As retirement rates are due to increase significantly over the next decade, according to census data, a void is appearing among middle management talent. This serves as poor timing for businesses as the pandemic acted as a catalyst for organizations to become leaner and more efficient, putting even more pressure on middle-level professionals to produce value.
Heading into the future, one thing has become abundantly clear: to sustain success, companies must double down on developing, upskilling, and empowering the middle layer of their organization. In this blog series, we’ll explore just how you can do it.
3 Key Leadership Skills to Develop in Middle Managers
Having established the rising importance of middle managers to the success of an organization, it’s time to establish the skills that are crucial to the success of a middle manager. While the nuances of your particular company may impact which skills outrank others, there are a few major skills that should always be looked for when hiring a middle manager and developed continually once you do:
- Communication: as the linchpin to successful teams, middle managers must be masters of communication. Whether up or down the ladder, being able to communicate effectively, consistently, and clearly is an absolute imperative for successful managers. Be insistent that a culture of good communication is mandatory, not just ideal.
- Resiliency: As the responsibilities, expectations, and importance of their role rises, so too does the level of stress middle managers encounter on a weekly basis. Make sure you are empowering your managers to find tools and methods to develop and sustain their internal resiliency to properly manage whatever setbacks or frustrations that may come their way.
- Influence: As middle managers strive to meet the expectations of their superiors while simultaneously helping meet the expectations of their direct reports, middle managers who are masters of influence separate themselves from those who aren’t. With so many disparate personalities and perspectives within an organization, it’s critical to develop a spectrum of influencing styles to earn buy-in and support at all levels. There’s a wide variety of training courses on influence; be sure your middle managers are aware of and have access to them.
Your leaders at the middle layer of your organization have incredible sway over your success; let them know you’re invested in their potential by helping them develop their critical leadership skills.
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