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The managerial skills you need to lead

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Leadership vs management. If you’re heading up a team of people, you need to be aware of the difference. 

The cliché explanation is managers have people who work for them while leaders have people who follow them. Both are useful in their own right – managers achieve better work processes while leaders encourage organisations and people to grow. In the world of executive search services, businesses are constantly on the lookout for people who can carry both into a role. 

As a manger by name, you want to be able to display leadership qualities alongside your administrative capabilities. Finding that balance between resourceful management and inspiring leadership is the end goal for any senior employee, but what skills will take you from a manager to a leader? 

Conflict resolution 

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. How it’s managed is up to you. 

For a business to grow, team harmony needs to be solid. Unresolved issues between colleagues can cause massive disruption if left unattended, as infighting can make a huge dent in productivity and office culture. 

Leaders need to be able to manage conflict and negotiate with the employees involved to find a resolution that leaves everyone happy. These win-win conflict scenarios are a key asset to a management team. 

Emotional intelligence 

Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ, is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” 

A hugely important trait when dealing with other people, high EQ will help you to handle your role with professional maturity, as well as treat others appropriately in the workplace. Some people tend to be naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, but increasing EQ can be a learned skill. 

Interpersonal skills 

Not every manager wants to be, or indeed should be, liked, but finding a balance between popularity and respect certainly won’t do you any harm when leading a team. Leaders tend to have good interpersonal skills, which typically mean they’re more likeable and able to get people on board with plans more easily. 

A good attribute to have when making tough calls, good interpersonal skills will help you to implement those less popular decisions. 

Communication, honesty and integrity 

Three separate qualities which could each justifiably warrant their own section, and all take a manager to leader in the eyes of their staff. 

A manager should lead by example, and that starts with being open and honest in everything you do. Honesty and integrity are the qualities that will build trust in you as a manger, while open communication is what will cement it. 

The prospect of managing a team, especially for the first time, can be daunting. But if you can approach it with leadership qualities alongside management skills, you’ll find your team works happier and harder for you, which in turn works to the benefit of the business. 

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