Who is a Manager? A person who knows how to manage things in an organization and guides people who work for him. Managing a group of people requires great skills and talent. No two individuals are the same, and the image of a single person handling all such different individuals is tough right? And, the manager has to understand each one of them to manage his team. Believe me, it’s no picnic.
To become a manager, you definitely need management skills, but those are not enough to make you a successful manager. Many people/students enrol for a Management programme to learn management skills so that they can start their career as a Manager right from the moment they are out of the institute. It can be any manager such as a Content Manager, Digital Marketing Manager, Ad Agency Manager and Branding Manager, etc, in any field. They struggle to get admission in the top management colleges so that they can get the tag of a Manager along with a big fat remuneration. Arguably, Management programmes do teach you management, but managerial skills are something that cannot be taught within four walls of a classroom. They have to be learnt and mostly in-built within you.
Academic knowledge is quite distinct from pragmatic knowledge. Pragmatic knowledge gives you the taste of the actual scenario and the skills you need to handle or overcome these scenarios. It also gives you an edge when you are being considered for a Top Management position.
Following are a few aspects of managerial skills that a Management programme cannot teach you.
Manage yourself first: The first and foremost thing in life that no school or college can teach you is “managing your own self”. You cannot manage/direct your team members if you do not know how to manage yourself. So, learn to do so. Managing yourself refers to managing your time, your work and your life effectively and efficiently. A Management programme does not teach you these skills; you have to master them on your own. Management teaches only various aspects of managing work, and self-management is your own Master’s degree.
Treating everyone fairly: Every person is different, and you need to handle everyone according to their potential. In a Management programme, we usually are surrounded by folks with more or less the same age. But, when you are onboard in an organization, this is not the case. You might have to deal with a team that may have some members who are younger to you or a few members who are experienced and older to you. Yes, there are chances that you may also have members of your age group as well but not all. When you have a diverse team, you need in-built skills to manage each individual tactfully without belittling anyone. This is a tough job but needs to be handled with fragility. After all, it’s a matter of human emotions as well.
Mentoring: Mentoring, as we all know, is something no one can teach us. As a manager, you also have to play the role of a mentor if you want to get the best out of your team. This is an important trait we need to inherit within us as today organizations look for Managers who can do managing and mentoring both. We are all mentored during the Management programme by our seniors or by our professors, but when you become a Manager, you have to play a similar role for your team. You have to guide them and show them a way to get things done. You have to become a person whom they seek for advice whenever they face any issue. As a manager, you should guide your team and not order them as this will gain respect for you.
Maintaining relationships: This is another important trait you need to become a manager. I am sure this is never taught in Management schools. You should know how to maintain an effective relationship with your team members. Maintain a cordial relation with all your team members and be considerate towards all. Effective relationships will help you in achieving the team goals and the organization goals as well. It helps in improving the team performance as well as also gives a sense of job satisfaction to the team members.
Decision making: This is arguably one of the most important traits of a Manager. Decision making ability cannot be taught; it is a thought process. You will have to take decisions of behalf of your team, and it all depends on your instincts. Instinct is something you have throughout your life, and it develops with your experience and perceptions, which in turn reflects in your decision making capacity. Your “gut feeling” is something that you do not learn in a management course; it’s a part of your emotions since childhood. Not to ignore the fact that decision making also is based on Data Analytics, but your gut feeling plays an important factor in this process. It’s ideally a part of your personality.
Becoming a Manager does require a path, which is given by a management course, but to implement these skills, you need to walk on this path with a few skills that you have within you. The Management course can be a partner in your journey of becoming a Manager, but it will just be a small part of your journey. It’s you as an individual who needs to finish this journey and make your own way.
Nrupada Chaudhary is competent, dynamic, highly motivated professional with nearly 10+ years in Team Management, Training & Development, Recruitment Process Management & Customer Service. Proficient in recruitment, managing client relations, managing & leading teams for running successful process operations, she heads the talent management and administration at The IMPALS. She is a foodie and a passionate dancer.