Whether you’re a wannabe manager, a new manager, a seasoned manager (at any season), or at the executive level, you will always want to be learning new skills – or should! Oftentimes people become stuck on how to do this. Some think you must go for that MBA to be a successful manager. I am one who loves education. On the other hand, much of the knowledge that academia imparts is so far from real life that you may think you stepped onto a different planet once you graduate. Further, school fails to prepare us for real life in many instances.
Having to learn new skills is not just for the wannabe or even the newly minted manager, it happens to everyone. One common example, is of course, technology Even those who have grown up with technology will still need to learn new technology. Examples of new technology include driverless vehicles, AI, flying cars, bullet trains, or the new Hyperloop train. No doubt it will be easier for them, but there will be learning none the less. Technology is not the only new skill, look at the millennial generation and the new skills seasoned managers have had to learn to cope, manage, and communicate with this unique generation.
Senior managers may have even more of a learning curve on some items. For example, changes in the way they manage people may be different than the way they have managed coming through the ranks. Communication at the start of their career may have been more of a one-way process. “Just do what I say!” Today, we know that this type of communication
- Doesn’t work with everyone
- Is more often ineffective than not
- Fails to build strong teams
Today, it’s common knowledge that our staffs, co-workers, peers, and family members all have different behavioral and communication styles. Research is readily available on this topic and tools, such as assessments can help us dive deeper into understanding others and implanting strategies to keep us on track. What’s the point?
One way managers keep ahead of the curve is by staying on top of trends for new ideas, better tools, and products. It’s the idea of being a continuous learner. As with everything, there is an art and science to learning. When engaging in learning, don’t dismiss new theories out of hand, others may tend to dismiss the “tried and true.” Those of us who want to learn just for the sake of learning, need to focus better on topic relevancy. Others may need to explore topics not previously on their radar. If you’re a person who loves people and wants to share everything you know, be careful that the topic you want to discuss is relevant and of interest to the person listening. On the other hand, hoarding or failing to share a relevant piece of knowledge will not move you, your team or the organization forward.Enhanced management skills are an automatic by-product of continuous learning. Yeah, you might have to even open a book!
Graphic credit: BigStock.com Copyright: derepente
Field, M. (2017, October). London to Edinburgh in 50 Minutes: Sir Richard Branson to Build “Revolutionary” Hyperloop Train. telegraph.com.uk