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Be a Better Manager: Five Ways to Improve Your Management Skills

Management skills are gaining increasing focus in the business world – in times of economic trouble, good management can have a huge impact on employee morale and productivity, enabling companies to successfully make the changes they need to weather the storm.

Despite the important part managers play in helping businesses emerge from the recession stronger, numerous studies have suggested that Britain’s management skills could do with a brush-up, with large numbers of people promoted into management positions without receiving any formal management training. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available for those who’d like to improve their skills and become a better manager.

1. Assess Your Management Skills

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is an important first step on the way to improving your management skills.

A great first step is the Chartered Management Institute’s management skills diagnostic tool, which assesses your management style and competencies and makes suggestions for areas that might need improvement:

2. Ask for Feedback

Feedback from trusted colleagues, whether within your own team, your manager or other workmates, can be a useful way to find out how others perceive you, giving you a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses so that you can make improvements. Feedback can be delivered formally via an appraisal or through informal discussions, and both can give you valuable pointers.

Many people feel uncomfortable about asking for feedback, but overcoming this can give you an excellent source of information both about your current strengths and weaknesses and as a way of measuring your progress in future. The CMI’s website explains several different methods of requesting feedback:

3. Keep up to Date

Staying up to date with the latest management news and research can provide a wealth of useful tips and techniques to help you be a better manager. Both the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management offer regularly updated blogs with the latest news, research and resources for managers:

4. Take an Online Management Course

If you’d like to give your management skills a quick boost, or add a management qualification to your CV in a short space of time, a short training course could be the answer. These types of courses can be studied online in your spare time, and can help you to improve your management skills and learn new techniques and ideas quickly and conveniently. Short courses are very focused, which makes them perfect for addressing a specific area you’d like to improve.

5. Study a Professional Management Qualification

For longer, more in-depth study of management techniques, a professional qualification can help you to become a better manager whilst giving your career a boost. There are a full range of management qualifications available from the Chartered Management Institute or the Institute of Leadership and Management, running from introductory levels designed for team leaders or those who are completely new to management through to advanced level courses designed for senior strategic managers. These courses take considerably longer to complete than short courses, but cover a much wider range of topics and are highly valued by employers.