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Why self-development is important for managers

You may have come across movies in the past, such as Office Space or Bad Bosses, where the plot revolved around bad managers and the employees that deal with them. At some point in our career, we have all worked for a manager before that we may have viewed as less than easy to deal with. But it’s important to keep in mind that most of those bad bosses are not bad people. They are just people in leadership roles that typically have ineffective management and leadership skills.

Whether you have been the manager for years or you’re new to your leadership role, you can have concerns that your management style could be ineffective for your team. That’s where personal development comes in. But why is self-development important? Let’s dive into the details and how you can set yourself up for success. 

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Why is personal development important?

A challenging fact for many individuals, including managers, to accept is that stress in the workplace is unavoidable. The day-to-day workload and responsibilities for yourself and your team can be challenging and, at times, simply overwhelming. Although unavoidable, stress can still be mitigated. As a leader, you should be allocating the time to focus attention inward and onto your self-development. Doing this is key to mitigating stress for yourself and your team in the workplace. 

The potential possibilities of how you intend to use the time you take to focus inward can be endless. These methods can range from reading self-help and self-development materials, taking more leadership development courses, or giving yourself space to meditate and reflect on how you can be a better leader. To achieve better success as a manager, investing in your self-development shows you are willing to grow and evolve as a leader despite any challenges to be faced in the workplace.

Enhancing your communication skills is important for any self-development as a leader

It’s no secret that communication is essential both personally and professionally. Most successful leaders have a good blend of both interpersonal and public communication skills. It has been said that as individuals we should, “Listen with the intent to understand, not to respond.” This sentiment is also true when it comes to being an effective leader.

Most managers will always have room to improve and enhance their communication skills to become more successful leaders. Here are some successful ways you can improve your communication skills as a manager:

  • Implement and enforce an open-door policy – allow employees to schedule time with you directly to discuss any concerns or areas to improve their performance.
  • Communicate with empathy – listen with your undivided attention to understand another person’s emotions and perspective when communicating.
  • Become a more effective listener – effectively listen with a blend of curiosity to ask insightful questions and active listening techniques, such as repeating, paraphrasing, and reflecting.
  • Continue to learn new ways to become a better communicator – communication, especially interpersonal communication, is an evolutionary skill that some of the best leaders never stop learning how they can communicate more effectively. 

As a leader, allow yourself to coach be coached

The best managers blend a mix of influential leadership styles aiming to engage, inspire, and motivate employees instead of controlling them. Coaching your employees versus controlling your employees is a method to achieve better retention and team success. As a leader, coaching your employees involves looking for opportunities for them to improve and inspire them to provide solutions to challenges versus day-to-day repetitive tasks.

In addition to coaching your employees, as a leader, you should also look for avenues where you can also be coached as well. One of the most critical aspects of self-development for successful leaders is they allow themselves also to be coached by others as part of their continuously evolving learning process. If you are constantly coaching your employees for better success in the workplace, therefore, as a manager, you should also be coached to be a more successful leader.

Self-development is not only important to grow as an individual, but it makes you a better leader. If you look at some of the most successful CEOs, you will see that they lead with inspiration and motivation. They also aim not to stop learning how to be a better and more effective leader. Most importantly, the most successful leaders who make self-development important for themselves also tend to have better retention rates, higher team morale, and see positive self-development improvements for their employees. Taking the time to focus on self-development as a manager will lead you to many successes for yourself and your team. 

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