Many people want to receive promotions and rise up the corporate ladder.
You may dislike your boss and believe that you can do a much better job. You may even dream of sitting in your own office, dispensing instructions and sharing wisdom with your subordinates.
However, not everyone can be an effective leader. Great managers share several skills and abilities that make them stand apart from others. Ask yourself these three questions to see if you would make a good leader.
Are you a good communicator?
A vital skill that an effective leader must possess is excellent communication skills. This involves several different aspects, such as being clear, being a good listener, and making sure your message is understood. Managers are in charge of giving out tasks and responsibilities, so they need to be able to clearly and efficiently explain the job, and then judge whether the person understood them. Just as it is vital to present your message, you also need to be an excellent listener to have full understanding of your staff’s needs and questions.
Are you an expert in your field?
Certain individuals become managers in ways that may seem unfair to others. For example, family members or friends are usually placed in higher positions than other employees. However, having a novice, or someone not experienced in the field, creates a big disadvantage for the entire department. A person that doesn’t know what needs to be done, and can’t catch the mistakes of others, cannot provide a clear path to success.
Are you fair and empathetic?
A great strategy to answer this question is to speak to friends and ask them how they would characterise you. Are you empathetic, unbiased, objective and a good judge of character? These are just some of the qualities an excellent boss needs. While managing employees, it is important to remember that they are people with their own lives and feelings. There are times when you will need to make a quick decision without much facts, or others when you will need to excuse a subordinate’s outburst because she had a rough week. The trick is to be able to be empathetic while still remaining professional.
The simple truth is that not everyone is meant to be a leader. The three qualities above are just some of the characteristics managers need to possess in order to be respected and liked. Some of these can be worked on and improved, while others can’t. Self assess your skills before accepting a management position to make sure you are ready for the responsibility.
Head of Training
Originally published: 6 May, 2015
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