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Moving to Management

Matthew Moran / InformIT

Related Book

Critical Skills You Need Now

A key to making the move to management is the adoption of skills before you have a formal title or responsibility. Fortunately, if you have read this book sequentially, you likely have started to identify and work on some of the skills.

The sections that follow cover several key skills in relation to their role in a management career.

Presentation and Meeting Skills

The ability to hold an audience and accurately convey your message is critical. This is true whether it is a large corporate gathering or a small departmental meeting. Project ideas are typically presented by management. The ability to be concise and engaging during a presentation is a must, as is the ability to be persuasive.

You don’t have to be Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar. However, you must understand how to best structure a presentation for your audience. You need to understand those things that are important to them. You also need to be able to clearly explain how your team can successfully address your audience’s concerns.

If you can add a little flair or humor, that’s even better.

When you’re creating presentations to management, remember the following:

  • Management has little time Get to your point quickly, and let managers know what you want from them. I have taken part in many presentations in which managers have been convinced of the importance of a project, only to have the presenter fail to explain his desire to undertake it.

  • Keep the culture and personalities in mind I have a tendency to be theatrical at times. I have a lot of fun giving presentations. However, I am also aware of the particular personalities of my primary audience.If I am meeting with a new executive, I often ask his coworkers and peers about his style. If the executive is stoic and conservative, I rein myself in a bit. If he is demonstrative and dynamic, I up the energy and edginess.

  • Maintain a strict agenda Meetings often flounder because of lack of direction. The meeting facilitator (most often a manager) lets tangential issues take over the agenda.

    Once, while working with a client whose meetings often went longer than planned and seldom stayed on the agenda topics, I helped draft a meeting primer. It helped reduce the time of meeting and helped keep the client on agenda.

    Here are some of the key ideas my meeting template included:

Team-Building Skills

The ability to coalesce a team of individuals into a common purpose can be one of the greatest skills a manager can possess. Doing so requires an ability to see and diffuse potential personality conflicts and the ability to create and communicate a vision that multiple people share.

This is no small task. Office politics are often petty and yet stubborn and pronounced. Individuals who otherwise share skills and interests might, for any number of reasons, have a problem with one another.

In addition, people are selfish by nature. Although working with a team is ultimately a superior career strategy, you will find some who work against the team concept in hopes of bolstering their own career.

You must learn how to recognize and deal with all these situations while remaining distant enough not to get caught up in them.

In both analyzing management styles and anecdotally looking at areas where I’ve done well and areas where I’ve struggled, I’ve created a short list of simple methods or techniques to foster team building, as discussed in the sections that follow.

© 2008, InformIT


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