Management is a major responsibility. Each level of management brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities, all requiring skill and resilience.
While experience lends well to the success of a manager, professional development is a unique way to ensure that success is sustainable can be replicated.
If you have the opportunity to enrol on a training course, regardless of the career level you’re currently at, you should take the offer. Management training can prepare you for the role in ways that you may not have been exposed to on the job.
Whether you’ve been tasked with leading a team, a department, or even the entire organisation – you will have a lot to consider. Each management position is different, but there are some common aspects shared across most management roles.
In this post, we’ll explore a day in the life of a manager, looking at what management is, the kinds of tasks management professionals carry out, and some of the required skills.
What is management?
In the simplest terms, management is the coordination and oversight of tasks to achieve business objectives.
It often includes the direction and supervision of people, although this is not always the case. A manager will almost certainly have an administrative aspect to their role, but not every manager will lead a team.
The term ‘management’ also refers to the collective – i.e. the management team of an organisation.
What do managers do?
Tasks typically fall into one of four main categories: planning, organisation, directing, or controlling.
Setting out goals and establishing how the team or the wider organisation will meet its objectives forms the ‘planning’ element, and the task and resource management needed to accomplish them ticks the ‘organisation’ box.
The direction describes the focus and motivation of the team or the wider organisation to strive towards the organisation’s goals, and ‘controlling’ means reviewing performance to identify areas for improvement or adjustment.
How does a manager’s day look?
Depending on your industry and the level at which you’re managing, a day in professional management can look very different. Although it certainly isn’t predictable. Here, we outline how your management day might look.
Before anything, a manager will start their working day by browsing their emails.
An inbox check will reveal any important developments that might have been announced in the organisation, such as major changes or new policies. They may also be waiting on important responses, team updates, or documents.
Inbox management is vital for day-to-day planning. Management is about providing answers, and a clear and well-managed inbox makes this aspect of the role easier to control.
Once emails have been checked, and meetings have been scheduled, the manager has a clearer idea of their immediate priorities and plans for the day.
Hold a team meeting
At some point in the day, but not necessarily every day (unless you’re implementing an Agile project management strategy), the manager will hold a team meeting.
This is a chance to update the team on developments, discuss current or upcoming projects, and assign tasks and delegate responsibilities. Deadlines may be set during the meeting.
Team meetings are an opportunity for members to raise any issues they may be experiencing. A manager should be conscious of the fact that not all team members may feel comfortable explaining issues in front of others. As well as a team meeting, or even instead of one, the manager may conduct short one-to-one meetings during the day.
The way a manager communicates can make all the difference, whether in groups or one to one. Demonstrating active listening, displaying empathy, and coaching are some of the top communication tactics employed by successful managers.
These skills are even more crucial if the organisation is going through a period of change.
Not all management roles include team leadership. In these roles, a manager would likely replace team meetings with stakeholder management. This can include in-house project work, collaboration with other departments, or even sourcing new external resources. These duties also largely depend on effective communication for their success.
Go through the manager’s own to-do list
Now that the manager has established what their team must do, they must go through their own list of to-dos.
Tasks could involve drafting a document for a client and ensuring the document reaches them by a specific deadline, reviewing work by a team member, or just checking budgets or the progress of projects.
Working through the to-do list offers the manager opportunities for reflection and analysis, creating scope to adjust projects and reorganise tasks where necessary.
Resolve a conflict
Naturally, this isn’t something that managers do every single day unless the culture is toxic.
In the course of their duties, managers may witness conflicts arise between team members. Perhaps the members are unable to agree on priorities, or maybe one employee is unhappy with the actions of another, or with their contribution to a project. Conflict in the workplace is normal, especially during periods of change. A prolonged disagreement can create delays in the project and impact the performance of the team and, potentially, the organisation.
This is an opportunity for the manager to apply conflict management skills, which they can develop on a coaching course. The manager may listen to both sides of the story and take an active role in resolving the matter. Alternatively, they may choose to suggest the two conflicting parties resolve the matter under supervision.
Meet with superiors
Line management and middle management professionals are likely to attend frequent meetings with their superiors.
The agenda for these meetings typically includes a discussion around strategy, team performance, training requirements (for themselves or their teams), budgets, and other ad-hoc issues. Given the rapid advances in the digital landscape, the meeting could be an ideal platform in which to raise suggestions to implement new technologies and systems.
For any management professional aspiring to the next level, management meetings are full of scope to illustrate their value and expertise.
The manager can show how they’ve followed and executed agreed strategies, and using their practical experience and observations, make suggestions on potential next steps.
A manager who self-advocates their innovative ideas in alignment with organisational goals is more likely to be considered for promotion and progress into higher roles. Effective communication underpins this ability, and developing this skill will prove invaluable for managers at any level.
Book a management and leadership course with us
Professionals in management roles assume considerable responsibility which, while highly rewarding, can also be challenging.
Commitment, resilience, and merit will help managers gain the recognition they deserve. Showing similar dedication to their professional development is what will support their success in every future role.
We offer a range of courses, including Chartered Management Institute (CMI)-accredited courses with qualifications at Level 5 and Level 7 in management and leadership subjects.
Courses at Level 5 will help you to build competence and knowledge in direct aspects of management, such as resource management, whereas Level 7 courses will allow you to focus on more strategic aspects of management. This could include areas such as planning and leading through change.
To find out more about our courses, visit our courses page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, send us a message using the form on our contact page or call us on 0161 826 3139. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you on your professional development journey.