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Being a leader sounds very powerful and exciting right? However, being a manager sounds boring, like someone who aims to force workers all day to sweat over the assembly line of work. The problem with this either-or thinking is that both are needed in a well-run business or company.
Leaders usually focus on a high-level objective such as inspiring and motivating their team to be successful, thus Manager positions focus more on organizing, planning, and overseeing daily operations and that can sound mundane. Supervision may excel at the management and leadership part, and both skill sets are absolutely important for long-term success. Leadership and management can both be infectious to a company’s workforce when done well. Below we will have a look at why it is so important to learn how to find the right balance between leadership and management skills in order to bring the right balance to your business too.
Build Soft Skills
If we take as an example the inexperienced managers or managers with low emotional intelligence, we may encounter that these managers concentrate on driving their teams to get the job done, thus without concern for the soft skills to build trust and good relationships with their team members.
These kinds of managers think that leadership skills such as coaching, encouragement, and motivation are not important. However, employees tend to be less responsive to the needed changes and improvement of their business because managers are rude and do not aim to build relationships. Usually, managers without people-focused leadership skills are likely to find it harder to get employees to commit to overtime when it’s needed, get volunteers for difficult projects, or improve productivity. For instance, when a new manager is doing a great job because his or her data processing team met its deadlines and its goal, her team may dislike the exclusive focus on “getting the job done” and feel she or he didn’t care about them. Their frequent complaints about their management style led to the inability to get promoted and ultimately search for another job.
Today’s economy rests on knowledge workers who may create several paths to getting a job well. Those employees need a manager who’s also a leader and knows how to build relationships with the team members.
Management and Leadership Skills
Management skills and leadership skills can’t be separated. Employees look to their managers for assignments, but they also look for feedback in the form of coaching, training, and encouragement. When a manager is trying every job to achieve the company’s larger goals and inspiring the team members to contribute is just as important as ensuring they get their everyday work done.
For example, while you may want to spend time supporting your employees’ growth and developing a positive company culture, also you need to make sure that your employees are serving your clients properly or carrying out the necessary tasks for producing your products and services.
Additionally, even lower-level managers need to be trained by their more experienced leaders in the art of balancing tactical skills with their soft skills of understanding their team’s motivations.
Strike a Balance
Managers need to have both managerial and leadership skills in order to meet targets and deadlines. However, to strike a balance between being a manager and a leader, and to know when to concentrate on each, ask yourself the below questions:
- Is the work getting done well without my intervention? If yes, concentrate on motivating the team to keep performing well. If not, put on your manager’s mood and ask the team what’s getting in the way of better performance.
- Do you focus on results or processes? If you focus on results, that is good. But, if you tend to focus on processes more than results, challenge yourself to become more comfortable with the reality that many alternatives may exist to get the same result.
- Do colleagues in other parts of the organization come to you for advice? If yes, you’re probably seen as a leader. If not, look at what you can do to change that.
- What do you spend the most time talking about? The tasks at hand, processes and deadlines, or strategy? Managers need to discuss both but pay attention to whether they’re leaning too hard in one direction or the other.
- Do you ask employees to accomplish objectives without explaining the need behind the request? Employees are more likely to do more if they understand the reasons, they’re being asked to do something.
- Who is responsible when things go wrong? the team or yourself? A leader understands that it’s ultimately his responsibility for the success or failure of his team.
Training for Leadership
For organizations, now is a crucial time to focus on investing in teaching key individuals how to manage and how lead. The ability to lead people is becoming more critical as the millennial generation moves into leadership roles. When that happens, millennials need the leadership skills to motivate and inspire employees who span from 40 to 50 years of age range, all with different cultural perspectives, needs, and goals. That is not an easy task and is a task that few companies are preparing for, however, it is very important to make your company teach its employees how to manage and lead.
Teaching the skills and ways of management is easy. Though, the ability to lead people comes only when you take on a leadership role and fully embrace it. One needs to acquire leadership skills to motivate and inspire employees. Considering HR management software like BambooHR, Rippling, or SutiHR can facilitate clear communication and help your business operate much more effectively and smoothly.
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