By: Kathy Shalhoub
Managers. Everyone wants to be one, right? Especially in the Middle East. But what does a manager really mean? How come some people are great at managing themselves, people and events around them while others are just OK or fail dismally?
It’s because either by accident or by design, the successful ones have the key qualities that really make a manager. There are roughly eight main capabilities that need to exist in you to make you a truly respected and effective manager.
1- Decisiveness/ self-confidence: Not just knowing what your gut says to you, but having the confidence to act on it without hesitation, can be learned through experiences, through success and failure, through people believing in you and through you believing in yourself. Jack Welch said that self-confident people will take initiative, while insecure people won’t.
2- Motivation: My 9-year-old niece was telling me that in her school when they have races, it doesn’t matter who wins because everybody gets a medal. While that approach may avoid any hard feelings among the class, it doesn’t equip these children, who later become adults, with the necessary tools they need in life. It takes away the satisfaction of a win, or the drive to do better after a loss. You must have a competitive spirit if you want to win in a business environment or if you want to improve yourself. Being cool is good but if you are someone who wants to succeed, you need that passion to win.
3- Influence: Influence works when it’s about others and not about you! Meaning that if you are in a position of power, helping others to grow, to succeed, and to move to the next level will only push you to the next level as well. Because you now have a loyal team who believes that you have their best interest at heart, they will back you fully. Having that emotional commitment from the people around you is what gives them the motivation to follow your lead. Emotion is what moves people before all else.
4- Adaptability: In a crisis, losing it is what will serve you least. Being flexible and adapting to what is thrown at you, is what will serve you the most. If you can deal with ambiguity and can forge a path forward when things are unclear, you are a leader. Adapt your thoughts, your approach, your style, stretch your capacity, expand your comfort zone to a greater dimension… if you can’t do it your way, do it their way.
5- Conscientiousness: Knowing what your values are is extremely important; they are your lighthouse in the storm and will guide you when you are lost. What are your non-negotiable principles? Be guided by them and live by them every moment of the day, with every decision you make. Maintain high personal standards and lead those around you to them as well.
6- Empathy: is about sensing what the people around you feel and how they may react to different situations. Knowing this allows you to adjust your words and actions according to context, people and situations. What people feel is a signal that gives you feedback on how you are operating. Connecting with people and generating rapport is a fundamental aspect of maintaining balance between supporting people and getting the results you want.
7- Resilience: People who haven’t been protected, who have had to deal with failure and defeat and have learned to come back fighting are resilient. How you build resilience determines how far you go. Think about how many losses Olympic athletes have had to sustain in order to win gold?
8- Self-awareness Is seeing yourself as other see you. Understanding why people react to you the way they do allows you to adjustment your words and deeds in order to get the response you want. For example, if you realize that when you don’t share enough information with person X they become suspicious and anxious, you adjust the level of information you share with them allaying their fears and putting them at ease. This changes your relationship with person X into a more positive one.
Being intelligent about how we manage our emotions changes our relationships with other people and consequently our ability to realize our goals and aspirations.
Ultimately successful management is about successfully managing your self!
References: The concepts in this article are related to the Emotions and Behaviors at Work Profile developed by Brentfield Consultancy, UK and supported by ‘What Makes a Leader?’, an interview by Daniel Goleman with Jack and Suzy Welch.
Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.