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LEADERSHIP / JUL. 24, 2016
version 8, draft 8

5 Skills Every Middle Manager Needs

The role of a middle manager is crucial to a department’s success – but what precisely makes a good middle manager? What skills do they actually need?

A manager, no matter what level he or she is, is an integral member of a business. Middle managers, in particular, hold a role of significance in an organization because they are the link between employees and higher management. This means that their performance has a direct impact on the business’ performance and, therefore, adequate training needs to be provided in order for them to be able to perform as effectively as possible.

The Brighton School of Business and Management identified five key areas middle managers need to focus on in order to be more effective in their roles. These are the most important skills and qualities every person working in middle management needs to possess.

See Also: Escaping Middle Management Traps

1. Change Management Skills

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A company’s priorities can change in the blink of an eye and that can sometimes be a good or a bad thing. It’s certainly beneficial for the business because a change in the way it operates means that they aim to constantly improve and, hopefully, make a bigger profit. However, that’s not always the case for employees who are in the middle of a project and who suddenly have to change their game plan. And that’s where the middle manager comes in, who’s responsible for dealing with the consequences of such a transition.

This is why change management skills are important to middle managers. Learning how to communicate effectively with staff and how to help make this transition as smooth as possible is vital to the success of the organization. Such skills can also help a manager offer the kind of support employees need to cope with such a drastic change.

2. Goal-Setting

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Learning how to set goals isn’t just for the middle managers, but it’s definitely a skill that will help set successful managers apart from their peers. The ability to motivate their team towards one common goal is crucial for any business that is struggling with employee disengagement and retention. Effective goal-setting basically means being able to see the bigger picture and setting the right priorities for the benefit of the business, as well as helping employees recognize the importance of meeting certain goals and given deadlines.

3. People Skills

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People skills cover an array of important skills that are important in any job. These refer to interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with other people, to listen carefully, and work well with others. As a manager, it’s important to learn to lead with emotional intelligence as this will help you to be more mindful about employees’ needs. A successful manager at any level should be able to build solid relationships and make an effort to develop others.

4. Reporting

Coworkers discussing report
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As a middle manager, you have much to deal with. This includes going back and forth, and reporting to your team and your higher-ups. This, of course, can be a hassle unless you find a way to work around it and possess strong organizational skills. In any case, you are the point of contact for both employees and management, and this can be demanding, to say the least – not to mention stressful and exhausting without the necessary tools or the knowledge to do what’s expected of you.

5. Innovation

Coworkers high-fiving
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Successful organizations are always pushing forward, and it’s all thanks to the management. This happens when the middle manager has a vision and a purpose. When you aren’t afraid to take the risk and try something new, innovation is a key quality to middle managers, and it’s the driving force for positive changes.

See Also: Top 10 Underestimated Characteristics That Make a Great Manager

Are you a middle manager? Do you think you possess these skills? Let me know in the comments section below!

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