If you’ve ever been in a position to interview and hire a department manager, I’m sure you understand what a complicated task this must be. However, aside from the specific information needed to manage a particular department (such as sales, production, quality control, etc.) there are many general characteristics a successful department manager must have.
Regardless of the particular area of the company, each department manager must be in immediate contact with the people under their charge. They are the supervisors who are on “the front lines” and oversee and hold people accountable to the company goals. However, their position also requires them to coordinate the efforts of many people directly, be available to their numerous team members, and be flexible when dealing with change. They must also act in the capacity of liaison between upper management and their employees.
For this reason, department managers must possess certain behavioral traits in order to be effective in their role. A few of these traits include:
The DISC Behavioral Model offers excellent insight into the traits people possess, and how these traits help them to succeed in their personal and professional lives. The DISC Model consists of four core styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.
The “core” or primary style for a department manager would be Dominance (which consists of the first three traits above). However, in order to achieve a good balance, this manager will also need to possess certain traits of Influence and Stability (the second and third group of behaviors).
The effective balance of these three styles will result in a person who takes charge and lets others know where the chain of command lies. S/he will be capable of driving the team toward the desired results and of solving daily problems which inevitably occur.
However, your department manager, being a people-oriented person, will also be persuasive, capable of communicating the “big vision” to his/her team and encouraging them to strive to reach the company goals.
Finally, due to the attributes found in the Steadiness style, this manager will be fully equipped to organize and prepare records, reports, meetings and other necessary tasks that require a good deal of organization. S/he will be dependable and will easily adapt to the ever-present changes that befall a department manager.
By matching the characteristics that come naturally to an applicant with the requirements of the available position, you are well on your way to creating a perfect fit! Your company and your new department manager will both experience high levels of job satisfaction.
Kathi Graham-Leviss is Certified Coach and Behavioral Analyst who assists companies with successfully redefining and developing their human resource managers, HR departments and HR practices. Visit XB Consulting’s website for additional information on workshops and DISC Behavioral Assessments.