Transforming Your Management Skills From Basic to Boardroom

Cecilia Gorman

Most managers are in their position for a reason. They’re highly competent workers and can be trusted to help handle the day-to-day needs of a department. However, separating good managers from great leaders requires more than just working in an organization for a certain number of years.

Honing your management skills from basic to boardroom quality means you have the qualities needed to inspire positive change and are willing to be an example of it. This takes time and training, but it’s well worth the investment for yourself and the organization you work with.

Know How to Delegate Effectively

It sounds easy – offload more projects to your employees so you can focus on larger responsibilities. However, in practice, delegation can be a very complicated process to master.

Delegation means letting go of a certain amount of control over how things are executed. This can be difficult for many people, especially when they’ve been handling tasks a certain way for a number of years. But in order to improve your own skills, you need to be willing to allow others to develop their own.

If delegating is hard for you, ask yourself why? If the answer starts with “I,” as in “I don’t want to give this up,” or “I don’t have time to explain this,” you’ll know you have work to do on your own approach and mindset around delegating.

But if the answer starts with “they,” as in “They messed this up last time,” or “They are too new for me to give this to them,” you’ll have clues on what yo work on with the employee.

To help you gain more trust from your employees when delegating responsibilities, provide clear instructions and adequate resources for accomplishing tasks. Steer clear from micromanaging how they accomplish the task and instead focus on the outcomes and how the team performs with their new accountabilities.

Learn How to Resolve Conflicts Quickly and Efficiently

Disagreements in office settings are common, but your position as a manager requires you to know how to resolve them quickly and efficiently.

This isn’t always a matter of knowing who is right and wrong during an argument. In fact, resolving conflicts often means you need to be a neutral party that is able to hear both sides evenly and focus on solving the issue, not choosing sides.

Effective conflict resolution is about shifting tense arguments into constructive discussions where you can help explore solutions that are good for everyone. You should be eager to provide the necessary guidance to help individuals compromise on their needs while always appearing fair in any direct decisions you need to make regarding the outcome.

The goal is to recognize the problem outside of the individuals. In essence, helping the conflicting parties to acknowledge – Together, we have a problem to solve vs. You are the problem.

Recognize the Importance of Integrity

Becoming a successful leader is reliant on your ability to show integrity in everything you do. Your actions should be aligned with the values that you hold yourself and others to. This is what often inspires others.

Integrity can come in different forms, but it often translates to sticking to your word and being transparent about the decisions you make and the reasoning behind them. You should also be ready and willing to take responsibility for the actions you take – both when they lead to success or setbacks.

Using the phrase, “Do what you say you are going to do. If not, say why,” is an excellent guide to help managers stay integrous.

As you develop as a manager, the reputation you create will follow you. It will be hard for others to respect someone in a position of authority if they abandon their values or run over people on their way there.

Don’t Run From Change

The only constant thing in life, especially in business, is change. However, even though most organizations know that they will inevitably need to adopt new processes or adapt their business model, many company leaders still struggle with accepting these changes when they happen.

As a manager, it’s important to be a willing ambassador of change. Whether these changes are small or much larger, the attitude you display toward change will be contagious for your employees.

Change management is an important skill to master, but it can also be an important part of helping a company grow. When communicating with your employees about new business changes or when training them on new processes, it’s important that you show a certain level of excitement about the changes happening.

This helps to put your employees at ease and makes them much less likely to guard against new ways of doing things.

Always Be Looking to Improve

The most accomplished managers are the ones who accept that there is always something more to learn or improve. Adopting a “growth mindset” is one of the most important things you can do as a business leader.

There is nothing static about modern business environments. Whether it’s changing technology or newer expectations from younger working generations, managers should want to keep all of the tools in their arsenal as sharp as possible.

Continuing your management education by attending workshops or taking online courses is a great way to learn new strategies and apply them to your team. By always being willing to learn and adjust, your management style will continue to stay relevant over time.

Be the Most Effective Manager You Can Be

Transitioning from a good manager to a great leader takes time and a desire to regularly improve your abilities. However, by following the strategies discussed and placing a priority on integrity and adaptability, you’ll prove yourself to be an inspiring leader that your team looks up to.

Author Bio:


Wildly addicted to all things leadership, Cecilia Gormanis a veteran of the advertising industry and the owner of Creative Talent Partners, a training consultancy that specializes in the development of rising managers and their teams.

Whether it’s a team offsite, a manager workshop or through her online Manager Boot Camp course, Cecilia’s sole pursuit is adding value to growth-focused employees.

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