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Seven key tips for aspiring managers

Have you had your eye on a more senior role with leadership responsibilities? A promotion doesn't happen overnight. Getting a head start on which management skills to develop and how to put them to use can put you a step ahead of your competition.

We take a look at seven key "dos and don'ts" to help you prepare for a new more senior role and make sure your manager sees your full leadership potential.

1. Know your strengths

Get to know what you’re good at… and what you’re not.

But don't let that stop you from developing skills that might not be areas of strength right now. So you’ve never been very good with technology; consider signing up for a webinar or online class to boost specific technology skills. You might be surprised what you can learn or improve upon after a few google searches or YouTube videos.

2. Focus on relationships

Cultivate strong relationships both within and outside of your company. Being an effective networker is a crucial skill if you’re looking to eventually enter into a management position.

Don't engage in office politics or gossip. They say to dress the part of the job you want in the future; take it a step further and act the part as well, always presenting yourself as a positive professional.

3. Embrace social media

Be active on professional social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn. Don't be an over-sharer about your personal life. A little bit of detail about your day gives your social media presence personality; too much detail, or the wrong kind, can send the wrong idea.

4. Be committed

Go the extra mile to answer emails, return phone calls, and take care of work at your desk. Get to know your co-workers and make yourself available for conversations. Mingle professionally and remember not to isolate yourself behind your computer screen.

5. Give feedback

Learn to recognize the strengths and efforts of others and lend compliments and constructive criticism when it’s asked for or called for. Don't offer unsolicited critique or point fingers about negative outcomes. A good leader always looks in the mirror first.

6. Be equal opportunity

Do not treat others as subordinates… even if they are. Treat all co-workers as partners, even if they are your direct reports.

7. Let people know about your successes

Learn the art of the “humble brag” - especially on social media, without coming across as cocky. Never take the full credit for group efforts. Sometimes the best way to get credit for a job well done is to pass that credit along to all those who helped you along the way.


More advice?

Once you've landed your promotion, it can be tricky to make the leap into a leadership role and manage those who used to be your peers. Discover our tips for the transition from co-worker to manager.

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