most importantly, being given the leadership role on the project. Having a leadership role in a committee or group project at work is often an important first step to being seen as a serious contender for promotions and other choice assignments.

Management skills do not always mean being able to delegate work to others. They also include managing yourself. In fact, there are many management experts that suggest that you must be able to manage yourself before you can manage others. This means developing the ability to prioritize and manage your own workload and career. Making smart decisions, such as when to ask for deadline extensions, deciding which project to focus your time on and making savvy connections through recreational activities like the office softball team are all part of managing yourself. By doing so, you will enjoy a better work product and an improved reputation within your company.

As you master management skills that allow you to successfully manage yourself and colleagues, you may also want to improve your ability to manage those above you. These people can include your direct manager or indirect managers, such as a boss's boss, or another manager that you report to informally. Being able to influence the man or woman that is responsible for your performance reviews has obvious benefits. Your direct supervisor has considerable influence over the amount of the raise that you receive, the amount of any bonuses that you may be eligible and even special awards. He or she is also able to influence his superiors and the human resources department regarding your fitness for promotions, transfers and special assignments.

Managing your manager also means being able to influence his or her decisions in less obvious ways. If you are able to effectively manage the image that your manager has of you, then you are also able to manage the description of you that he or she shares with his or her colleagues. This can help you tremendously as you move through your career. Improving your management skills in relation to your boss can also mean having a great deal of influence over the projects that your team takes on, the roles that you are assigned and even the roles assigned to others.

If you are seen as someone with a great deal of influence over your boss, then you will likely find yourself in the enviable position of having your colleagues respect. This will make it much easier to manage them as well as your own career. Being seen as someone with the boss's ear will automatically put you in a leadership role among your peers. This, in turn, will help to grow your influence with your boss and with others. Even colleagues outside of your working group will begin to see you as someone with great leadership potential and be more interested in working with you in the future.

In today's hectic business environment, developing the skills necessary to effectively manage yourself, your peers and your superiors is no longer optional if you want to grow your career and move up the corporate ladder. Once you have those management skills, however, the possibilities for your future are virtually limitless. Whether it is a CEO position or even the ability to effectively run your own business, realizing your professional aspirations begins with improving your management skills today and keeping them sharp over the course of your career.

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