One question I’m asked a lot is how to know if a person is ready to move from an individual contributor role into a job that includes people management. Unfortunately, determining the answer isn’t as simple as taking a few tests, such as the written and driving tests you must pass to qualify to drive a vehicle. Although, it would be nice if it were that easy.
Whenever I’m evaluating clients or employees to determine if they’re ready for people management responsibilities, I look for both content knowledge as well as the ability to consistently demonstrate behaviors that will lead to good people management. If you’re interested in moving into a management role, here are 7 areas you should evaluate:
1. You achieve consistently positive results in your current job. If you can’t complete outstanding work in your current job, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to handle the additional responsibilities that come with managing others. You must prove you are organized, self-motivated, and ready to take on higher-level challenges.
2. You have established positive work relationships with employees throughout the company. Being a good people manager means you must be good with – people. I look to see if the person has cultivated trustworthy relationships with other employees, especially those in different departments. If you’re a loner who rarely interacts with others, then you might want to reconsider your career goals or seek out opportunities to test your people management skills, such as by leading project teams.
3. You can demonstrate successful leadership of project teams with multiple participants. Most employees aren’t given a manager title with people management responsibilities unless they can prove they are ready. One way to do this is to volunteer or take on roles leading project teams with at least three or more members. You should be able to demonstrate success in these types of leadership roles, managing project teams with progressively more challenging work and with increasing numbers of participants. Even better is when you can prove your success leading cross-functional and cross-cultural teams.