Office managerAn office manager is a key person in every office. They may not earn as much as the CEO, but without them, it won’t be long before the wheels come off. Office managers know where the skeletons are buried, they soothe, cajole, and ensure everything – and everyone – runs like clockwork.

It isn’t an easy job, although the best office managers always make it seem oh-so-easy. It can be a lonely job too, as there is rarely anyone else on your pay grade. Thankfully, if you check, you’ll see that there are plenty of office manager conferences 2019 where you can meet your peers, and network like crazy. Which is handy if you’re unhappy with your current position and fancy jumping ship.

Do you have what it takes to be a top office manager in a small company? If you are thinking of applying for an office manager position, check out the key attributes needed below.

1. Excellent Organizational Skills

It goes without saying that all office managers need excellent organizational skills. Admin is the foundation of this role. As an office manager, you won’t be expected to open the mail unless you work for a very small company, but you will have to oversee office juniors and set up systems so that the admin runs smoothly.

Most office managers are very methodical and organized. If you are a hair-brained kind of person, an office manager role is probably not for you.

2. Tact and Diplomacy

As an office manager, you are the liaison between management and the admin team. If a junior employee comes to you and says a senior manager acted inappropriately towards them, you may have to use all your tact and diplomacy to get to the bottom of things. You may also have to deal with tetchy clients if you work for a small company, not to mention difficult bosses with outrageous demands.

Your job is to smooth things over when personalities clash. You can’t take sides unless it’s clear someone is very much in the wrong. You must listen to both sides of the dispute and work out how to handle it. This requires tact and diplomacy. Do you have that in spades? You’ll need it.

3. Empathy

Empathy is always a desirable trait for office managers. Because you work with so many different people, it’s helpful if you can empathize with them. Empathy puts you in their shoes. It helps you see both sides of an argument. It makes it easier to help someone in need or feel sympathy for a boss whose marriage is falling apart.

Without empathy, you will find it impossible to connect with your fellow workers, and zero connection makes it difficult to manage other members of the team. Since your role is managing the office, you need everyone on your side. Otherwise, you can’t do your job properly.

4. Grace Under Pressure

Make no mistake, there will be times when you are under a lot of pressure. Bosses often expect office managers to perform miracles. If your boss calls you at 5 PM and says he needs business class flights to Singapore, departing in 24-hours, it’s your job to get on the phone and make it happen. If he has forgotten his wedding anniversary, you better make sure you have a reminder in your calendar so you can organize a gift and some flowers.

When things go wrong, the buck often stops with you. Don’t expect to leave the office at 5 PM on the dot each day. That almost never happens when you are the office manager.

5. Communication Skills

Excellent communication skills are essential for office managers. You will need to be comfortable talking to everyone, from the office cleaner to the managing director. A big part of your job is communicating what needs doing to the admin team. Be concise and patient; some people need tasks explaining in words of one syllable.

Are you a good listener? This is very important. Listen very carefully because a lack of attention to detail is likely to land you in hot water. Get to know the people you work with and read between the lines. Learn to anticipate what they need and be ready to act.

6. A Sense of Humor

Make no mistake, a sense of humor is vital in this role. When things go pear-shaped, as they are prone to do, you need a sense of humor to get you through the day. Show that you have a sense of humor and can laugh at yourself. A bit of self-deprecating humor goes a long way in a busy office. Small companies are often like little families, and as the office manager, you play a pivotal role in the hierarchy.

The role of the office manager can be very rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. The most successful office managers can wear multiple hats and deal with anything that comes their way. Is that person you?