Managers often try to avoid the issue of strengths and weaknesses since it keeps them on the defensive and takes any interview into a negative atmosphere. On the contrary, the question needs intellectual answers that cannot be seen as boastful or phony. A SWOT tool can be used in this case:
One of my strength is my flexibility to handle change and learning agility. As a manager in the previous position and my current position, I have been able to turn around a negative working environment and create some supportive team. The learning agility has enabled me to perform effectively and succeed in the new job. My second strength is effective interpersonal communication skill which has been my best personal trait. With this, I have been able to manage change and create a conducive work environment with my employees. There has been openness when communicating various issues. Subsequently, human resource practitioners assert that skills and a managers experience are not essential in the organization but also his/her learning agility and communication skills.
Self-motivation and determination are other strength that has helped me achieve significant success as a manager. I have learned that lack of self-motivation as a top manager can be transferred to the low-level employees and can then lead to high rate of employee turnover. Undetermined manager results to lavish of employees in the company without the achievement of any significant success. I am also self-oriented and a natural leader. I have the drive within myself to come up with big ideas for as a manager and influence the overall growth and development of employees according to their talents and resources. Furthermore, I am also hardworking, intelligent and self-confident. These attributes have enabled me to achieve significant success in my managerial positions. That said, success is ninety percent of hard work and ten percent of intelligence.
As far as my personal weaknesses, I feel that my overall managerial skills could be stronger. Nobody acquires all the skills needed for all managerial situations and scenarios. For this reason, therefore, there is a need to work harder on a daily basis. I am constantly working to improve managerial skills through the daily work experiences and mistakes made during the management process. Additionally, as a manager, I often get nervous around people. This has been happening because of the diverse cultures in the organization and the situation whereby people rarely meet one another and the only time employees can interact during coffee breaks. This often results to nervousness when giving presentation and speeches since there exist no rapport.
As for my opportunities, one of my competing organizations has developed a negative reputation and the perception about their services from the client which will provide an upper hand in ensuring my market goals are achieved and the overall career growth. At the same time, I have been doing various refresher courses in leadership and management which will allow strategic networking and organization of various training seminars.
Some of my low-level colleagues are much stronger speakers that I am and have been competing for the managerial position. The increasing growth of the labor market has increased employee turnover which often leads to overworking and this negatively influence my creativity as a leader. With the prevailing economic climate, the there is a need to acquire more skills linked to customer service and administration to understand the dynamic nature of the consumer needs better.
Key competencies required to facilitate or implement effective change
Competency has different definitions that may be abstract, but behavioral competency is what entails knowledge, skills, and attitude and how they can be applied to the workplace. Ideally, acquiring new knowledge or skill is the first step towards creating a new competency, but it has to be applied to the right mindset and transcended to the actual work environment to become a behavioral competency. Creating change management competency is not like installing computer systems in an organization but rather requires new attitude and approach. Each employee in the organization must define their job concerning the change process. There is a need to value the ability to change as the main responsibility and have an understanding that change can be achieved only through hard work during and after the change.
Organizations that faces a constant demand to change and applies effective change management initiatives may experience fundamental transformation in its operation. The top management must develop skills to assist employees through the change process, and the employees see their duties as a contributor towards change. In this case, every level in the organization will have an internalized role and acquire skills towards ensuring the proposed change is realized. The following are key competencies necessary in facilitating or implementing effective change in the organization:
Leadership: Change has become a common phenomenon, and the management needs to be more adaptable to these changes. Leaders play a significant role in setting an example for all the virtues and behaviors among the employees. As a manager, there is a need to ensure that changes in the organization are acceptable and implemented in a way that leads to not only improved performance but also the overall understanding and satisfaction through effective leadership. It is, therefore, reasonable to set expectations for all the employees, what they need to achieve and how to achieve them for a successful change process.
In other words, the manager needs to possess leadership competencies that include competency cluster of vision, self-knowledge, technical competency related to the specifics of the business and interpersonal skills. Additionally, the manager will further need to be a visionary thinker, poses influential skills and team leadership skills to help the organization realize change within the set time.
Stakeholder Management: This involves preparation of interested parties in the organization for the intended change. Creating an effective engagement strategy in the organization is an essential aspect to for ensuring change is realized in a smooth manner. More engagement will lead to a committed and positive workforce, and as engagement rises, resistance towards change is likely to go down. On the contrary, stakeholder engagement is not simple and takes time and resources. As a manager, there is a need to think about stakeholder engagement soon after the need to change is raised and begin immediately. Certainly, all middle-level managers and the low-level managers need to be engaged in understanding the need for change if not helping to formulate it. They should learn from the vision of the change, if not contributing to formulate it. Furthermore, there is a need to involve them assessing the consumer needs, benchmarking and even designing the future state of the organization. Early stakeholder engagement makes the initial phases of change more complex, but the manager deals with fewer people during the implementation if engagement is done earlier.
Planning: The primary objective of change in an organization is to allow an organization adopt a new vision, mission, and system. This can only be accomplished through a proper plan put in place by the management. In order to ensure that the project meets its objective and employees adopt change, it is essential to think about how you will assess if the project is meeting the intended objectives. Through the change process, it is necessary to measure adoption and gather relevant feedback from the employees in order to understand if they achieved personal change. Change planning and organizational change need to be coordinated in a view to understand various activities affecting users with the new change. Through proper planning of the entire change process, the manager or the organization leadership can enable all affected parties in the organization adopt the new vision and systems and minimize possible resistance to the change. Planning will also include the cost, time, risk and scope of the overall change.
Team selection/ team development: This is another competency needed in order to implement or facilitate change. Ideally, Selecting and developing the right change agent is fundamental in ensuring a faster and easier adoption and realization of change. When deciding on the change agents to push forward the change objective, as a manager, it is essential to ask "who can be the change agent?", "who is more useful" or "who has a positional authority to lead the change process?" Based on these questions, the manager can select a prospective team within the organization with the qualities, time and authority to act as the change agents. However, these do not guarantee that the selected individuals meet the requirements for change agents for a transformative initiative. It is fundamentally important first clearly to identify the expectation. More imperative, though, is to select the change agent from change targets that come into the organization as part of the vision or those that can adapt faster to the change. Such employers are the best to speed up the change in the organization.
Communication: Change agents often show enthusiasm, confidence, and warmth as well as superiority, coldness, and displeasure through facial expression, touch, and use of space. In case manager wants to be perceived as credible and honest, there is a need to think outside the box and recognize the importance of nonverbal communication in implementing change. It is imperative for the manager to communicate congruently. This is because when the body language conflicts with the intended verbal message, the employees intended to implement the change will get confused. Showing mixed signals during or before the change process will make it almost impossible to build a sustainable relationship of trust in the organization hence the failure of change. Furthermore, when the management gives verbal and nonverbal communication out of sync, people will rely on the nonverbal message and ignore the verbal content.
This means that when a leader stands to address the need for change in the organization but puts his hands behind his back or folds them in front of his chest, a nonverbal signal is sent to the employees which may ignite resistance to change. The verbal message is about openness and inclusion contrary to the nonverbal cues displayed. When planning change and during the implementation process, it is necessary for the managers to tell the employees what they really need to hear related to the change and always remember to look like the message delivered. Wrong communication during the change process can result in resistance which in the long run will lead to total failure of change.
Decision-making and problem-solving: During the change process the management is often faced with other issues other than the central aspect of change that requires accurate decisions. The manager needs to identify the potential problem and issues, obtain the relevant information concerning the issue including recognition of whether or not the information affects the change process. From there, the information collected will be objectively evaluated and specific cause of the issue identified. It is from this place that recommendations are made, and a course of action decided upon.
Project management skills: For any change to be successful in an organization, some project management skills are essential in making the appropriate decision. The project management skills are often identifi...
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