Think You’re Management Material? Answer These 10 Questions Honestly To Find Out
Via Forbes : Everyone thinks they have what it takes to be in charge (just look at the 2016 presidential race!), but that’s far from the truth (again, look at the 2016 presidential race). Not every employee who aspires to become a manager is cut out for the role. If you’ve decided being a boss is the next career milestone you’d like to check off your list, take a moment to reflect on these 10 questions and what your answers say about your readiness to lead others.
Do you like people?
Misanthropes make bad manager. Not only do you need to like people and appreciate the qualities that both make us individuals and bind us together as a species, you need to be invested in cultivating them in others to manage well.
Do people like you?
Your ability to manage people effectively depends on winning their trust and building a functional rapport with them. If you don’t inspire confidence and colleagues consider you to be aloof/obnoxious/abrasive/rude/timid, you need to rehab your image before you level up your career.
How high is your tolerance for BS?
Maintaining a professional demeanor in the face of pettiness is part of being a good manager. You can’t let your direct reports catch you disengaging, so whether it’s trying to sell your team on the value of time-tracking (even if you think it’s a waste), mediating personality conflicts between hires or making PowerPoint slides that summarize your team’s biggest wins this quarter entirely in animated gifs, you will be called upon to do and endorse some dumb stuff in the name of company culture and being a team player. Get ready for it.
How do you feel about conflict?
Being good at handling conflict as a manager isn’t about winning arguments. It’s about being able to accept that people will sometimes be displeased with your actions and your choices and not pulling your punches in the face of this reality. Constructive conflict handled respectfully is a hallmark of a healthy organization. If you’re prone to choosing flight over fight, you’ll need to fit that instinct as a manager.
Are you good at giving feedback?
If you aren’t adept at delivering constructive criticism, you better fix this flaw quickly.
Can you bite your tongue when necessary?
Managing not only involves tact (you will hear lots of silly ideas and you’ll have to smile through many of them), but you’ll also have to cultivate the ability to quietly sit back and let your subordinates manage their own issues and figure out solutions without jumping in to save the day. The answer might seem obvious to you, but being a good manager often means letting others discover it for themselves.
How individually-minded are you?
If you’re used to sinking or swimming on your own merit alone, you’ll need to adjust your thinking to manage well. As a manager, your success is judged as a function of the performance of your direct reports and not what you’ve done alone. An “every man for himself” mentality will doom you right out of the gate.
How trusting are you?
A good manager is able to strike a balance between a laissez-faire and micromanagement approach to making sure their people are performing. This means developing a team in which you can trust that each member is fulfilling the responsibilities assigned to them, while being able to deftly confirm this trust with periodic check-ins on the status of outstanding work. Being too trusting decreases accountability and being too suspicious breeds resentment.
How possessive are you?
Are you able to share information, credit and resources without the temptation to keep the best for yourself? Are you able to delegate or do others have to pry work from your stiff fingers? Can you give up control when it’s called for? If sharing isn’t your strong suit, you aren’t well-suited to being a good manager.
How much do you value work-life balance?
Along with a better title and bigger paycheck comes more responsibility. If you like shutting the door on work at 5 pm sharp and maintaining strong borders between your professional and personal time, moving up to management means you’re in for a shock. Welcome to breakfast meetings, calls with the board that start at 6 pm to accommodate participants on the west coast, evenings spent finalizing the dept’s budget forecast for the next two quarters and the general encroachment on your psyche that juggling the career aspirations of subordinates represents. If you jealously guard your free time, your management future may not be a bright one.
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