Top 5 skills required for contract managers
Managers have always been expected to have empathy, clarity, authenticity, and agility when managing their teams. In leadership, these traits are even more crucial during this time of uncertainty and upheaval amidst a global pandemic.
Across the globe, leaders have been challenged to remain connected with their teams even when they are not able to be physically in the same room together. As managers begin to plan for the return-of-office working, they have an opportunity to re-imagine what that looks like. They can use insights and lessons they have learnt during the past 12 months to make positive changes, rather than simply attempting a return to business as usual.
So, what are some of the skills contract managers need today?
Attentiveness to your team’s wellbeing
Concern for wellbeing in the workplace was a rising trend even before the pandemic, and it is arguably even more crucial as people around the world grapple with widespread grief, anxiety, and burnout.
It is vital that leaders make wellbeing a priority within their teams. The Deloitte 2020 Global Human Capital Trends report found wellbeing was the top-rated trend for importance, with 80% of respondents saying that wellbeing is important for their organisation's success. Remote work can also increase feelings of isolation and loneliness, and managers of virtual teams should try to combat that by fostering connections and creating a sense of belonging. One way to do this is to make sure the people in your workforce feel they can be their authentic selves.
Communication and collaboration
Great communication is where emotional intelligence comes into play. It is having that ability to not only share how you feel, but also understand and manage emotions which can enhance collaboration within the team.
Emotional intelligence consists of five main aspects:
- Social Skills
In the technical aspect, the responsibility of contract managers also consists of translating the complex, formal language of business contracts so that his or her team, stakeholders, and customers are familiar with any terms that could result in a misunderstanding.
Being able to communicate and collaborate effectively can also allow you to manage stakeholders efficiently. This is a key skill to have as conflicts of interest and disputes can arise between your stakeholders both internally and externally.
Customer relationship management (CRM) also helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and retention. It can also bring a return of investments to an organisation.
The art of negotiation
Great contract managers are also experts at the art of persuasion. In the face of differences, challenges and conflict, the ability to stay calm and even friendly in the face of adversity is what stands out. This is an essential component of negotiation.
A contract manager will thus need to be able to respond by creating a constructive dialogue between stakeholders and come to a compromise of what is expected and required from each party. Forbes has shared Six Surprising Negotiation Tactics which you can start practicing in your day to day activities at work.
Be a niche market expert
It is important that a leader in the contracts business can build up institutional knowledge that can support you and your team to excel in your roles. By being a niche expert, you will be able to forecast trends in the market you are in, and be well-versed in any innovation that occurs within the space you are in. The top experts always have robust mental frameworks that allow them to predict trends and anticipate change.
Here at Computer Futures Japan, we have consultants that are experts in their own niche markets, and they would be able to bring you first-hand insight across areas like:
- Project Management
- Business Analysis
- Functional Consulting (ERP, CRM)
- SME (Cyber Security, BI, RPA etc.)
- Infrastructure Engineering (Server, Network, Data Centre & Cloud)
- Software Development
- UI/UX Design
- Quality Assurance
- IT Support
- Help Desk
Japan continues to play a competitive role in attracting top performing talents from across the world. If you want to stand out, be sure to work on the above skills and you could enhance retention within your team, or even move into a greater team if you desire a career switch.
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