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New manager training: Most in-demand skills

SOURCE: Johannes EISELE / AFP
New managers need the right skills to successfully lead their teams.


By U2B Staff 

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Stepping into a new role of manager means that you will transition from being a specialist or a doer into a generalist or an orchestrator in your organisation. Aside from adapting to a new role with increased responsibilities, new managers must learn to become leaders.

A new manager is responsible for the workings and goals of an organisation and directs your team by providing the guidance, direction, leadership, and support necessary to ensure that they are able to accomplish their goals.

Ultimately, as a new manager, you should be able to get the buy-in from your team as well as remove friction in implementing change so you will also need to know how to handle difficult situations.

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New manager training is essential to develop the right skills to manage effectively

Research by Gartner shows that 60% of new managers fail within the first 24 months of their new position. Steve Smith, the author of Managing for Success: Practical Advice for Managers states that the main reason why most new managers fail is that they were never properly trained to manage.

LinkedIn Learning published an analysis of the skills highly sought after by new managers and the results of the analysis is this: new managers are focused on thinking more strategically and learning to build stronger relationships.

Strategic thinking is the ability of a leader to anticipate changes in the global market and identify areas for potential opportunities and growth. A leader who masters strategic thinking will be able to prepare for changes and put sound plans in place to deal with them before they even happen.

Strategic thinking helps a leader to improve the process of budget acquisition and budget allocation as well. In the former, leaders learn how to strategically acquire the resources that they need to meet objectives and the latter helps a leader to determine how they can best allocate limited resources effectively to maximise strategic impact.

Leaders require strategic thinking to spot and react to new opportunities as they arise. Leaders need to constantly assess the gaps that exist between where the organisation is now and where they want to take it – and work towards closing them by applying adequate strategies.

James F. Moore, author of The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems said, “I suggest that a company be viewed not as a member of a single industry but as part of a business ecosystem that crosses a variety of industries. In a business ecosystem, companies co-evolve capabilities around an innovation: they work cooperatively and competitively to support new products, satisfy customer needs, and eventually incorporate the next round of innovations.”

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Contextual leadership teaches leaders to be better at strategic thinking. In the world of business, context is always changing. New managers need to be able to switch styles to suit the context and that is why contextual team leadership plays a vital role in your success.

New managers need to know that people need different things at different times and so applying different leadership styles at different times helps your team grow faster to perform better.

Becoming a new manager means that you will experience a shift from focusing on details to focusing on the bigger picture while coaching employees to reach personal and professional goals.

Unsurprisingly, according to LinkedIn Learning, the top two courses new managers opt for are Transition From Manager to Leader and Critical Thinking, both of which teach you how to apply strategic thinking in your management style.

Being a new manager is also about knowing how to maximise potential and financial benefits while getting get everyone on the same page. That also means that you will need to explore how to communicate effectively with employees, fellow managers, and senior executives.

The analysis published by LinkedIn also found that new managers opted to take courses on Leading with Emotional Intelligence and Managing Your Manager.

A study published by Virginia Commonwealth University reports that emotional intelligence allows managers to perform better at work. Emotional intelligence allows managers to gain greater insight and assess what is not working in their teams because they can understand it from their subordinates’ point of view.