How an online management degree can develop effective leadership skills in 2019 and beyond

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Leaders with strong experience and high-level expertise are, and will always be, in demand. Organizations are constantly seeking out high-quality leadership talent to inspire and engage the workforce. Even though many companies take it upon themselves to provide leadership development for current and emerging managers, the resources they are providing don’t seem to be up to standard. As baby boomers are retiring and leaving the workforce, the next generations are filling these vacant leadership roles. The Human Resources Professionals Association reported that 63% of millennials think their leadership skills are not being fully developed. As a result, they feel unprepared to step into management positions.

Leader working with employee in office

Whether you’re currently in the workforce or looking to join it, you might consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Management. The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a comprehensive management program that covers a range of topics, from the foundations of business to organizational behavior and employment law. Through the study of management skills, you can obtain the good leadership skills you’ll need to support a robust staff. We’ve compiled a list of the attributes of a strong leader so you can see how earning a business management degree online can prepare you for today’s leadership challenges.

Sense of self-assurance

Being an effective leader entails more than skill alone. It takes a sense of self-assurance that spills out into other aspects of your work. Employees look to their leaders to make logical and timely decisions. The strongest leaders aren’t the ones spending hours worrying about making the wrong choice, and they certainly aren’t the ones making impulsive decisions. These professionals master the balancing act of making sure they are equipped with the information needed to make a sound choice and being quick with their decision so as not to waste time. The ability to make decisions effectively comes hand-in-hand with a sense of confidence in your business acumen and knowledge of the specific constraints and assets of the organization.

A strong education can solidify your confidence in your ability to make sound decisions. The Bachelor of Science in Management at UAB offers a general management core course, Managing Through Leadership. This coursework can provide future managers with an in-depth understanding of leadership in many forms. Students will research a handful of the major leadership theories persisting in today’s corporate climate, all while taking part in immersive workshops and hands-on experiences, which encourage them to put their understanding of management to use.

The art of communication

When employees feel left out of the loop or don’t know how their contributions are impacting the business as a whole, they might start to become disengaged. Leaders who don’t provide a high level of transparency among all team members are often viewed as distant, uninspiring, and ineffective.

Today’s businesses are experiencing significant communication barriers. According to Interact Authentically, a communications consultancy firm aimed at helping businesses improve their authenticity, 69% of managers often feel uncomfortable communicating with employees. In addition, 37% said they feel uncomfortable giving performance feedback to their staff members. Unfortunately for them, when it comes to providing and receiving feedback, no news isn’t always good news.

Leaders who fear hurting their employees’ feelings are more likely hurting their business because they aren’t letting staff members know what they’re doing right and wrong. Becoming an expert communicator means overcoming your discomfort in one-on-one and group discourses with employees.

Whether they’re running a Fortune-500 company with thousands of workers or a small business with a handful of employees, leaders must keep their employees informed on several levels. This might come in the form of a quarterly meeting in which executives report the company’s performance across all teams and as a whole. Leaders might also communicate to their employees through regular email status alerts and check-ins, providing them with relevant information and encouraging staff to flag any issues that need to be addressed. Strong leaders promote open and consistent discourse to make sure they are providing the level of transparency needed to encourage employees to put forth their best efforts.

Professional development

Just because someone has gained effective leadership skills doesn’t mean the progress stops here. Strong leaders are consistently working to improve themselves. Whether they’re attending seminars and workshops, reading industry-related books, or networking with colleagues, impactful managers strive to go further in their professional development. As a leader in training, start setting goals for your professional growth. Try reading a few biographies of influential leaders to learn what made them successful. Speak with your role models to figure out what got them where they are today. In work, school, and beyond, ask those with more experience and tenure how you are doing, and look for ways to improve.

UAB’s management program offers a one-credit-hour course on professional development. This serves to prepare you for internships and other opportunities for experiential learning. While enrolled in this robust course, you can gain insight for networking, personal branding, interviewing techniques, career planning, and professional etiquette in today’s workforce.

Developing leadership skills with a bachelor’s in management

If you’re eager to enhance your leadership skills and set yourself up for a career as a supervisor, manager, or executive, consider the Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business. This 100% online program can provide you with the business acumen and management skills you will need to be a successful leader in the modern workplace. To find out more about UAB’s Bachelor of Science in Management program, contact an enrollment advisor today.

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Operations management: Explore careers and the value of an online BS in Management

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Online Bachelor of Science in Management

Top Five Leadership Traits, Qualities & Skills by Chron

The Shocking Statistics Behind Uninspiring Leaders by Forbes

HR & Millennials: Insights Into Your New Human Capital by the Human Resources Professionals Association

Many Leaders Shrink from Straight Talk with Employees by Interact Authentically