Your Development As A Manager Is Critical For Success
Today we are exploring personal development goals for managers. I aim to share some vital things I have learned while managing individuals and teams across various companies and functions.
So, in the spirit of good time management skills, let’s get on the move so you can improve and start setting goals.
Examples Of Personal Development Goals for Managers
My top 10 personal development goals for managers are:
- Develop your management style
- Know when to make a decision
- Learn what to delegate
- Harness your powers of observation
- Question everything and listen effectively
- Minimize meeting time
- Hold one-on-ones with your staff
- Set and enforce personal boundaries
- Learn to manage your energy
- Take opportunities to upskill
As a manager, these ten goals will enhance and support your
- Professional development
- Daily developmental activities
- Personal development
Let’s go through each one now. We are starting with three outstanding professional development goals for managers.
Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
1. Develop Your Management Style
First, everything starts and flows from your management style. Achieving your career goals depends on this.
So you must determine the most appropriate approach to managing people. Then, develop and perfect your techniques.
Depending on the source, there are up to ten types or more management styles. However, let’s keep this simple and narrow it down to three.
1. Command and control. You give the orders and directions, and your employees execute them. Thus, communication is one way, from the top down.
2. Democratic. Here, you ask the team for input and opinions.
Some, but not all, decisions are made by you, the manager. Communication is two-way. Both top-down and bottom-up.
3. Hands-off approach. In this case, the manager sets broad objectives.
You ask the team to do their work without supervision. They have complete decision-making authority and do their own problem-solving.
Think of these management styles on a spectrum with command and control on one end. And hands-off management is on the opposite end, with democratic in the middle.
The style you choose should suit your skills, fit the company objectives and culture, and meet the needs of whatever it is you manage.
Examples of Management Styles
Example 1: You run a manufacturing business with a low-skilled, transient, and temporary workforce.
Best management style: command and control.
Example 2: You run a finance and accounting department for a large privately held business.
Your staff is a mix of highly paid and well-educated professionals. Team members also include low-skilled technicians who process paperwork and transactions.
Best management style: democratic.
Example 3: You run a team of highly skilled business analysts. The team members are well-educated, experienced, and highly qualified for implementing technology projects at client locations.
Best management style: hands-off.
After choosing how to lead people by adopting a leadership style, the following two manager professional development goals should fall right into place.
2. Know When To Make A Decision
After addressing goal number 1, decision-making is straightforward.
Command control style: You make all the decisions.
Democratic style: You make the “big” decisions leaving the rest to your staff.
Hands-off: You make few if any, decisions. Instead, you are an advisor to your team, providing input and feedback when required. Furthermore, you spend time thinking and planning as a manager should.
Most importantly, be decisive regardless of your management style when making decisions.
3. Learn What To Delegate
Yes, as a manager, you must be skilled at delegating. However, your chosen management style will also dictate your delegation practices.
Command and control: Delegate repetitive tasks and activities. Never delegate decision-making.
Democratic: Structure your team and their roles to outline their work and responsibilities. Then, you manage, fill in the gaps, and pick up the rest.
Hands-off: The manager delegates all work. They are mainly involved with client relations, staffing-related decisions, oversight, and performance reviews.
Okay. That concludes my discussion of three professional development goals for new managers.
You will become what is known as a multiplier by setting and achieving these first three goals. Thus, getting more done collectively than what you can do by yourself.
Next, we move on to four daily developmental activities for managers. They are worthy personal developmental goals for managers that you can set and work on every day of every week.
4. Harness Your Powers Of Observation
Most management gurus suggest developing a reading habit. Specifically, they recommend reading self-development books and management books.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that reading is terrible because it’s not. After all, please continue reading this post. However, there are better uses for your time than books about management.
Thus, I recommend that you set a goal to become an expert in observation. For example, I want you to observe other managers.
First, observe how they manage.
Second, determine their management style, assess their leadership development, and evaluate their decision-making and delegation skills.
Third, assess the performance of their team.
Then, start a daily journal of what you like and dislike regarding the performance of managers around you. Finally, reflect on your findings and adopt best practices into your behaviors from what you observe.
Another great way to learn about managing is to find a mentor. It should be someone you trust who has traveled the path you want to follow.
Ask questions of your mentor. Observe them and learn because a mentor can be a great teacher.
Thus, don’t waste time reading a book that may or may not be relevant. Instead, I want you to write the book by keeping a management journal about personal development gleaned from your daily observations.
Next, let’s move to goal number five.
5. Question Everything And Listen Effectively
Next, always ask questions of your employees, bosses, coworkers, and team members. For example,
- Why is it done that way?
- What is the problem?
- How can it be better?
- What do you think the solution is?
After asking a question, keep your mouth shut. Listen closely, listen intently. What you hear should lead to more questions.
There are opportunities for personal and professional development all around you. Don’t squander
them or let them pass you by.
You learn very little when talking. However, you will develop a growth mindset through active listening skills and encouraging others to speak.
Most importantly, learning and growth are what developmental goals for up-and-coming managers are all about.
Next, I would like to dispel another management myth.
6. Minimize Meeting Time
Once again, management gurus contend that good managers run effective meetings. And any managers looking to improve should set a goal related to leading meetings better.
I’m not implying you shouldn’t be good at running a meeting. However, let’s set a goal to eliminate as many meetings as possible.
Why? Because most meetings waste time, especially general staff meetings.
What I suggest you do is focus your attention on the following:
- Hiring the right people.
- Putting them in the proper structure
- Training them well
- Integrating them with the rest of the organization
- Holding them accountable
Doing these things will allow for the free flow of information. And reduce the need for many meetings.
Lots of meetings are the symptom of unresolved problems, not the solution to those problems.
Who needs more meetings? Not me, and probably not you. I don’t care how well-run they are.
7. Hold One On Ones With Your Staff
While I do not care for meetings, one-on-one conversations with your team members are essential. They allow you to monitor the pulse of each person that reports to you. Also, build a positive working relationship with them.
Staff one-on-ones provide a dedicated opportunity to ask questions, listen effectively, and learn.
Ask questions of your staff like the following:
- What are you working on now?
- Are you encountering barriers?
- What are your short-term goals?
- How can I help you be more productive?
Finally, these meetings should build engagement and inclusivity. Strive to make each team member feel appreciated for what they do. Help them get better every day.
This MasterClass on Effective Leadership is outstanding.
Okay. That concludes my discussion of four daily developmental activities for managers.
Next, we move on to three personal developmental goals for managers.
As the name indicates, these are more intimate areas to manage.
8. Set And Enforce Personal Boundaries
You must have a goal to set and enforce your boundaries. Thus, focus on where your work begins and ends both during traditional working hours and outside of them.
Your management style will influence your boundaries. For example, the more you operate as a hands-off manager, the more expansive your limits can be, and vice versa.
9. Learn To Manage Your Energy
Make sure you take time to recharge your batteries. Rest and recovery are critical personal development goals for managers.
Thus, do not get burned out.
Take weekends off. Use all of your vacation or paid time off days.
When stress overwhelms you, take a moment to close your eyes and breath deeply.
Exercise regularly and eat a nutritious diet to keep your energy level high.
Most importantly, these are goals everyone should incorporate into their life.
10. Take Opportunities To Upskill
Lastly, look for opportunities to add new skills and abilities. Only you know what the most effective use of your time is. Continually assess your weaknesses and developmental needs and address them honestly.
Through seminars, formal courses, or good old on-the-job training, pursue new skills. Be sure to lean on your mentor and use your management development journal for insight.
Here are some ideas for improving your skills:
- Become more adaptable to change
- Improve communication skills
- Become better at time management
- Increase your leadership skills
- Map out a career development plan
- Improve your persuasive abilities
- Enhance your negotiating skills
- Practice motivation techniques
- Become a better public speaker
That’s just a few examples of self-development goals for managers that are top of my mind. They are mostly soft skills. However, the list of possibilities is endless.
Furthermore, here’s a great course you will love for upskilling. I mentioned it earlier, but I would like to do so again.
The class is an excellent resource for achieving your leadership goals.
Final Thoughts About Personal Development Goals For Managers Examples
So, I’ve shared with you my top 10 personal developmental goals for managers.
First, I need to emphasize more how important it is to choose and develop your management style. It is goal number one for a reason.
Furthermore, remember that each of these ten goals falls into one of three broad personal goal-setting categories for managers. They are the following:
- Professional development
- Daily developmental activities
- Personal development
Okay. That’s all I have for today.
Good luck with whatever it is you manage. And before you go, check out our archives of
Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.