Propel Your Leadership Skills Forward with these 4 Cogs of Management Proficiency

Dr Bill Price looks at the four main criteria that deliver management proficiency and keep your career in motion. These include one’s ability to plan, lead others, willingness to train people and solve problems.

Management Proficiency

1. Manage your job

To excel as a manager, it’s essential to enhance your administrative capacity. This involves honing your time-management skills and effectively prioritising tasks based on urgency, importance, and criticality. Can you prioritise between urgent, important and critical? Managing your job requires meticulous planning and goal-setting, where you schedule work in an achievable manner while maintaining high standards and ensuring quality assurance.

Effective time management is critical to management proficiency. This involves managing time fairly well, shifting priorities as needed, and having a plan in place to handle challenges and unexpected problems. It’s important not to become overwhelmed by crisis management and to proactively plan and schedule work to reduce the risk of crises occurring. This includes setting goals and understanding the necessary activities to accomplish them within a given timeframe.

Scheduling each activity in a way that optimises available resources is crucial to effective time management. Planning around available resources requires a high degree of organisation and attention to detail. Creating timetables and spreadsheets to manage tasks, responsibilities, and timelines can be helpful in achieving your goals. By proactively planning and scheduling work, managers can ensure that tasks are completed on time, deadlines are met, and quality standards are maintained. This requires constant monitoring and adjustment, but leads to increased productivity and effectiveness.

2. Manage Others

The second crucial aspect of management proficiency is the ability to interact with others. This in fact underpins effective leadership. Managing others requires excellent communication skills, including active listening and providing clear direction. To achieve this, you must organise your thoughts with an open mind and be willing to put your ego aside.

In addition to communication, effective leadership also involves the ability to listen actively and empathetically to team members. This requires the capacity to recall information accurately, withhold judgment and inferences, and evaluate the meaning behind what is being communicated. By paying close attention and interpreting information with relevance of purpose, leaders can obtain unbiased information and encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas. This can be achieved through the use of both non-directive and directive questions to elicit all necessary information. Ultimately, effective communication and listening skills are vital components of successful management proficiency.

3. Train Others

To ensure management proficiency, one must focus on developing your team through effective training and coaching. This involves assigning tasks to individuals who possess the appropriate strengths, skills, and expertise. Additionally, performance appraisals and disciplinary measures are necessary components of management proficiency. Although authoritarian or “driver” types may find it easier to carry out these tasks, having sensitivity towards others is a valuable proficiency.

An important aspect of training and coaching is orchestrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as developing people’s capacities through training programmes. Effective management also involves reinforcing and maintaining desirable behaviour, while correcting any deflections through constructive feedback and discipline when necessary. It’s important to deal with issues as they arise and to maintain a focused approach to employee development.

4. Be a Problem Solver

The fourth critical area for management proficiency, is having the ability to think like a manager. This involves identifying and solving problems, making informed decisions, and effectively assessing risks. It requires clear and analytical thinking skills and a cognitive approach to problem-solving.

Problem-solving, decision-making, and risk assessment require clarity of thought and the ability to consider different perspectives without falling into the trap of rigid thinking. To achieve this, one must approach problems with an open mind, examine the facts, and use logic to come to a reasoned decision. It’s essential to remind oneself not to rush into decisions without considering all the available information, as haste can lead to mistakes.

Management Proficiency in Motion

Together, these four cogs set management proficiency in motion. And, as a byproduct, you will achieve effective self-management as a leader. Ultimately, self-governance is achieved through a continuous process of learning and improving in these areas.

Developing actionable steps to address gaps in management proficiency is a foundational aspect of effective leadership. I hope this blog post helps you to continue developing yourself as a leader. I am confident these four cogs will have a positive impact on your growth and add value to your organisation.

Listen to inspirational podcasts by international coach, Dr Bill Price.

Also read: The 7 Ps of Successful Leadership

Bill Price

Dr Bill Price is an international speaker, author and executive coach. Dr Price is based in South Africa where he is well known as a leading Neuroscience practitioner and strategic sage who guides individuals, businesspeople and corporate leaders to achieve their full potential. He also helps empowers people in their personal lives around the themes, of leadership, getting the most out of life and relationships. Consider participating in one of Dr Bill Price's coaching courses or consider attending one of his free 'Synapses'. These neuroscience based webinars are held twice a month over Zoom dealing with a variety of different topics.

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