Want to be a better maintenance manager? Understanding the facility layout and having a good knowledge of machinery, chemical engineering, and other technical skills are important. However, these qualifications don't make a great manager of people.
Here are seven skills to up your game as a maintenance manager.
1. Public Speaking
"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
Public speaking is a skill and an asset that will last for years. It isn't a skill that can be learned in a day, and you may be uncomfortable doing it. However, you will perfect the art of public speaking with persistence and consistency.
Public speaking will help you be a better leader for your maintenance team and a better communicator to your administrators. In addition, public speaking skills will help you confidently and accurately communicate your department's needs.
2. Time Management
"Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning."
- Winston Churchill
Being busying doesn't mean you're being effective. Our generation is busier now than previous generations before us. Ask yourself if you're effective at managing your schedule. Are you focusing your time on the things you "have to do" or the things you "get to do?"
3. Have Empathy
"People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. By establishing a relationship first, you qualify yourself to speak truth into their lives, even when it may hurt."
- John Maxwell
You can be the most disciplined, intelligent, and talented person in the world, but if you don't care or empathize with other people, you are missing the mark of authentic leadership. Empathy is "feeling" how others feel in their situations and acting accordingly.
Empathy empowers managers to lead with a better perspective and make decisions that inspire others to positive action.
4. Positive self-talk
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't–you're right."
- Henry Ford
It takes time to build confidence and the ability to believe in yourselves. You may not be aware of it, but if you are your worst critic, chances are you're critical of others as well. Of course, everyone needs constructive feedback, but criticism with no correction is nothing other than critical talk.
E.g., "I can be a better maintenance manager, and here's how I can improve" is constructive criticism vs, "I am a terrible maintenance manager. I will never be successful." As a maintenance manager, you're a leader, and your team needs to see yourself as a manager that believes in his or her capabilities.
5. Being Honest with Yourself
"With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. With fear and guilt removed you are free to be and do your best."
- Zig Ziglar
Whatever you are doing, you must be brutally honest with yourself, especially in managing maintenance. Knowing your limitations and being aware that you don't know what you don't know can give others around you a humble view. Additionally, it makes you approachable. Accepting hard truths and making positive improvements is much easier than problems blowing up in your face... literally.
6. Stop Complaining
"If you are complaining, you are not leading. If you are leading, you are not complaining."
– Mike Smith
We get it, everyone needs to vent, but we must learn to stop complaining about what will happen, what will never happen, what we have and do not have, or what someone else didn't do. Practicing a complaint-free management style will make your future complaints taken more seriously.
Furthermore, removing complaining from your vocabulary will encourage you to solve problems and get things done. As a maintenance manager, your role is to predict, prevent, and solve problems together as a team.
Complaining only encourages others to complain, and no one wants to work in a whining environment.
7. Be Consistent
"Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency, as consistent hard work leads to success, greatness will come."
- Dwayne Johnson
Perfect practice makes perfect. In a world where things constantly go wrong, maintenance managers need to be leaders that others can look to when things go astray. Success is a continuous process or journey. As maintenance managers, time is money, and we don't have time to mourn our failures. Instead, we need to fix problems and overcome challenges consistently.
Developing a rhythm of consistency for managing maintenance establishes a pattern of efficiency, promotes problem-solving patience, and produces a "get it done" attitude in others.
What else does it take to be a great maintenance manager?
Let us know in the comments section!
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