What is General Management?
Before getting started with the tips for developing general management skills, it is incumbent to have a look at the position and responsibilities of a general manager. General Managers are an indispensable part of any organization and are responsible for overseeing various departments. The role of general managers can be summarized as setting strategic goals and objectives for the organization, and then developing and implementing plans to achieve them.
Important General Management Skills
Since general managers are responsible for dealing with multiple departments within an organization and often need to interact with different people, their position demands the use of various interpersonal skills in addition to the required technical skills. Some of the important general management skills are as follows:
Effective communication is a crucial part of general management skills. As a good general manager, you need to be able to communicate your ideas, goals, and expectations clearly to your team members. Good communication helps to establish trust and builds strong relationships within your team.
Practicing is the best way to develop your communication skills. Furthermore, you can consider taking courses in public speaking, active listening, and conflict resolution to learn how to communicate effectively with your team and stakeholders, and how to manage conflicts when they arise.
General managers are responsible for making decisions that impact the whole organization. Good decision-making skills involve the ability to analyze data, weigh the pros and cons of different options, and make informed decisions.
To develop your decision-making skills, practice making decisions based on data, not just your instincts. Take the time to analyze the data, gather input from stakeholders, and consider different scenarios before making a decision.
As a manager, it is inevitable to face challenges and problems that need to be resolved in an effective and amicable manner. Good problem-solving skills involve the ability to identify the root cause of a problem, come up with possible solutions, and implement a plan to solve the problem.
Strategic planning is essential in ensuring the success of any organization. Good strategic planning involves setting goals, developing a plan to achieve those goals, and monitoring progress along the way.
To augment your strategic planning skills, practice setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them. Take the time to review your progress regularly and adjust your plan as necessary.
Time management is critical in ensuring that you and your team are productive and efficient. Good time management skills involve the ability to prioritize tasks, manage your time effectively, and delegate tasks when necessary.
To improve your time management skills, practice prioritizing tasks based on their importance and urgency. You can use various software and tools such as Gantt charts, calendars, and to-do lists to help you manage your time effectively.
As a manager, you will also need strong leadership skills to inspire and motivate your team. Good leadership involves the ability to set a vision, communicate that vision to your team, and lead by example.
More information about other important general management skills and functions can be found on various online resources like free general management textbooks and online management courses.
Tips for Developing General Management Skills
Developing general management skills is a continuous process that requires deliberate effort, practice, and a willingness to learn and grow. Here are some of the general tips for developing your general management skills:
1. Introspect for weaknesses
The first step towards enhancing your skills as a general manager is by identifying your weaknesses and areas that need improvement. These areas could include soft skills like communication or hard skills such as technical expertise related to software applications being used at work. Once you have determined the specific skills you need to work on, establish goals that will help you focus on tasks that support your personal development.
2. Practice your skills
After identifying the skills you want to improve, seek opportunities to utilize them in your daily routine. Practicing these skills regularly will boost your confidence in executing them. Integrate these habits into both your professional and personal activities to ensure frequent practice. To create opportunities for skill-building, volunteer to take on additional responsibilities. For instance, if you aim to improve your public speaking skills, you could offer to give a presentation or speak at an event.
3. Consider management training programs
To enhance your general management skills, continue to educate yourself. There are several options for management training, including online or in-person courses, seminars, and workshops. Your employer may also offer management training programs that provide specific tools and tactics to help enhance your performance as a general manager. Attending courses or seminars also provides an opportunity to network with other professionals.
4. Learn from feedback
When possible, share your skill development objectives with a colleague, supervisor, or mentor at work. These individuals can help hold you accountable for practicing and implementing your desired skills. Once they understand your goals, ask for their feedback and advice about your performance. Positive feedback can increase your confidence and motivation to continue improving whereas constructive criticism can help you grow by identifying areas for further enhancement that you may not have recognized yourself.
To summarize, developing general management skills is a sine qua non for anyone in a leadership position. Successful general managers need to develop skills such as effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, strategic planning, time management, leadership, etc.
Although the above-mentioned strategies can be helpful in developing your general management skills, it is worth remembering that it is a continuous process, and requires a dedicated approach to learning, growing, and adapting to change. But with some patience and hard work, you can become a skilled and effective manager who is capable of leading your team to success.