Career Connection: What Skills Do Managers Need Today? | AIChE

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Career Connection: What Skills Do Managers Need Today?

June
2021

The fight for social justice, hybrid work models, and shifting employee expectations are changing the workplace. Change brings ambiguity and uncertainty that may require managers to adapt their mindsets and skillsets.

Today, the manager’s role has evolved beyond command and control. Take, for instance, Admiral Hyman Rickover, who was known as the Father of the Nuclear Navy. “He was a tough, hands-on leader who steamrolled anybody who got in his way — both inferiors and superiors. Such an approach would probably not work in today’s business or military,” says Thomas Sciance, consultant and AIChE Fellow.

Managers are now responsible for coaching their teams, overseeing complex workflows, and constantly communicating with employees and senior leadership. The pandemic has further changed the role of manager. “Employees’ lives have been disrupted by COVID. Many are trying to work from home while caring for and schooling their children. Managers, as a result, must become like concierges, meeting the needs and engaging employees wherever they are,” says Alyson DeMaso, founder of Raising Beauty, a holistic life-coaching practice.

“Empathy is the keyword now. During disruptive change, such as with the pandemic, managers need to be empathetic about the challenges their people are facing in their...

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